For years now Disney and Marvel Studios has been making the Marvel Cinematic Universe one of the most popular franchises of all time. The concept of interconnected films and characters wasn’t invented by the studio, but it was seemingly perfected by them. Beginning in 2008 with the original Iron Man we have come 14 years since then with no current signs of stopping.
Marvel has also become one of the more popular categories on Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus. Including nearly every MCU film as well as multiple other films and shows, some acquired via the 20th Century Fox merger. But it appears that one of the first MCU films from phase one will be on a competing service.
The 2008 film The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk is being slated to be streaming on the competing HBO Max service from Warner Bros. Via a recent list of films and shows announced to be added starting April 1st.
How is this possible you may ask? Well the major reason as to why is due to Disney/Marvel not owning the fun rights to the Hulk character due to a previously existing contract between Marvel and Universal Studios. Similar to SONY with Spider-Man, Marvel sold the film rights to the Hulk (along with Namor the Sub-Mariner) to Universal Studios. In 2003 Universal made The Hulk but didn’t bring the character back until 2008.
Universal allows Marvel to use the character in their films, but with the limitation that Hulk cannot have any solo films as Universal still own those rights. So that is why Hulk has appeared in a supporting role throughout various Marvel projects.
With Universal being a company that occasionally licenses out their films and shows to other networks, it appears that their 2008 version of The Incredible Hulk wound up as part of the deal with HBO.
What do you think of this situation?
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.