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World War Hulk movie might be in the works, if this Marvel discovery is true

Hulk Avengers

World War Hulk is reportedly the title of a mysterious MCU standalone Hulk movie that Marvel might already be working on. The studio never confirmed the title during its impressive Comic-Con event. Marvel unveiled all the Phase 5 and three major Phase 6 titles at the show, including Avengers 5 and 6.

Marvel has plenty of dates unaccounted for in Phase 6 to sneak a World War Hulk movie in it. Then again, it also has some leaked MCU movie trademarks that it’s yet to acknowledge. And World War Hulk isn’t one of them.

That said, a recent discovery might indicate that World War Hulk might happen fairly soon. Mind you, some spoilers might follow.

Why Marvel can’t make Hulk movies

Marvel’s problem with the Hulk franchise is similar to its problem with Spider-Man. But it’s not as bad. Marvel might have created the character, but it doesn’t own the movie rights.

Marvel has to deal with Universal when using Hulk in the MCU, just as it has to deal with Sony for Spider-Man.

Admittedly, the Hulk problem isn’t as big as Spider-Man. Marvel has been using Hulk in plenty of movies since The Incredible Hulk (2008). Mark Ruffalo played Bruce Banner/Hulk in all the MCU films featuring the character except for the 2008 picture that had Edward Norton as the Hulk.

Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) having a drink.
Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) having a drink. Image source: Marvel Studios

But Ruffalo never got his own movie. He’s now the only original Avenger not to have a standalone project. If the new finding is correct, however, World War Hulk might finally give the big guy the movie he deserves.

Not being able to make standalone Hulk movies didn’t stop Marvel from including the character in many adventures to develop Hulk’s arc along the way.

Ruffalo has appeared in all four Avengers movies and Thor: Ragnarok. Add Iron Man 3, Captain Marvel, and Shang-Chi cameos to the list, plus the appearance in She-Hulk, and you realize we’ve had quite a Banner/Hulk journey since Edward Norton first played the MCU character. And we’re not counting the What If…? cameos because those are other Hulks.

Why World War Hulk might be possible

After the mid-October story that said a World War Hulk movie was in the works, we didn’t have any significant developments on the matter. But we haven’t forgotten about the title. And neither did Marvel fans.

One of them took to Reddit to explain that Universal’s Hulk distribution agreement might end in June 2023. The date comes from older SEC filings.

Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in Avengers Infinity War.
Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in Avengers Infinity War. Image source: Marvel Studios

A document Marvel filed with the SEC in December 2006 included this distribution detail about the first Hulk movie:

Universal Studios has agreed to distribute Marvel’s film The Incredible Hulk and sequels on essentially the same terms as those on which Paramount has agreed to distribute the other films financed and produced under the film facility.

The same Redditor found an amended agreement between Marvel and Paramount that specified an expiration date for the deal:

6. Distribution Term: Paramount shall have the right to exercise its Paramount Distribution Rights with respect to each Picture for an initial period of 15 years commencing on the initial Theatrical Exhibition of such Picture (the “Initial Distribution Term”);

The Incredible Hulk hit theaters in June 2008. If these documents are still valid, it might mean that the rights revert to Marvel next June. As a result, Marvel might be able to finally make a World War Hulk movie.

Things might not be as simple as that, however. The good news is that we’ll get Hulk back in She-Hulk, which premieres on Disney Plus next week. Until then, you can watch Hulk smash below:


More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

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 closely follows the events in 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.