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The road to ‘The Avengers’ 3 may go through Planet Hulk

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If there’s one thing fans of Marvel’s film output enjoy more than actually watching Marvel Studios films, it’s speculating wildly on what the firm might do next. Such is the case with today’s revelation, though as far as possible future scenarios go it’s endlessly, undeniably plausible – and should make any fan of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk character from The Avengers very excited. These are all still rumors, but consider the news below filled with plenty of potential (albeit unverified) spoilers.  

In 2006, Marvel Comics began publishing a storyline in the pages of its Incredible Hulk comic book dubbed “Planet Hulk.” The basic concept of the story is that a group of the most intelligent, supposedly benevolent superheroes in the Marvel Universe known as the Illuminati (consisting of Iron Man, Reed Richards, Blackbolt, Namor, Professor X, and Doctor Strange) gather together to discuss an ultimate solution to the problem of Bruce Banner periodically turning into a giant green rage monster and smashing up the place. You can’t really kill the Hulk, so the only real idea these great minds could come up with was to bamboozle the beast into boarding a space ship that would ostensibly take him to a malfunctioning rogue satellite that requires his special skills. Instead, once Hulk leaves the launchpad, the spaceship flies off in a random direction and those who created this scheme are left thinking that the Hulk will spend eternity floating through the inky void of space.

Keep in mind that those who conceived this plan are considered their reality’s greatest heroes.

So Hulk gets shot into space, ends up crashing on an alien planet and after time in the gladiator pits, the Hulk launches a violent coup against the draconic ruling class. Eventually Hulk becomes king – and alongside a group of new, powerful alien pals – the green monster decides to return to Earth to rain down vengeance on those jerks who first shot him into the space in a huge Marvel event known as World War Hulk. If a new report from Latino Review proves accurate we may see both stories on the silver screen as part of Marvel Studio’s upcoming Phase Three initiative.

According to the rumor – with no official confirmations or denials, this info must be treated as a rumor – the end of The Avengers 2 will find Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk lost in space. This sets up a solo Hulk movie that would cover the events of the Hulk’s time on the planet Sakaar, as well as establish necessary plot points for The Avengers 3 which would deal with the Hulk’s violent return to our planet. There’s no word on the scope of these films, but the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storylines dominated Marvel Comics from 2006 through 2008, so there’s no dearth of material for Marvel Studios to adapt.

As much as we stress that this information is a rumor, we wouldn’t publish it unless it was exceedingly plausible. The Planet Hulk storyline has already been made into an animated film, and Ruffalo’s contract for six films clearly includes the option of a standalone film. The character is best utilized when beating on people – as seen in the Hulk’s numerous scene stealing moments in The Avengers – so a Hulk film that is entirely based around combat makes complete sense. 

Beyond that though, Latino Review’s info matches up with everything we know about The Avengers 2. Its predecessor established Thanos as the sequel’s prime antagonist and as Thanos lives in deep space it makes a lot of sense that the Hulk might find himself blasted into the inky void during combat with the mad titan.

Likewise, the idea makes sense from a marketing standpoint. The Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines center on the Hulk but include almost every important Marvel Comics character, giving a feature film adaptation instant appeal to both hardcore comic book geeks and anyone who might like to see impressive new superpowers. Plus, this allows Marvel Studios to introduce a number of new characters it might want to employ in future feature films. That’s in keeping with the overarching Marvel Studios gameplan that we’ve seen to date, and there’s little reason to expect it might change.

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Earnest Cavalli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Earnest Cavalli has been writing about games, tech and digital culture since 2005 for outlets including Wired, Joystiq…
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