Louis Leterrier has revealed plans for the canceled sequel to his 2008 film The incredible Hulkin which Edward Norton played the title role.
In the year interview Leterrier told ComicBook.com that he was planning “a complete sequel” for the Marvel character that would have introduced other versions of the Hulk.
“There was Gray Hulk and Red Hulks — there was a lot of good stuff that we had planned,” he told the website.
In the following films Mark Ruffalo took over the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk from 2012 the Avengers, and the storyline from the 2008 film was not part of the character’s story arc. (Eric Bana also played the character in a 2003 Ang Lee film, while Lou Ferrigno played the Hulk and Bill Bixby played Bruce Banner in the CBS series, which aired from 1977-1982, as well as several made-for-television movies.)
The rights to the character are complicated. In fact, Universal Pictures owns the rights to all Hulk-only films prior to Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Studios in 2009, meaning Universal has first refusal rights to distribute any solo Hulk film. However, the character may also appear in the films of other MCU characters, such as Ruffalo’s appearances in the Avengers films. Iron Man 3, Thor: Ragnarok, Captain Marvel, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and more, in addition to the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Lawyer.
“Hulk is a complex character in the Marvel Universe,” Leterrier said. “You want the primeval Hulk… the angry Hulk. And then when you switch to Gray Hulk and Smart Hulk, you lose that a little bit and it becomes a little bit more of a joke.”
Leterrier, whose recent credits include FastX, adding that the character as fans currently know him from the films is “a far cry” from the character he wanted to expand on.
“But that was the fun of where I was in my film, with the access to consciousness and all that stuff,” he said. “It was great fun. And that’s what I wanted to achieve. But give me time with that. Because there are so many characters that they want everything fast [laughs]. I like She-Hulk, but then, you know, yoga between Hulk and… I was like, ‘Okay!’ Yeah, we’re very far from my Hulk.'”
In the meantime, fans might still be able to see Red Hulk on screens soon. There has been speculation that Harrison Ford’s character, Thunderbolt Ross, could morph into his alter ego, Red Hulk Captain America: New World Order, while Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross transforms into her own alter ego, Red She-Hulk.
Ford has neither confirmed nor denied the speculation. When asked by ComicBook.com if that was the plan for his character, the actor answered: “What is the Red Hulk?”