In case the title didn’t give it away, I’m going to go ahead and warn you now: this article contains potentially massive spoilers for the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Still with me? OK, let’s dive into this. Ever since Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, fans have been wondering for a long time what the future of The Incredible Hulk was going to be. At one point, Guillermo del Toro was developing a Hulk TV show, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside, so attention has turned back to the big screen. We’ll next see Ruffalo’s Hulk in Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, but in the meantime, there has been a lot of talk about a solo Hulk movie and what that might look like. Yesterday, Ruffalo said he didn’t think the Planet Hulk storyline was the way to go for a solo Hulk film, and I speculated that he and Marvel have had conversations about doing that storyline eventually, if not in his first Hulk solo movie. I suspected that if they did tackle that storyline (in which the Hulk gets launched into space and lands on a planet of gladiators he has to battle), it would have to be after The Avengers 3.
Well, it turns out my speculation may have been close, but ultimately just a little bit off. Drew McWeeny from Hitfix (who, coincidentally, is also the guest on today’s episode of Far, Far Away) is an incredibly smart dude who has been in this business long enough that when he says something, I believe him. Informed by some inside knowledge, he’s guessing that while we won’t see a traditional Planet Hulk solo film, elements of that story are actually going to come to pass between Age of Ultron and Avengers 3. After revealing that Age of Ultron ends with Banner on a pre-programmed Quin jet headed for a mysterious destination in space, McWeeny thinks that the Planet Hulk storyline could play out soon afterwards:
Here’s where I’d wager his spaceship is headed: wherever the Guardians of the Galaxy are located. If I was a betting man, I’d say there will be no Hulk solo film as part of Phase Three. Instead, Banner’s ship will take him to another planet, where he will end up meeting the Guardians and having an adventure with them. Hulk will definitely come out to play a few times. I suspect we’ll see some sequences that very much feel like they’re part of the Planet Hulk story, but that the larger story will be about the Guardians finding a way to get Banner home, only to end up going with him. That would move a big piece of the puzzle into place to get Thanos looking back at the Earth in time for the third “Avengers” film.
That makes a ton of sense, especially since Marvel has plans for a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. This way, they’ll have the best of both worlds: Ruffalo’s Hulk will be interacting with aliens in space, but he won’t have to sustain an entire movie by himself. We’ve seen that this character works best when he has other personalities to bounce off of (his rapport with Tony Stark in The Avengers was excellent), and the prospect of Banner hulking out with Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora sounds pretty kick-ass to me.
What do you think?
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