“Hulk, smash.” And smash indeed he did, as audiences around the world geeked out on seeing Bruce Banner’s pumped up alternate ego, with a deveilish grin on his jade jowls, throw down some verdant violence, upon Captain America’s order in The Avengers. It was just one scene of many that turned Hulk, a fan favourite character that hadn’t quite got his cinematic dues in two previous solo outings, into what many considered to be the star of writer/director Joss Whedon’s super superhero movie.
The cinema lights had barely come back up when audiences – in between losing their minds over a different crayola coloured character revealed in the end credits – were asking about when we would get to see Hulk unleashed on screen again. It’s a question that has been asked over and over again of Marvel Studios Exec Kevin Feige and others, just about every time they meet with the public. But despite several planet-sized Hulk rumours, no solo movie materialized during Marvel’s Phase Two, which saw the rest of the green giant’s co-Avengers (barring Hawkeye) all shine in their own movies.
Said Phase Two only has two more films left: August’s Guardians of the Galaxy and next year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The latter not only caps off this Phase, but according to Feige is also where we’ll get our next big Hulk fix. But could that film perhaps be setting up that long requested next Hulk solo film in Phase Three? According to the Hulk himself, the answer is yes.
During an interview on a Minnesota Radio Station (via Latino Review), Lou Ferrigno, the actor/bodybuilder who famously played the Hulk in the 80’s live-action TV series/movies and who currently voices the CG character in the Avengers flicks, dropped this bombshell:
“Now because he saved the day they’re making another solo Hulk movie after the second Avengers comes out.”
Now, the first reaction to this would obviously be that unless this comes from guys like Feige or Whedon, then we should probably take it with a mountain of salt. However, you can’t deny that if there’s anybody that would know the movie status of a character, it would be the guy that voices him. Also, we know from previous statements that Marvel are definitely thinking about another solo Hulk movie. There’s also that mysterious already-announced May 5, 2017 release date that Marvel has not yet revealed the movie details for.
Now obviously, whenever solo Hulk movies get mentioned, shouts of “Planet Hulk” follow soon-thereafter. And I agree it would be a perfect story to adapt into a solo film, which could then lead into the colossal World War Hulk, but I just don’t see any of that happening in Phase Three.
If Ferrigno is right about the Phase Three solo movie, I would guess that it would be some other standalone story (perhaps bring in the Leader, or if they feel particularly ballsy, Maestro), and only during Avengers 3, which is almost certainly going to feature Thanos as the main baddie, would they start laying the groundwork for Planet Hulk. We could then see that storyline proper in another solo movie in Phase 4, which will eventually lead into Avengers 4 adapting World War Hulk. Because, realistically, after Thanos, there aren’t that many other threats of that size and caliber to throw at the team (though I do have a theory that we’re going to see the trio of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America getting less screen time, making way for newer members and possibly an Annihilation adaptation, but that’s a story for another day).
This is of course all just rampant speculation on my part, but at this point, with the character’s immense popularity at an all time high, it’s only a matter of time before he starts getting his own solo adventures again. And once Marvel go back down that road, not taking it further and adapting arguably the two biggest Hulk stories of all time would just be a gamma-irradiated wasted opportunity.
Last Updated: May 5, 2014