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We finally have big news about the only original Avenger whose fate hasn’t been decided

Published Jan 6th, 2020 4:05PM EST
MCU Phase 5
Image: Marvel Studios

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Marvel is currently building its next epic MCU adventure that could eventually reach epic Endgame-like proportions. To get there, however, Marvel has to introduce new superheroes and villains and create a new Avengers team since the original Avengers have disbanded. Two of the original six are dead, one is old and retired, and two others might exit soon. But we have an excellent rumor for you that’s very promising about the only original Avenger whose fate is still undecided.

Following the events of Endgame, the Avengers need to replace Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America. The first two are dead, and Cap has retired — though as far as the world is concerned, they all died in the battle against Thanos. Hawkeye and Thor will be the next ones to exit, with the help of the upcoming Hawkeye TV series and Thor 4 movie. At least, that’s what we expect for these characters, as they’re supposed to each get own replacements.

This leaves us Hulk, who hasn’t starred in a movie of his own since the original film, the one where Edward Norton played Bruce Banner. As great as Endgame may have been, the film didn’t deliver the sort of closure we would have wanted for Banner’s arc. Yes, he has been able to combine the best of both worlds, and Smart Hulk is a popular superhero on Earth. But Endgame didn’t give us the missing pieces we wanted. How did he and Nat grow apart after he showed up on Earth? And he wasn’t featured in as many action scenes as we would have expected.

Marvel hasn’t made any standalone Hulk films — although Thor: Ragnarok is pretty close — because it didn’t own the full rights to the character. Hulk was available for crossover films but not standalone movies, and that’s why Mark Ruffalo never got his own Hulk flick.

A few weeks ago, we learned the actor was supposed to meet MCU president Kevin Feige to talk about the future of Hulk in the MCU. This brings us to MCU Cosmic’s rumor that says a reliable source revealed that Marvel has gained full control of Hulk and Namor, which would let Feige & Co. to create whatever movies they wanted for the two characters without worrying about distribution issues.

The report says Namor isn’t likely to get his own film because of the success of Aquaman over in DCEU. Namor will likely be used as a villain and a potential Avenger in future films, the report says, rather than getting a standalone movie. We did hear that Namor could be one of the next villains of the MCU, with Black Panther 2 being one of the rumored MCU films where Namor could appear as the antagonist, especially after a certain Endgame teaser.

But Namor is a character we don’t know when it comes to the MCU, so we don’t really care about him just yet. Hulk, on the other hand, is something else. He’s a beloved character who could definitely star in a new movie of his own, given that his arc still feels incomplete after Endgame. If a Hulk movie is in the works, it’ll be included in Phase 5 at the earliest since all the titles in Phase 4 have been laid out. On the other hand, whatever happens with Hulk going forward, She-Hulk, a Disney+ series that’s in development for Phase 4, will likely introduce Bruce Banner’s replacement for future Avengers films.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.