From the looks of things, Thor: Ragnarok is the closest to a new Hulk solo movie we’re going to get anytime soon. While his first couple of attempts at Hulk movies were pretty lackluster, Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner has quickly become a fan-favorite since Mark Ruffalo took up the big green mantle in The Avengers, but our dreams of a solo outing aren’t anywhere near becoming a reality. It’s not for lack of enthusiasm on Marvel’s part, or on Ruffalo’s, but has something to do with the tangled web of companies who own the film rights to each Marvel character.

Kevin Feige himself told Indiewire that he’s not holding his breath for it.

I think that back and forth continues, and I don’t know if it will ever happen. But I will tell you, it makes me very, very happy going from a world, ten years ago, when people were questioning the viability of Hulk in a standalone film, to getting asked every other interview, ‘When will there be another standalone Hulk?’

The issue goes all the way back to the time when an Avengers team-up movie was just a whisper on the wind. Back then, Marvel Entertainment was a private studio, who worked on production with outside distributors to get their movies made. Paramount distributed all of the Marvel hero movies until The Avengers in 2012, and Disney’s purchase of Marvel took effect — except for Hulk’s, whose rights Universal had bought back in the 1990s. Universal has, as Screen Rant explains, first refusal rights, which means if Marvel wants to do anything with Hulk now, they have to come to Universal first. And apparently Universal isn’t game to negotiate the rights for a whole solo movie like Sony was for Spider-Man.

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3.

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