After The Incredible Hulk as of 2008, Marvel did not release any of the standalone Hulk films. Even though Disney reclaimed some of the rights to Hulk, Universal Pictures still hasn’t released the copyrights to major aspects of this character. Therefore, Marvel can’t include the full potential of the Hulk in the MCU films.
Fans are very sad about this lack of cooperation between Universal Pictures and Disney. But after 15 years of The Incredible Hulk, Disney is going to reclaim all Hulk rights by June 2023. And after that, Marvel and Disney may well be planning a standalone Hulk movie. The plot mainly takes place in Episode 2 of She-Hulk.
Hulk left Earth in a Sakaar messenger ship
Have you seen the second episode of She-Hulk yet? If so, then you’ve probably seen Smart Hulk leaving the planet with Sakaarians in their ship. He’s probably convinced he’s returning to this planet to help its citizens with a Hulk-like problem, or it may be something else, time will tell.
Earlier in the first episode, we saw She-Hulk beat the crap out of our Hulk. Marvel has an old tendency of using the Hulk to show off the power of other characters. Let’s remember all those MCU scenes where the Hulk was used as a mere toy, which we don’t expect him to be:
- Marvel Used Hulk To Unleash Thor’s True Power In The Movie Thor Ragnarok. We’ve seen how Hulk’s punches forced Thor to use his power without Mjolnir to channel it.
- Marvel beat Hulk like any supporting character with Thanos in End Game. In Avengers, Tony compared him to an entire army, and he fell so easily. It was so disappointing to see such a powerful character whose adrenaline was anger go astray because the Mad Titan was doing Kung-Fu stuff. A clap of thunder straight to his face would have thrilled him. But, Marvel couldn’t do it.
- Marvel recently uses Hulk to represent the power of She-Hulk. The Bruce Banner who said:It’s my secret hat, I’m still angry!, is the same guy who can’t even hold back a Jeep in the first episode of She-Hulk. What is Marvel trying to do with the Hulk? After The Incredible Hulk, we don’t want to see our Green Beast lose its way in the plot like this.
The character has unimpeachable strength in the comics, and we’ve seen a full set of him in The Incredible Hulk. The ability he has is so underused in MCU movies. One thing is sure! If this character gets a perfect script in collaboration with an incredible team of visual effects and action directors, then Hulk might not have defeated Thanos, but had him flee the Asgardian ship, to find a strategy to beat the Hulk.
We want to see the Hulk return! We want to see the true power of Hulk Smash and Thunder Clap, which is portrayed in the comics.
Why aren’t Marvel and Disney looking into the Hulk character?
Now, we all know Marvel and Disney spend a lot of time and money creating characters and showing off their strengths. But why not for the Hulk? That’s because, unlike Sony, Universal Pictures isn’t as cooperative with Disney and Marvel. Universal Pictures is like Fox Studios, which didn’t release all of the Hulk rights after The Incredible Hulk film.
And that’s the only reason MCU’s Hulk doesn’t have a standalone movie yet. And that copyright issue is what forces the writers to go soft on Hulk while framing the entire plot. But, we could see the end of this injustice for the Hulk character. That’s because Universal Pictures’ rights to the Hulk character will be revoked in June 2023. And then we might see the Hulk, back in shape.
The plot of 2023 or any future story was set in the second episode of She-Hulk. Hulk was seen leaving the planet to go to Sakaar. Therefore, we might expect a solo film focusing on him battling the greatest of villains and reclaiming the Hulk’s reputation.
What might be the story in the standalone MCU Hulk movie?
The story might look like, Smart Hulk is in no position to do the world any good for saving him. This is because Bruce’s conscience could interfere to allow him to unleash his full strength.
Bruce has emotion, care, love, and empathy for those around him, and even for the bad guys. We saw how Smart Hulk says he forgave Emil Blonsky, aka Abomination. If 2008’s Hulk had been interrogated or confronted by Abomination even today, he would have beaten him to death to make him beg to stay in jail without parole.
Smart Hulk will soon realize that with Bruce’s conscience and 7 doctorates, it won’t help him win battles. He will realize that he was totally absorbed in the search for the solution to control his alter-ego. In this way, he forgot to spend time and assess how much power the Green Guy possesses.
All the research and experiments he did were aimed at controlling the Green Guy. But none of his experiments were ever directed at unleashing the Hulk’s true powers. Now he might just do that! And in the quest, we might see the ruthless Hulk with the ability to tell friend from foe.
Marvel needs to do something with the Hulk character, not even for their satisfaction but for the interest of the fans.