Will Hulk Get a Stand-Alone Prequel Movie?

Those of a certain generation may remember when The Incredible Hulk was a staple on TV during the late ’70s and early ’80s. Even after the series ended, a group of TV movies aired a decade later basically ending the saga. In The Death of the Incredible Hulk, everyone saw David (Bruce) Banner die, including the Hulk, as the only way to end the endless transformation.

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) resurrected Hulk, not everyone thought the character would last as long as he did. The Incredible Hulk in 2008 (starring Edward Norton) is widely considered one of the least popular Marvel films so far. Yet, Hulk became more compelling when Mark Ruffalo took over.

If the MCU ever gives the character a solo prequel, it could potentially link old and new generations.

Hulk may not be around in the present Marvel timeline for a while

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo plays The Hulk in the Avengers franchise. | Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Those of you who saw Avengers: Endgame know that Hulk managed to survive, outside of a serious arm injury from using the Infinity Stones. Another strange twist is Bruce Banner managed to create a hybrid version of himself to a point where he looks like the Hulk, but with Banner’s calm intelligence.

Having him go around in this guise is a bit surreal for Hulk purists while also opening intriguing doors to what his future will be like. Last we saw of Hulk in Avengers: Endgame, he attended Tony Stark’s funeral. His arm was in a sling while still in his half-Hulk/half-human guise.

What we know from there is Hulk probably won’t cameo in Spider-Man: Far From Home. This isn’t to say we might not see Hulk in more Marvel movies down the road. A compelling reason: Ruffalo has a contract to appear in two more MCU films.

Fans still pester Ruffalo as well about whether Hulk will ever have his own solo effort again. In the meantime, some rumors have popped up about the re-release of Avengers: Endgame including new Hulk footage.

Would new footage of Hulk give clues on where he goes next?

Some fans are a bit skeptical about whether the new footage being shown at the end of the Avengers: Endgame re-release will really be worth watching. The suggestions of it being mostly scenes with the Hulk during a rumored tribute to Stan Lee might not excite everyone.

Even so, the Ruffalo version of Hulk still has enough fans where a solo effort might do well enough at the box office. However, Ruffalo has said before a solo effort really isn’t in the cards due to rights issues with Universal.

Maybe Marvel also did some vetting and determined a stand-alone film wouldn’t really gel after all when you consider Hulk doesn’t even crack the Top Ten in popular MCU characters.

Supposing rights issues could be worked out, would MCU prefer to do a Hulk prequel to give a fuller picture of Banner’s trajectory?

Other MCU superheroes will have standalone movie prequels

Using the term “prequel” in the MCU is arguably a bit relative considering they’ve broached the alternate timeline concept thanks to Avengers: Endgame. A few fans are still confused about what this means and whether the timeline was really altered, possibly paving the way for Hulk to have different scenarios to play in.

Let’s also be reminded Banner almost died several times in different Marvel movies, not including really dying in an alternate ending of Avengers: Infinity War (according to Ruffalo). In the real Marvel timeline, Hulk’s persona was so powerful, it prevented Banner’s death from happening. Some think this could lead to the merge with the comic book edition of The Immortal Hulk as a means of going forward with a compelling idea.

Beyond that, some superheroes — like the late Black Widow — are getting big-screen prequels soon, leaving it open to seeing Banner dealing with his Hulk problem from an earlier time. More than a few may prefer this rather than see the in-between transformation version of Banner/Hulk. Seeing Banner dealing with the Jekyll/Hyde problem was always far more compelling in a humanistic way than seeing him look like a green WWE wrestler.