Disney+ Announces Release of the MCU's Most Forgotten Movie

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Disney+ MCU Movies

The most overlooked Marvel Studios film is finally joining the MCU library on Disney+.

Of the 32 movies Marvel Studios has released since 2008, this comic book blockbuster has largely been forgotten and often seen as detached from the greater MCU. 

However, new developments - and the film's Disney+ arrival - may change that. 

The Incredible Hulk is Disney+ Bound

The Incredible Hulk 2008

The official Twitter account for Disney+ announced that The Incredible Hulk is coming to Disney+ on Friday, June 16.

The movie was available on Disney+ in certain international territories, but this is the first time that it will be coming to the streamer in the United States. Strangely enough, The Incredible Hulk was only available to watch on Disney competitor HBO Max (prior to its rebranding as Max) previously, meaning Bruce Banner will finally be coming home to his Marvel contemporaries.

The 2008 film stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, and William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross. 

Directed by Louis Leterrier, The Incredible Hulk premiered in theaters a little more than a month after Iron Man; but it failed to enjoy the same critical and financial success.

The Hulk returned to the MCU in 2012's The Avengers where Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as Bruce Banner and has continued to play the character in the years since. 

As a result, Norton's The Incredible Hulk has largely been forgotten and is rarely mentioned in MCU conversation. But now, that appears to be changing.

From The Incredible Hulk to World War Hulk?

In recent years, Marvel Studios has slowly been reminding audiences of events from The Incredible Hulk, but with Ruffalo's version inserted over Edward Norton's.

One of the first instances of this effort was in What If...?, followed by 2022's She-Hulk: Attorney at Law where Ruffalo's Bruce referenced the 2008 film and Marvel brought back Tim Roth's Emil Blonsky as Abomination

This trend is only continuing with 2024's Captain America: Brave New World with Liv Tyler reprising her role as Betty Ross and featuring Thaddeus Ross (or Red Hulk?), now played by Harrison Ford.

Due to these developments, there's been considerable buzz about Marvel Studios developing a World War Hulk film, especially with the Hulk film's distribution rights possibly reverting from Universal to Marvel this month. 

The fact that The Incredible Hulk is coming to Disney+ on Friday could be seen as evidence of the rights changing hands, even though that has yet to be confirmed. 

Overall, with more Hulk storytelling on the horizon - and the possibility of a Hulk film - the oft-forgot The Incredible Hulk is becoming more relevant to the MCU all the time. 

The Incredible Hulk drops on Disney+ on Friday, June 16. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.