In many ways Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to be an amalgamation of different influences and stories from the Marvel comics. Coming from director Taika Waititi – who’s directed mostly comedies up until this point – the film is set to borrow elements from the iconic Ragnarok comic book arc while also continuing the story created in the previous two Thor films. Perhaps the most exciting part of the film, though, is how it’s utilizing and implementing several locations, details, and story moments from Planet Hulk, a beloved comic book story that saw Bruce Banner being exiled into space and crash landing on a planet where he quickly became heralded as an unstoppable gladiator of sorts.
As many fans assumed – and was later confirmed by Marvel during their San Diego Comic-Con presentation for it last year – that means Thor: Ragnarok will feature a fight scene between Thor and The Hulk, in the center of a gladiator ring no less. In addition to the stellar cast Marvel has assembled for the film, that showdown has quickly emerged as one of its most exciting aspects.
In anticipation of the film’s release later this year, Chris Hemsworth recently posted a fun new video to his Instagram page (H/T CBR) in which he’s punching a boxing bag, apparently “getting ready to fight The Hulk.” So yes, even The God of Thunder has to train for some fights:
From the moment that it was announced Mark Ruffalo would be starring in Thor: Ragnarok, the fan community was set ablaze with rumors and speculation regarding how his character would fit into the film’s apocalyptic storyline. As fans already know now, both Jeff Goldblum’s sinister Grandmaster and Tom Hiddleston’s mischievous Loki will play a role in how Hulk winds up in space in the first place, only to presumably stick around with Thor and his crew once Cate Blanchett’s Hela arrives and threatens to end the world.
It only feels fitting, then, that Ragnarok wind up being one of the biggest Marvel films to date, both in cast and scope alone. Joining Thor, Loki, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and the rest of the usual crew will be the previously mentioned Blanchett and Goldblum, along with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, Karl Urban’s Skurge, Sam Neill in an unknown role, and even Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephen Strange in a brief cameo appearance. That’s a lineup of character actors and movie stars worthy of an Avengers film, so for it to be the likely final chapter in the Thor standalone series – one of Marvel’s more criticized franchises – can only mean good things. The fact that the film will also feature a gladiator match between Thor and Hulk is just icing on the Asgardian cake.