A Hulk standalone movie in the MCU 'will never happen,' says Mark Ruffalo

Any Marvel fans holding their breath for a Bruce Banner solo flick starring Mark Ruffalo can finally (and sadly) exhale. 

According to the actor, who first stepped into the role as the green-skinned superhero in 2012's The Avengers, there's no way that he could ever star in a Hulk standalone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The reason? Marvel doesn't have the rights to the Hulk movie. 

Ruffalo broke the somewhat crushing news following Marvel's segment of the live-action panel at Disney's D23 Expo on Saturday, when he stepped off stage and spoke with Variety about the possibility of him ever getting to lead his own movie. 

"I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today: a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie, and for some reason, they don't know how to play well with Marvel, and they don't want to make money," Ruffalo stated. 

Visibly distraught in knowing he won't star in a Hulk standalone, Ruffalo continued, "We've talked about it, but I just don't see it in the cards… it's okay, I'm fine. It means a lot to me. I really love this character." 

Fellow Marvel actor Don Cheadle, who plays James Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot in Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War, stood beside Ruffalo and helped cushion the blow of his statements. Cheadle joked that Marvel won't make a solo Hulk movie because it knows Ruffalo "would be terrible," and that the 49-year-old actor is "already too old" to play the hero.  

While the hero technically does have a solo film in the MCU already (Edward Norton's The Incredible Hulk), Marvel enthusiasts have held out hope that the new Hulk could have his own moment in the limelight. Unfortunately, it seems that Ruffalo's Hulk will remain a co-starring character for the foreseeable future.

Fans can catch Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in Thor: Ragnarok, which is due out on November 3. Until then, brush up on your Hulk history by discovering the superpowers most people don't know he has.