Time to talk about The Incredible Hulk. At one point, many refused to accept the fact that the film was even canon. The movie had a different Hulk actor, and its events are rarely referenced in the wider MCU—in fact, there are still several plot threads still hanging to this day.
Cut to 2021, and things have changed, if only slightly. General Ross returned to the MCU with Captain America: Civil War, and Tim Roth's Abomination took the stage for a brief moment in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Yet there has still not been a single solo Bruce Banner project since his 2008 outing. He has simply played a vital role alongside other Marvel heroes in various projects, all of which being team-ups of some fashion.
Bruce Banner's origin movie was distributed by Universal Studios, who had the distribution rights to the character, but not the ability to make a movie about the character himself—those particular rights still belonged to Marvel Studios.
Universal has leveraged this over the years by not letting Marvel Studios release a project based solely on the green angry giant, as Marvel Studios/Disney would not allow a different studio to distribute the title.
With She-Hulk on the horizon, fans thought things might have changed. Yet, with Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner still active, there continued to be no Hulk solo project. Thankfully, it seems that's about to change.
World War Hulk Rumored to Be Coming Soon
The GWW has learned that Marvel Studios has a "solo" Hulk film in active development which is going by the title of World War Hulk. The film is currently slated to start production in late 2022, after the debut of She-Hulk on Disney+.
With a production date in 2022, the movie would likely be set for a late-2023 or early-to-mid-2024 release.
The outlet teased that "this film is also said to be yet another piece in the puzzle that also sets up a future film project [they] hope to reveal later."
This news has not been confirmed or commented on by Disney and Marvel Studios, so it remains strictly a rumor for now.
Marvel Studios Finally Gets To Explore Hulk
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has, in the past, spoken about how he's always wanted to explore Hulk more in solo projects, but has been unable to. It seems that is all about to change with She-Hulk having been the first sign.
Lots of aspects of World War Hulk were touched upon and played off of in Thor: Ragnarok. Clearly, that doesn't seem to be stopping Marvel. After all, there is plenty more to the comic storyline that never made it into Thor's third film.
A while back, there was a rumor that She-Hulk was set to introduce Hulk's son, Skaar. While it seemed like an odd choice at the time, with this news, it makes a lot more sense.
As for what this movie will lead to, the options are plentiful. While he debuted at the beginning of the MCU, it looks like Hulk's story is only just now beginning. Fingers crossed that one day the world will be able to witness Maestro—an evil Bruce Banner from an alternate timeline, who collects trinkets from the various defenders of the universe he defeats.
It would be even better if the current Bruce Banner's trajectory is for him to turn into that villainous persona. To see an original avenger become one of the world's biggest threats would be a fascinating angle for Marvel Studios to take. They do like to switch things up, so it's a possibility at the least!
She-Hulk is set to hit Disney+ in 2022.