Before James Gunn considered directing Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Studios, he was interested in tackling a very different hero. In a recent Q&A on Facebook, Gunn revealed that before signing on for Guardians of the Galaxy he was interested in doing a Hulk/Red Hulk movie.
James Gunn has undeniably become a huge part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. Not only did that film smash expectations upon its release, but the characters -- once thought to be too out there to find an audience -- are set to join the Avengers in Infinity War to help take on Thanos. With the writer/director playing such an important role in Marvel's cosmic side, it's crazy to think we could have gotten his take on a Hulk/Red Hulk film.
I wanted to do Hit Monkey. Like REALLY wanted to do it. I was also interested in doing a Hulk/Red Hulk film.
Of course, as exciting as it would have been to see Gunn's take on the Hulk, Ruffalo has previously confirmed the film rights are still in a sticky situation. Back in 2015, Ruffalo told Yahoo! Movies that Marvel and Universal were "working on it" regarding a possible new Hulk film. However, he was also quick to note that things didn't necessarily look promising at the time.
The last Hulk solo film to be release was The Incredible Hulk, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's only Hulk film thus far, which starred Edward Norton as the titular hero. That film, while made by Marvel Studios, was still distributed by Universal, which was Marvel's general distribution partner at the time. It made an unimpressive $263 million worldwide, compared to Iron Man's $585 million worldwide. Since then, Hulk, now played by Mark Ruffalo, has continued to play a supporting character role in the Avengers films and in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, suggesting a solo film is still a ways off.
As for Red Hulk, there were rumors of the character appearing in Captain America: Civil War following the return of William Hurt's Thaddeus Ross. Unfortunately, those rumors were put to rest by directors Joe and Anthony Russo. However, with Ross now officially back within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a Red Hulk appearance can't necessarily be ruled out all together.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is nearing the end of its theatrical run, stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego. The film was written and directed by James Gunn who is already confirmed to return for the third film in the trilogy.