Some details have emerged about a potential stand alone film for The Incredible Hulk and how it would lead into THE AVENGERS 3.
Ever since Mark Ruffalo joined the greatest superhero team ever assembled, fans have been eager for the not-so-jolly green giant to get another film of his own. Ang Lee’s HULK (2003) has been practically deleted and while THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008) is still canon and very much part of ‘Phase One,’ Ed Norton’s alleged disagreements with Marvel have led to him being left out of all trailers and promotional material that refer to that film. Enter Ruffalo in THE AVENGERS who, along with a brilliantly rendered Hulk and a superb script from Whedon and co. really helped fans care about ‘The Other Guy’ again.
So it is with great excitement that rumours are spreading of a Hulk film in ‘Phase 3’ (which is already set to include DOCTOR STRANGE and ANT MAN) and not just any Hulk film (incidentally, if you fancy a drinking game, have a swig every time you read the word ‘Hulk.’ You’ll be arseholed before you know it). Rumours are spreading that Marvel will produce a film based on the PLANET HULK series which will then lead into THE AVENGERS 3 which itself will be based on WORLD WAR HULK. Now comic fans will read that and go a bit wobbly, and rightfully so. The rest of us may need a little exposition as to why this is such exciting news.
Here be SPOILERS!! If you don’t want to know plot details, including a likely ending to THE AVENGERS 2, stop reading now, otherwise you’ll get angry. And we won’t like you when you’re angry.
Still here? Delightful.
Right. In the PLANET HULK comic story arc, a group called The Illuminati (consisting of Prof Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Boltand Namor… I don’t know the last two either) decide that The Hulk (swig) has become too volatile and unpredictable to stay on Earth and so capture and exile him into space. I know, seems a bit harsh. He ends up on a planet called Sakaar where he is sold into slavery, joins forces with his fellow captives and fights back against his captors. In the sequel series, WORLD WAR HULK, the green guy returns to Earth with his new found alien allies to wreak revenge on those that got rid of him in the first place.
Pretty cool stuff. Here’s how we think this would work out in the Marvel cinematic universe; THE AVENGERS 2 will end with Hulk (swig) raging out of control and The Avengers/SHIELD deciding that the only safe course of action is to regrettably subdue, capture and exile the big guy into space. We know that ‘Phase Two’ will expand further into the cosmos judging by the ending of THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN 3 going out among the stars and ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’ living up to their name. With The Illuminati consisting of characters yet to feature or owned by other studios, their role will likely be filled by SHIELD suits deciding Hulk’s fate against the will of his colleagues. Or maybe Stark and Captain America will make the tough call. Either way, it ends with poor Bruce Banner flying off towards Sakaar.
Hulk’s own film will tell the GLADIATOR-esque story of slavery, rebellion and redemption outlined above and, get this, THE AVENGERS 3 will feature the WORLD WAR HULK story as its prime narrative, which means THE AVENGERS 3 will have Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk as the prime villain. I KNOW!! Exciting stuff.
That is assuming all these rumours are true. But even if they’re not, the boys at Marvel will no doubt be privy to them and may act accordingly. The power of rumour can influence big decisions in Hollywood, such as Michael Bay casting Mark Wahlberg in TRANSFORMERS 4 due to a false story that did the rounds on sites like this which he liked the idea of.
So, Kevin Fiege, if you’re reading this, we think it’ a cracking idea. But, for the love of God, please don’t cast Adam Sandler in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Regards, The Hollywood News. Dot com.