After Mark Ruffalo landed with a smash as The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers last summer, fans have been wondering if we’d get another standalone Hulk film with Ruffalo in the lead. However, Marvel has been mum on any official plans. Enter Latino Review, who has been super reliable when it comes to Marvel scoops, and they have word on what will happen with Hulk next. As you might expect, since Phase Two of Marvel’s cinematic universe is already planned right up until The Avengers 2, a new Hulk movie wouldn’t come until Phase Three and apparently the plan is to use the 2006 story Planet Hulk for the project.
For those who aren’t familiar with the storyline, 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.
Sounds like a cool stand alone story that turns Hulk into Conan the Barbarian or even Maximus from Gladiator. But how does he get there? Well, if you want to stay clear of any spoilers, don’t read any further. All gone? Okay, so according to Latino Review, Earth’s mightiest heroes see Hulk as being too big of a threat and liability, so they send him to outer space at the end of The Avengers 2. And you can imagine what the bumper at the end of that sequel would be if it were to lead into the Planet Hulk storyline, one of the most popular recent arcs for the monstrous character. But that’s not even the coolest part.
The scoop also says that Planet Hulk will be used as a set up for The Avengers 3, which would use the World War Hulk arc and have Hulk return to Earth with some of his new alien friends, hungry for revenge. What makes this all the more interesting is a group called Illuminati (composed of Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Namor and Iron Man, each representing a special part of the Marvel Universe) are the ones responsible for sending Hulk to space. Obviously, the rights to some of those characters don’t belong to Marvel, so that line-up is likely to change, but Doctor Strange has also been confirmed for Phase Three, so this sounds about right.
If this turns out to be true, Marvel is doing some absolutely great, mind-blowing stuff for comic fans. Planet Hulk is much more friendly to comic book fans, but considering how great the response was to Hulk in The Avengers, general audiences should be psyched to see how this story plays out, especially following an entirely new phase in Marvel’s universe, yet again concluding with some action for the superhero ensemble. If this is true, it’s about as epic as The Avengers coming together for the first time, and will make for one hell of a big screen battle a few years from now.