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Mark Ruffalo Explains Why We'll Probably Never Get a Sequel to 2008's The Incredible Hulk

The big, green rage monster won't be running wild in his own movie anytime soon.

By Josh Weiss

Since taking over the role of Bruce Banner (and his mean, green alter ego) from Edward Norton over a decade ago, Mark Ruffalo has enjoyed a substantial presence within the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here's the thing, though: Every MCU project to feature Ruffalo as the uncontrollable rage monster in the torn purple pants have not been standalone Hulk adventures.

Why? Because Universal Pictures still owns the screen rights to the classic character. In the early days of the grand Marvel experiment overseen by Kevin Feige, the studio agreed to distribute 2008's The Incredible Hulk (now available to own from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) and signed off on the idea of Banner appearing in subsequent team-up films like The Avengers. At the same time, however, Universal gained the right of first refusal for any Hulk-centric movie thereafter. This intel comes to us directly from The Story of Marvel Studios, co-authored by Paul Terry and SYFY WIRE's own Tara Bennett.

One of the considerations that may be giving Universal pause on letting the green behemoth run wild onscreen is another green juggernaut, money, as Ruffalo postulated during a recent interview with GQ.

For More on The Incredible Hulk:
How The Incredible Hulk’s Final Battle With Abomination Pays Homage to Iconic Hulk Hands Toy
How 2008’s The Incredible Hulk Was Inspired by Classic Monster Movies Like King Kong & Frankenstein
Louis Leterrier Explains How David Fincher’s Se7en Influenced Look of The Incredible Hulk

Mark Ruffalo says another standalone Hulk movie would be too expensive

The Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) roars in The Incredible Hulk (2008).

“I’d love to do a standalone Hulk, I just don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” the actor said, going on to add that bringing the Hulk to life is a costly endeavor. "It’s very expensive if you did a whole movie, which is why they use the Hulk so sparingly. I priced myself out!"

With that said, a number of Incredible Hulk characters — Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), Thaddeus Ross (Harrison Ford taking over for the late William Hurt), and Samuel Sterns/The Leader (Tim Blake Nelson) — will all make an appearance in next year's Captain America: Brave New World.

Appearing at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival earlier this month, Ruffalo, who is known to be rather terrible at keeping Marvel secrets to himself, seemed to confirm his return as Banner in the Anthony Mackie-fronted blockbuster. The claim was subsequently shot down by the studio.

The Incredible Hulk (2008) is now available to own from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment along with Ang Lee's The Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk TV show starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.