Oh No! HBO Max Has Taken An MCU Movie Hostage

Extra! Extra! A Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has been taken hostage by HBO Max! Read all about it! Earlier today, Warner Bros. published a note claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of Louis Leterrier's 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk," saying they will screen the film on HBO Max starting April 1, robbing Disney's MCU of one of its earliest films. 

Warner Bros. has not presented Marvel a list of demands just yet, presumably because "The Batman" is currently ruling the box office and its closest competition is not a Marvel movie, but an anime. Still, hostage negotiation experts are speculating that WB will release a list of demands once they face competition at either the box office or the Film Twitter discourse battleground, likely when "Moon Knight" or "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" get released.

When approached for comment, a spokesperson for the DCEU said, "My man!"

Marvel strikes back

This is just the latest front in an all-out war between the two studios that has been raging for decades and has claimed millions of angry tweets already. There was a brief amicable period in the mid-'90s where DC and Marvel combined their forces to create Amalgam Comics, a source for weird crossover stories and characters that combined personas from both universes (like an amalgamation of Batman and Wolverine named Dark Claw), and then again in the mid-'00s with the "JLA/Avengers" crossover.

But then the conflict escalated once Halle Berry got poached by DC to play Catwoman after playing Storm in "X-Men," while Marvel retaliated by convincing Ryan Reynolds to go from "Green Lantern" to "Deadpool." This back and forth has continued into recent years, with big actors like Michael Keaton successfully navigating both universes at the same time relatively unscathed.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but the authorities say they arrested a suspect who reportedly confessed to knowing plans by Warner Bros. to keep "The Incredible Hulk" hostage just to settle a bet from executives. The bet? to see who would win in a fight between Tim Roth's Abomination and the drum-playing octopus from "Aquaman." The plan is to shoot an Abomination cameo soon in order to make him canon in the DCEU before Roth returns in "She-Hulk." 

Marvel is expected to retaliate in some form soon enough. Insiders suspect the studio is planning a big takeover and will change the name "Batman" to "Daredevil." Take that, Robert Pattinson.

Infinity (licensing rights) war

Of course, the real reason why "The Incredible Hulk" will stream on HBO Max is much simpler and boring than this. In truth, the film was a co-production with Universal from before Disney acquired Marvel Studios. This means that any deal Universal has with WarnerMedia to stream their films on HBO (now HBO Max) still stands. Streaming rights! They're complicated!

You can watch "The Incredible Hulk" on HBO Max when it drops on the streamer on April 1, 2022.