It has been four years since audiences were first introduced to Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston's Asgardian foster brothers, Thor and Loki, in 2011's superhero blockbuster Thor. Since then they've appeared together in both The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World, which culminated in Loki -- the god of mischief -- finally sitting on the throne of Asgard disguised as his father Odin. After three movies -- four for Thor -- both their personalities and complicated feelings toward one another have been well established and explored.
As their relationship is one of the most fleshed out in the Marvel universe, it follows that the studio would want to bring in an existing character to the upcoming sequel Thor: Ragnarok. This will diversify their dynamic, capitalize on the popular "team up" style of previous Marvel films, and will hopefully capture some of the same magic as when the Black Widow co-starred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We now have more information about which Avenger will be leaving Earth to enter into the brothers' Shakespearean feud.
Deadline has confirmed reports that Mark Ruffalo will be joining Hemsworth and Hiddleston in Ragnarok. This will not be a quick shooting gig or cameo, as Ruffalo is in negotiations to play a major role in this film. While Ruffalo has acted along his co-stars for multiple films, this will be his first time Ruffalo's version of the Hulk will find himself in another character's solo film -- this time under the guidance of director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows).
It seems that during Ragnarok, Banner will join his fellow Avenger as he battles Loki and encounters the Valkyries. The details of the role Hulk will play is still largely under wraps, but we do know that the script is being reworked for being "too dark", and according the Kevin Feige, the events in this film will have a lasting impact on the MCU.
While it's disappointing that Ruffalo will not get his own stand alone film (yet) -- despite his well received and nuanced performance -- this is an exciting development for the third installment. With less leads competing for screen time, this gives audiences a chance to better get to know Bruce Banner before The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 hits theaters. Besides, it will be fun to see how Banner and Thor interact when it's just the two of them. We'll still have to wait and see how well he is incorporated into this new world, but it sounds like a positive development in a highly anticipated film.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.