By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Marvel’s big green Hulk may not be getting his own standalone movie but actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the current iteration of the superhero, said the character will get a mini arc within three upcoming Marvel movies.
Hulk, the muscle-bound, larger-than-life green alter-ego of scientist Bruce Banner, appears in the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok,” out in U.S. theaters on Nov. 3, as a gladiator trapped on a futuristic planet and forced to fight Thor.
The Hulk will also appear in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and its sequel, 2019’s yet-to-be-titled Avengers 4.
“We’ve taken the arc of a standalone Hulk movie and put it into those three movies, consciously,” Ruffalo said.
Ruffalo, who has spent more time as scientist Banner than as the Hulk in the past two Avengers films, said he relished the opportunity to be in character as the Hulk for the majority of “Thor: Ragnarok.”
“This movie is about just breaking free of the forms and rules, and so I got to break free from what we thought Hulk was to a slightly more fleshed-out character,” he said.
The Hulk, who first appeared in comics in 1962, has had his own standalone television shows and movies in the past, notably 2003’s “Hulk” and 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” films, both from Universal Pictures.
The cinematic rights to Marvel’s Hulk superhero are owned by Comcast Corp’s (O:CMCSA) Universal Pictures, while Walt Disney Co (N:DIS) owns Marvel studios and is behind the current success of the superhero movie franchise.
“Ultimately Universal owns the rights there. I don’t see them like hanging out together any time soon to be like ‘Hey, let’s do another Hulk movie’,” he said.