The Incredible Hulk, the 2008 Marvel Studios film starring Edward Norton, is finally coming to Disney+ tomorrow.
The Disney+ Twitter account surprised fans Thursday with the poster for The Incredible Hulk, saying the movie will smash into the platform very soon. This puts Disney+ one step closer to completing its Marvel Cinematic Universe library, like Thanos gathering all the Infinity Stones.
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) June 15, 2023
The Incredible Hulk, directed by Louis Leterrier, is the only time in the MCU that Norton played Dr. Bruce Banner and the lean, mean, green smashing machine before Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers.
In the movie, Banner is on the run from a military general who wants to use the Hulk to revive the Super Soldier program through gamma radiation. Meanwhile, the scientist has been living in seclusion, trying to cure himself of the Hulk by staying away from crowds, meditating, and wearing a heart monitor to ensure his heart rate doesn't exceed 200 beats per minute lest the Hulk breaks out and goes on a rampage.
At the time The Incredible Hulk released in theaters, the MCU was in Phase 1 and Disney hadn't bought Marvel yet; the films of that era were being released by Paramount. Universal owned the distribution rights to the Hulk, which is how Ang Lee directed the 2003 film with Eric Bana in the lead role. Even after Disney bought Marvel in 2009 (and cast the Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner), the Hulk is only able to appear in Marvel films and shows in a supporting role because of Universal's tight grip on the character.
This is only the latest MCU film that Disney+ has been able to nab. In April, they added some – but not all – of Sony's Spider-Man movies.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.