If three times is a charm for Peter Parker in his Spider-Man universe, then the same cannot be said for Bruce Banner and the Hulk. That is according to the man that currently plays him on the big screen, as actor Mark Ruffalo categorically put a line through a standalone concept this week.
Out and about on Disney's D23 Expo red carpet alongside his Avengers co-star Don Cheadle, the 49-year old Spotlight star gave a blunt response that was part tongue-in-cheek, part frustrated rant. While he knew the demand was out there as well as his personal desire to make it happen, Ruffalo explained that the political back-and-forth between the studios made the concept null and void.
MR: Universal Don't Want To Make $$$
— Variety (@Variety) July 15, 2017
Set to appear in the 2018 ensemble blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, Ruffalo was quizzed by Variety about the missing piece in the MCU jigsaw puzzle. He could not have been more direct - a fresh Hulk installment is dead in the water.
"I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today that a standalone Hulk movie will never happen," he asserted. "Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don't know how to play well with Marvel, and they don't want to make money."
Such is the delay, he outlined that discussions had been held, but by the time a deal could be struck, he will have too many grey hairs.
"But I figure I got like two or three more years left, and I'm too old to play the Hulk - let's be honest. We talked about it, but I just don't see it in the cards. No it's alright. It's ok. I'm fine. It means a lot to me, I mean, I really love this character."
Trying to lighten the mood a little bit, Cheadle was adamant that a studio the size of Universal would not pass on financial terms.
"And with you as the new Hulk it would probably be terrible," he quipped. "So that's really probably it. We know that these corporations would work it out if they thought they'd make enough money."
Poster Leak Showcases Thor v Hulk Super Battle
— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) July 14, 2017
INSIDER correspondent Kristen Acuna tweeted out a new Marvel concept art poster offering from the D23 Expo. This would be where the Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer finished to have the Hulk appearing in Chris Hemsworth's standalone territory.
Ruffalo explained that one of the two superhero's will land the first punch, but kept that reveal up his sleeve. That title from Taika Waititi opens in the US on November 3.