How ‘Planet Hulk’ & ‘World War Hulk’ Could Factor Into Marvel’s Phase 2 & Phase 3

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:41 am,

World War Hulk vs Iron Man How Planet Hulk & World War Hulk Could Factor Into Marvels Phase 2 & Phase 3

When Mark Ruffalo joined Marvel Studios’ The Avengers, taking over the role of Bruce Banner from Edward Norton, he signed a six-picture contract with the studio. Since Iron Man 1, it’s become the norm for Marvel to lock up their stars long-term for franchising purposes, but in Ruffalo’s case, there was seemingly no chance of The Incredible Hulk 2 becoming a reality anytime soon since both Hulk solo films didn’t bank big numbers at the box office.

With Marvel interested in up to six appearances of the character however, and seemingly no hints of Ruffalo popping up in any of the pre-Avengers 2 Phase Two (2) films, where does that leave Hulk in the coming years?

Latino-Review’s El Mayimbe is steamrolling the Marvel movie cosmic scoops and if this latest double-report (which I will dub the gamma radiation bomb) proves true in the coming years, then Marvel Studios will be very unhappy about these long-term plans leaking early. The following report details a possible future of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk and where the character may fit into the studio’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 plans.


***Potential Spoilers Ahead – You  Have Been Warned***


 Planet Hulk 2010 1 570x320 How Planet Hulk & World War Hulk Could Factor Into Marvels Phase 2 & Phase 3

Of the core heroes that form The Avengers the only character that’s been recast so far is Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk. Before Marvel Studios became a self-financing production house, Eric Bana played the character in Ang Lee’s adaptation and a quasi-sequel of sorts had Edward Norton star. Norton couldn’t maintain a relationship with Marvel and the studio replaced him with Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers and fortunately for everyone involved (i.e. Not Norton), he nailed it and became scene-stealing fan-favorite.

Despite the wonderful performance and Whedon’s take on the character pushing Banner in the story to have more control over his big green alter ego, the character failed to bank big numbers in both of his solo outings prior. And even before The Avengers dominated the worldwide box office, another Hulk-headlining feature seemingly didn’t factor into Marvel’s plans up to 2017 which we heard about two years ago from Paul Gitter, Marvel Entertainment’s President of Consumer Products for North America.

New Hulk Movie in 2015 How Planet Hulk & World War Hulk Could Factor Into Marvels Phase 2 & Phase 3

According to El Mayimbe however, Hulk’s character in The Avengers 2 – a film which Whedon says will take the characters to a dark place – will hit an all new low when it comes to losing control and it’ll force Earth’s Mightiest and the Marvel cinematic universe’s version of the Illuminati (secret council of high-profile superheroes) to launch the big green giant into space where he can do no harm. Fans of the books know what this means and yes, Planet Hulk is what these actions result in – Hulk will, according to LR’s sources, have another standalone film and it’s one that Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige publicly expressed interest in last year, when he said the following to MTV about there being no new Hulk movie until after The Avengers 2.

“I don’t think there’s a lot that we couldn’t do someday, as the cinematic universe continues to grow and expand and get as big as the comic book universe. ’Planet Hulk’ is a cool story. ‘World War Hulk’ is a cool story… I think there are pitfalls of continuity-overload, and mythology getting so dense that it almost collapses in on itself. It happens every few decades or so in the comics. Apart from that, I’d say everything is on the table.”

“Do I think Hulk can carry a movie and be as entertaining as he was in ‘Avengers’? I do believe that. I do believe he absolutely could. We certainly are not even going to attempt that until ‘Avengers 2. So there’s a lot of time to think about it.”

The release slate for Phase 2 is locked down after being completely unveiled at Comic-Con last summer. Unlike Phase 1 which had six films, Phase 2 houses five:

  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Avengers 2


Click to continue to page 2 to see how Hulk will factor into Marvel’s Phase 3!



avengers wallpaper hulk 570x320 How Planet Hulk & World War Hulk Could Factor Into Marvels Phase 2 & Phase 3

Phase 3 as we now know – thanks to Feige’s confirmation last week – begins with Ant-Man which has a release date set for November 2015, and sometime following it will be the Doctor Strange movie. Where does that leave Hulk? Ruffalo may play the character in Planet Hulk sometime in Phase 3 as well and that film will play a crucial role in setting up The Avengers 3 since El Mayimbe claims that’ll embrace the World War Hulk storyline from Marvel Comics where after the events of Planet Hulk, he returns to Earth as a king leading an army against those who betrayed him.

Phase Three – Many Question Marks:

  • Ant-Man (has a release date)
  • Doctor Strange (confirmed)
  • Planet Hulk (now rumored)
  • Captain America 3? (we assume)
  • Thor 3? (we assume)
  • The Inhumans? (name-dropped)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2? (no word)
  • The Avengers 3 (definitely coming)

Epic? Yes. Believable? Knowing Guardians of the Galaxy is on the way and that Thanos has a beef with The Avengers, and hearing that Tony Stark may head to space in Iron Man 3, partly. Feige doesn’t just namedrop projects for fun – What he said about Guardians and Ant-Man all came true, as unbelievable as many thought both of those features were. Here’s Mayimbe on the streets of New York just outside of Marvel HQ detailing the scoop:


The Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines were both written by author Greg Pak off an idea provided by then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. Three years ago, Lionsgate released an animated DVD based on Planet Hulk which may actually provide an example of how the live-action film could replace the Silver Surfer character (a critical part of the story) – since Fox owns him and is keeping him for the rebooted Fantastic Four franchise, despite Marvel Studios’ attempt to get him and Galactus back. Perhaps Planet Hulk was one of the reasons why. In the animated film, Beta Ray Bill (see below image) – an odd-looking alien who acquires Thor’s abilities – takes over the role Surfer played in the books.

Beta Ray Bill How Planet Hulk & World War Hulk Could Factor Into Marvels Phase 2 & Phase 3

Going the World War Hulk route would make the Hulk character a villain, and that may not be a card Marvel Studios wants to play if they’re branding him a hero for the tie-in merchandise, toys, books, etc., especially after having Ruffalo save the day in The Avengers. Planet Hulk on its own makes sense, but if any semblence of his assault on New York occurs in the film, the motivation behind it and how it plays out will be drastically altered (e.g. No need for Hulk to have a dead pregnant wife).

For obvious reasons, characters such as the X-Men, Ghost Rider and the Skrulls won’t factor into The Avengers 3, so if Hulk does lead an attack on Earth, Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy will likely have some involvement since we know Thanos is being setup as a long-term villain. Such a plot thread however would involve Doctor Strange and likely, The Inhumans - another more obscure Marvel Comics property that Kevin Feige is confident in adapting into a film. He said that nearly a year after Entertainment Weekly reported that moviegoers can expect The Inhumans along with Ant-Man and Guardians – the latter two of which both have since earned release dates.

Perhaps Hulk could be another Loki-like pawn in Thanos’ master plan and that could justify the need to exile him from Earth in The Avengers 2. Where does the Infinity Gauntlet fit into all of this? Could this tie-in to some variant of the Marvel Civil War arc? With the big stories Marvel has to play with, it seems unlikely that a Hulk attack would take priority over Thanos and the bigger picture cosmic threats to be introduced in Phase Two and Three, so at best, Hulk’s agenda – should Planet Hulk prove real – would be only one facet of a larger plan against The Avengers.

Bring on the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor!

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news.

Source: Latino-Review

Beta Ray Bill art by Dougie Braithwaite. Hulk and Iron Man art by Gabriele Dell’Otto.

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  1. Yes please! Bring on Sakaar and Caiera! Definitely not Phase 2 though. Maybe Phase 3, but it really depends on what will go down in Phase 2.

    So, I would love to see it, but I wouldn’t rush it.

  2. I can’t say as I’m thrilled about actually vilifying Hulk (well, at least in the cinematic universe). He is one of Marvel’s best misunderstood heroes that is already vilified by the general public.

    I just don’t think it feels right to give in to that which the character has worked so hard NOT to be.

  3. I have been a fan of the Hulk since I was 5 years ago (over 30 years ago). One thing that always struck me about the character in the comics is the unfairness of his situation; constantly hunted and persecuted by numerous people. so many of the situations Hulk found himself in could have been avoided if people just left him alone.

    The marvel hero community, instead of using their intelligence (a lot of intelligence in the cases of reed richards, tony stark, hank pym et al) and respecting Banner/Hulk’s right to live in peace, they continually dragged him into conflicts, manipulating him and his friends or threatening those he cared about.

    I always viewed the Hulk in the same way I viewed the X-Men; powerful individual persecuted for no other reason than being different. There are plenty of examples of the Hulk being a quasi-villain, but he always exonerated himself due to his heroic actions.

    Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are two of the best Hulk story arcs in recent years and immensely popular for good reason. Planet Hulk (while basically Gladiator with Hulk and aliens) would easily fit into Phase 3 of Marvel’s cinematic universe. World War Hulk, if done as a revenge movie could definitely work fro Avengers 3, especially if Thanos is seen to be manipulating the situation to get Hulk to thin the herd of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so to speak. And, I think the viewing audience would definitely understand the anger of the Hulk when he returns, given the nature of his exile. Being so popular and being treated so unfairly would definitely be a box office draw.

    I was thinking the could show, maybe in flashback, Hulk fighting the Leader (bring back Tim Blake Nelson but have him already transformed) and have that devastating fight be the major catalyst for the illuminati firing him into space.

  4. Is it me or does the Planet Hulk plot have a strong resemblance to the plot in “John Carter”?

    • Planet Hulk came before John Carter and Planet Hulk is a better storyline

      • That’s not quite true, john carter is from the 70s so planet hulk ripped that off

      • Disney’s John Carter is based on a novel published in 1917. Planet Hulk was obviously influenced by it.

  5. You know thinking about the future, there is a card that the MCU has that I wonder when(or that is if) they will bring him in, and that his Namor the Submariner. He can be even more of a threat than the hulk, he has on several times almost taken down the FF, Avengers, Doctor Doom, and the coastal USA. And he has always had a good personality and presence, if they kept him fighting in WW2 in the movie storyline, I could see him stealing the show in a future cap installment(or being a fun easter egg), just a thought

  6. I want to see the Leader at some point!!!!!

    • The Incredible Hulk had the Leader’s character in it. He had the blood of the hulk enter his brain, and his brain started mutating. The one thing Marvel must do is resolve that scene, either have the Leader come back or just say sometime in the movie how he died, but it’s better to have the Leader come back. Even if he’s not the central villain, he needs to be resolved.

      • Agreed, this is exactly why I don’t like the planet hulk idea. Doing this would make it impossible to bring in the leader or properly continue the hulk franchise. Sending the hulk into space to train to be a super villain is NOT a good idea. I am a huge hulk fan, and take it from me, doing that would be an injustice bigger than the hulk himself. Marvel may as well save it if THAT atrocity is the best they can come up with.

  7. i watched Planet Hulk(cartoon)and i have to say, how will they
    fit a live-action movie?

    I hope they’ll show hulk beat the living crap out of the red king.

  8. what they could do to build up to Planet Hulk is have Hulk show up in Thor 3 and do the Hulk vs Thor storyline and have it along with cameos in other movies lead into Planet Hulk before Avengers 3 and have Avgers 3 be the Marvel Civil War movie and have World War Hulk after that in Phase 4

    • also after that do the Avengers vs X-Men storyline. I dont think X-Men, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and Spiderman will be with the companies they are with now much longer, so it could definately work

  9. Before Marvel gives the green light to Planet Hulk, they’d better sit down in a dark room and screen the arena sequences in both Attack Of The Clones and John Carter.

    To paraphrase Mark Millar, it’s a good way to pi$$ away $200 million .

  10. awhat i would like to see happen: During the final battle between the Avengers & Thanos (During Avengers 3) the rest of the team including nick Fury witness the extent of Hulks power and his destructive capabilities, so nick fury, Black Panther and Iron man decide to send him to space before the film ends, but we see the footage of him in the capsule being sent to space in the post credits scene =D

  11. All I want to know is for the few comment’s about Hulk NOT being awesome in The Avengers when you watched the movie what was your reaction to what Hulk did to Loki? If you didn’t laugh your butt off and think that was so freakin’ awesome then you’re probably the ONLY one’s that didn’t because my son and I watched it 3 time’s in the theater and every time the entire crowd erupted, it was so cool! Those are the the best type of movies to see with a big crowd like in The Dark Knight when Heath Ledger entered the room laughing at the so called mob guy’s, the whole theater started clapping and hollering out, that just made it so much cooler to me. There will never be another Joker like the one Heath showed us, but it wasn’t worth dying for. “R.I.P. Heath miss ‘ya buddy!”… Thanks for letting me share.

  12. Since Thanos will be a long-term enemy, and there’s 3 phases leading up to his first fight, and long-term meaning it won’t be over after just one go, I’ll spoil some of the story line with one name: Spider-man!

  13. This is the best way to launch the Hulk franchise again.

    Since there has already been a bastardization and mishandling of the first two Hulk incarnations, the only logical route is to reboot him as another story arc altogether.

    Hulk and The Incredible Hulk were failures because you had him rampaging around Earth in his indomitable usual ways. However this isolated him as a hero, the anti-hero “air” became too ingrained by the second attempt. We get it Marvel! Hulk is misunderstood, but it would make no sense to have him rampage again on Earth in a 3rd film. Instead Planet Hulk and other stories, allow Hulk to play on the audiences sympathies. As an exile who must face such great foes off world, that by the time he makes a return, public sentiment will be on his side. And hence the latter movies will be about Hulk bringing something to the movies, other than his blind rage.

    He will be better understood after seeing alot of personal growth and sacrifices, showcased in Planet Hulk 1-2 and 3, so by the 3rd Avengers movie.. Hulk or Mark Ruffalo will be very much established and respected in the Marvel movies lore.