Marvel's Future Plans for Hulk May Involve Another Heroic Team
There's been a lot of buzz about what Marvel might have in store for The Incredible Hulk following The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was bodybuilder and TV series star Lou Ferrigno who first started talking about plans for another standalone movie for the green machine, and The Avengers star Mark Ruffalo echoed his sentiments. Then just yesterday, Ruffalo was specifically asked about bringing a certain storyline to the big screen: Planet Hulk. However, the actor didn't seem to think that was the story to go with to continue Hulk's arc. But now it turns out that may not entirely be true, but Ruffalo wasn't necessarily lying.
First, let's have a bit of a recap. The rumor of the Planet Hulk storyline becoming part of Marvel's cinematic universe first started in February of 2013, before Iron Man 3 or Thor: The Dark World had even hit theaters. For those who may not be aware, you can watch the animated movie on Netflix Instant right here based on the 2006 comic arc written by Greg Pak, but otherwise, here's a short synopsis:
When Earth's superheroes exile the volatile Incredible Hulk to a distant planet called Sakaar, the muscle-bound green monster is sold into slavery. But he soon joins forces with his fellow slaves to fight for his freedom and a chance for revenge.
Now if you want to stay clear of any potential major spoilers for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, then don't read any further, because this is where we dig into some details that could lead up to events in The Avengers 3 and other Marvel films coming down the pipeline. At the time of the original rumor, it was said that the end of The Avengers 2 (which hadn't yet been given a subtitle) would see the superhero ensemble coming to terms with the fact that Bruce Banner and his monstrous alter ego is just too much of a liability on Earth, so they blast him into space.
Then that would lead to a Planet Hulk film, and the storyline would be used to inspire The Avengers 3, which would use the World War Hulk storyline with Hulk returning to Earth along with some alien friends, thirsty for revenge against those responsible for sending him to exile in space, and forcing The Avengers to fight Hulk and another alien threat. The bad news is most of this rumor seems to now be false, but the good news is, the parts that are true might now even be more interesting because it will crossover with a forthcoming new Marvel franchise.
HitFix has word on just how the gap between The Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers 3 will be filled, and it involves Guardians of the Galaxy. Ever since the new cosmic adventure was revealed, fans have been wondering how the film will end up connecting with the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe. There's a common thread with the villain Thanos (read more here), who was revealed to be the puppeteer behind the events of The Avengers, and is also controlling Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy. But it turns out there may be a more direct connection in the works, and it involves Hulk.
At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk still ends up being sent off to space, however it may not be for the same reasons. The report at Hitfix says that the final battle with Ultron somehow ends up with Banner/Hulk stuck aboard a Quinjet blasting off into space on a pre-programmed flight that he can't stop. However, rather than heading to an alien planet no one knows about, what if Hulk ended up wherever the Guardians of the Galaxy happened to be to lead into their sequel? Speculation pegs Hulk as either being a threat in space, forcing the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him, or maybe even teaming up.
And then Guardians of the Galaxy 2 could lead into Hulk heading back to Earth with his new friends, and that's how The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy will meet and team up to battle Thanos, who should be in possession of the Inifinity Gaunlet and all the Infinity Stones, ready to create trouble. And if all this is true, then Ruffalo is right about there being no Planet Hulk movie, but that doesn't mean fans won't be pleased by what Marvel may have in store for Hulk. It would be pretty awesome if the credits tag for The Avengers: Age of Ultron saw Hulk landing on some planet, and coming into contact with Rocket Raccoon or Groot. But we won't find out until 2015 how all this will go down. Thoughts?