For Marvel Studios, the third go-around with Bruce Banner might have been the charm.
Following the strong reviews Mark Ruffalo earned for playing Banner -- and the scientist's mean, green alter-ego Hulk -- in "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel boss Kevin Feige told MTV that he could envision another Hulk stand-alone movie.
"Do I think Hulk can carry a movie and be as entertaining as he was in 'Avengers'? I do believe that. I do believe he absolutely could," Feige said, before throwing some cold water on the notion. "We certainly are not even going to attempt that until 'Avengers 2.' So there's a lot of time to think about it."
Prior to "The Avengers," Marvel tried to launch Hulk as a solo franchise in the vein of "Iron Man," "Captain America" and "Thor." However, both the 2003 and 2008 films weren't financial successes, leaving Hulk as a character without a home until "The Avengers."
Despite Feige's last-second hedge about waiting until after Joss Whedon completes "The Avengers 2," the Marvel chief's comments are actually an indication of some forward progress on a third Hulk film. Back in April, before the record-setting grosses for "Marvel's The Avengers," Feige told HuffPost that no plans were in motion.
"This was the other shot, right?" Feige asked when questioned about Hulk. "I mean, this was the third appearance of Hulk and everything that we had and were going for, we put in to Hulk's appearance in 'Avengers.' So, I love that people are saying that and are feeling that way about Hulk, but mission accomplished at this point."
For now, however, fans should simply expect to see Hulk in "The Avengers 2" and that's all. Ruffalo told Vulture that he had spoken to Whedon about the sequel and is expected to return.
For more, head over to MTV.