UPDATED! Hulk to return in "darkest" THOR: RAGNAROK

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UPDATE: Deadline has now confirmed that Mark Ruffalo is indeed in talks with Marvel Studios to reprise his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok.

Original story follows below:

The last time we saw Hulk on-screen he was flying off to parts unknown on a disabled quinjet in Avengers: Age of Ultron, leading many to speculate on just where the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant would end up. And before you shout out “Planet Hulk”, remember that writer/director Joss Whedon has already stated that Hulk was not going interstellar.

At least not on a broken Avengers jet. Quasi-magical rainbow bridges may be a different thing entirely though, as a new rumour has popped up that claims that the next time we see Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk on our screens will in fact be in Thor: Ragnarok.

As the name implies, the third Thor flick is taking its inspiration from a classic comic book storyline which itself is essentially a tweaked version of the mythical Nordic apocalypse and was also tied into the destruction of the entire Avengers team at on point in the comics. It involved giant demons, time travel and Thor going insane after inheriting omnipotent powers. So no, this is not going to be some lighthearted little caper for Chris Hemsworth’s Odinson to undertake and as such he’s going to need a partner that can hold his own among some Asgardian demigods and ancient demons.

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At least that’s how JoBlo figures it will play out, as they broke the rumour which they heard from some inside sources while at New York Comic Con. These sources also claim that Hemsworth’s Thor and Ruffalo’s Hulk, joined by Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Jaimie Alexander’s Sif, will be caught up in a story that involves a “distant planet” that is “not Asgard or Earth”. And just like that we’re back to speculating about Planet Hulk again. Of course.

So could this “distant planet” actually be Sakaar, the hostile alien world where the “Planet Hulk” storyline takes place? Could Thor: Ragnarok perhaps end with Hulk left on said alien world, ready to set up the events (you can read them all here) that would eventually lead to an adaptation of “World War Hulk”? After all, after Avengers: Infinity War wraps up Marvel’s decades long overarching plot with Thanos, what better way to follow that up than with an epic tale in which a warrior king Hulk, angrier and thus stronger than ever before, leads an army of super strong warriors back to Earth to take on the very heroes he used to call his friends? My fanboy side is already twitching in glee at just the thought of it.

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Now it must be mentioned that we’ve already seen the first hint of the Planet Hulk storyline in Guardians of the Galaxy as we saw a couple Sakaarans in that film. Writer/director James Gunn has already said that he pretty much just randomly added members of the alien race to his movie and would not be adapting Planet Hulk for Guardians 2, as many fans had hoped he would, but that doesn’t mean that the post-credits stinger couldn’t feature something that sets it up. After all, the next movie on Marvel’s calendar after Guardians 2 is none other than Thor: Ragnarok. Duhn duhn duuuuhhhhnnnn!

And then there’s Ruffalo’s recent statement that Hulk was originally in the script for Captain America: Civil War, but was eventually taken out of the story because Marvel was saving him for something else and that “the reason is too great to be revealed in this movie”. Duhn duhn duuuuhhhhnnnn indeed.

Either way, Planet Hulk or not, as JoBlo points out, having Hulk team up with Thor fits perfectly into the shared universe model that Marvel seems to be pushing now. We had Falcon show up in Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War will have just about everybody show up in Cap’s film, and the newly announced Ant-Man and the Wasp will also see two heroes sharing screen time. And besides, this isn’t the first time that Hulk and Thor have headlined a movie together.

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[UPDATE] Since the time of writing, BMD have now posted their own story with their sources corroborating JoBlo’s claims that Hulk and Thor will be teaming up to go on a “cosmic roadtrip”. They also claim that the reason why Marvel recently tapped the relatively unknown Taika Waititi to direct (and possibly also why Hulk was brought into the mix) was so that the New Zealand filmmaker, known really just for his work on small-budget comedies, can help to lighten the tone of screenwriter Christopher Yost’s apocalyptic narrative. It seems that Thor: Ragnarok was apparently shaping up to be Marvel’s darkest script yet.

BMD continues, also saying that somewhere along the lines, the movie would be introducing Valkyries. In Norse mythologies, these were female warriors who used to shepherd the dead vikings to Valhalla. Based on the whole “end of the world” vibe that Ragnarok implies, this is not surprising. But BMD claim that this may also lead to the introduction of Valkyrie (singular), a female Marvel comic book hero with Asgardian powers who was also a member of The Defenders. You know, the team that all the Marvel/Netflix characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist) are all supposed to form in a TV mini-series.

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In the comics, Valkyrie also has strong ties to the villainous Enchantress (she was introduced in an Enchantress story and considers the Agardian sorceress her arch-enemy). There have been rumours flying around since before Thor: The Dark World that Enchantress – who has a very long history with Thor in the comics – would be introduced into the MCU, so could this be the movie to do it?

It’s no secret that Marvel has garnered a poor reputation of not representing enough females in their movies, so this – along with Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, etc – could be one of the ways to rectify that.

Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled for release on November 3, 2017.

Last Updated: October 14, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • The Sten

    ‘help to lighten the tone of screenwriter Christopher Yost’s apocalyptic narrative’

    Dont know if its just me but im approaching my limit of unnecessary quips and camp. Especially when these are done during a supposed apocalypse. Maybe im still scarred by having the potential of a James Spader voiced Ultron go to waste by turning him into a robot comedian.

    • Kervyn Cloete

      While I laughed my ass off at them at the time, I think Age of Ultron took the quips a little bit too far. For Ragnarok, I don’t mind the odd one-liner though, because that’s sort of what we’ve come to expect from Chris Hemsworth’s version of Thor, but I want it to go dark.

      Captain America: Winter Soldier has probably had the best balance of humour and grimness. They kept it light in certain moments, like when Cap and BW are bantering, but when shit hit the fan it was all serious.

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