Disney and Marvel reportedly have the rights to proceed with a new film.
With the popularity of Mark Ruffalo‘s Hulk that came after the release of the first Avengers film, many have wondered when the character might get his own sequel. Recent reports (including talk from Ruffalo himself) have indicated that the Hulk’s solo movie rights were still tied up with Universal (who distributed The Incredible Hulk, which Marvel Studios produced), but now it sounds as though that isn’t quite the case.
According to Forbes, while Universal holds distribution rights to the Hulk sequels, Disney and Marvel Entertainment have film production rights to the large green superhero. Marvel regained cinematic rights to the character in 2005 after Universal failed to make a follow-up to Ang Lee’s Hulk movie.
However, Universal does still hold the right of first refusal with distribution rights to a new Hulk movie. That means Universal can decide whether to distribute a Hulk sequel or not created by Disney and Marvel. If Universal says no, then Disney and Marvel can proceed anyway.
As such, Universal technically isn’t holding up a Planet Hulk or The Incredible Hulk sequel. Disney and Marvel hold all the rights to create a new film, though they might have to share distribution with Universal. That isn’t unheard of for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, though, as Paramount distributed numerous early entries in the connected superhero series prior to Disney’s acquisition of Marvel.