Is ‘She-Hulk’ the Closest We’ll Ever Get to an ‘Incredible Hulk’ Sequel?

2008’s The Incredible Hulk is, in many ways, the black sheep of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While all of the other movies maintained their core cast members and seemed to bleed into the greater MCU with every film, the Edward Norton movie stands alone.

After replacing Norton with Ruffalo in several non-Hulk films, many have waited 12 years for a sequel that may never come. With the upcoming She-Hulk series, however, things could finally change for the better. 

Hulk’s rocky ride in the MCU

Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

It seems strange that one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes has to offer doesn’t get the same slate of solo adventures as the others do. This is not a creative choice, however.

When the Marvel Universe first gained its legs, Universal had an agreement with Paramount to allow Hulk to enter other movies while maintaining the rights to solo films. 

After the Disney merger with Marvel, however, Hulk became a vital part of the franchise. Despite this, Universal and Disney were never able to settle on a way for Hulk to get a solo movie.

Although Ruffalo long expressed a desire to take the screen in a solo Hulk adventure, Universal hung onto the rights until the very end. Finally, in 2020, Marvel got the full rights to the character. 

However, Ruffalo’s future with the franchise is largely unknown. Yet, fans of Hulk have something to look forward to, even if it doesn’t involve Ruffalo or Banner involved. The upcoming She-Hulk series could be the solo Hulk movie that everyone is looking forward to. 

She-Hulk enters the battle

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Thus far, Ruffalo’s Hulk is the only Hulk in the MCU. This will change when She-Hulk enters the mix in the coming years. While his future with the franchise might be uncertain,

Ruffalo tweeted out support for the casting Tatiana Maslany in the new Marvel series’ titular role. The series will follow an episodic format, which will likely cover smaller ground than the cinematic events. 

However, while the MCU began as a film experiment that eventually bled over into various TV shows, the new slate of Marvel shows appear to fit directly into the movies in ways that previous shows could never do.

Whether the show begins by showing how She-Hulk comes into being or picks up afterward, shows like this allow for a slow-burn when it comes to the origins of their characters. 

Fans on Reddit were stoked to hear the news of Maslany’s casting and spoke about how she could help guide the Hulk story, even if Ruffalo isn’t involved at all. 

A new era of Hulk

Aside from the beloved Hulk characters that She-Hulk and her male counterpart bring into the franchise, many fans on Reddit are happy about the greater mythology that could be brought into the MCU with projects such as this.

The Incredible Hulk movie introduced several loose ends that were eventually lost as the franchise moved further away from the roots that the 2008 film laid down. 

While much of the Marvel Universe of the comics are intertwined with one another, certain aspects appear most prominently in the Hulk Universe. From villains like Abomination to Hulk’s love interest, Betty Ross, fans want to see what happens in the aftermath of the first film and how the characters’ impact stretches to the modern world. 

“She-Hulk is going to be the thing to finally bring back some of the lost Incredible Hulk characters,” said Reddit user Cruddy64. 

Whatever happens, She-Hulk has a possibility of being the closest thing we get to a sequel to the 2008 film that helped kick off the Marvel Universe. A lot has changed since then, and with the creators ramping up for new ideas, the original movie could give them some excellent inspiration for the next part.