For their Cinematic Universe, Marvel has been adapting a fair amount of the larger story lines to come out of their comic books for the better part of the last few decades. We’ve seen ‘Civil War,’ we’ve lived through the ‘Age of Ultron,’ and we’ve still got ‘The Infinity War‘ and the ‘Secret Invasion’ yet to come.
With the abrupt departure of The Hulk at the end of ‘Age of Ultron’ and his conspicuous absence in ‘Civil War,’ audiences were naturally left wondering: what’s next for Dr. Banner? One of the most prominent Hulk story arcs in the comics in recent memory has been ‘Planet Hulk,’ where the green giant is transported into outer space and made to fight, gladiator-style, for his life. As viewers have no doubt seen from the trailers for ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ that’s seemingly fairly close to what the movie might bring us – but how did Hulk get from Point A at the end of ‘Age of Ultron’ to Point B in the new film?
In speaking with Umberto Gonzalez, one of the first folks online to bring the ‘Planet Hulk’ idea to the masses, MCU head honcho Kevin Feige elaborated on the will-we-won’t-we approach the company took with the Hulk:
“You had the big scoop about us doing ‘Planet Hulk.’ It turned out to be accurate [but] at the time, it was not accurate because we didn’t have any plans to do it and Joss (Whedon) was doing ‘Age of Ultron’ at that time. The way it ends as you recall with Hulk in the Quinjet going off, right?
“We said, ‘Joss, we can’t do that because he’s not going into space and people are going to think we’re doing ‘Planet Hulk’ because Umberto has some big hot scoop that we’re doing ‘Planet Hulk,’ we can’t do it.’ He goes, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ We said, ‘We don’t know.’ So, if you go back and look at that shot of the movie, he’s in the sky. It’s blue sky. So in the movie, it’s, ‘We lost the signal out by the Caspian Sea.’ Or something like that, it was all earthbound.
“We wanted to do something totally different with Thor. Chris Hemsworth really was like, ‘When do other Marvel players come in with me?’ … Definitely, [we] want Hela in the movie. Definitely wanted, of course, the continuing relationship with Loki. We had early ideas for Valkyrie. We were talking about Balder. We were talking about Beta Ray Bill, but, that’s not enough. But we were like, ‘We need something big.’ Well, what if he did go to space?
“We would jokily call it ‘Planet Thor’ for a while. I went, ‘You know what that means?’ They go, ‘What?’ I go, ‘That means Hulk went to space at the end of Ultron.’ So, I had to tell Joss. And this was a year after Ultron came out. It was kind of a big thing. We were like, ‘You gotta change it Joss, he’s not going to space.’ A year after I go, ‘Joss, guess where he’s going?’ ‘He’s going to space.’”
With less than a month to go before the film’s premiere, we don’t have long to wait to find out the full details of Hulk’s journey.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ hits American theaters on November 2, 2017.