Mark Ruffalo confirmed to us that Hulk and Thor are set to be some of the first to cross the path of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, setting off the events of the MCU's culmination.
The end of Thor: Ragnarok saw the surviving Asgardians charting a course towards Earth. To their surprise, though, they were intercepted by a massive ship. Fans immediately speculated that this was actually Thanos's vessel; that was confirmed when Marvel published the script for Ragnarok online. The script identified the ship simply as "SANCTUARY-2, THANOS' WARSHIP." It's named after Thanos's starship base in the comics, created by Jim Starlin.
When Screen Rant talked with Mark Ruffalo on the set of Infinity War last summer, the Hulk actor reaffirmed that surprise encounter will introduce Thor and the Hulk to Thanos himself:
"Yes... He went to another dimension for a little while and met up with his pal, good pal Thor, and they went on an intergalactic buddy trip, and then he came back. We were introduced to Thanos after doing a lot of fighting, and now he's been brought back together with the Avengers."
This ominous comment confirms everything fans had deduced about Infinity War. Loki retrieved the Tesseract, one of the Infinity Stones Thanos is pursuing. Now Thanos has come looking for the Space Stone; it's hardly going to go well for the last of the Asgardians. Although Thor and Hulk have been confirmed as surviving, the fate of every other Asgardian is in doubt. That's particularly the case given action figures have shown Thor wielding Heimdall's sword, suggesting Heimdall won't survive Thanos's appearance.
Related: Thor: Ragnarok Wastes Bruce Banner
It's interesting that Ruffalo describes the planet Sakaar as "another dimension". Ragnarok suggested that time ran differently on Sakaar, with the Grandmaster noting he would be "millions of years old" in the real world. Loki was tossed onto Sakaar only moments before Thor, but several weeks passed before Thor arrived, so it would make sense for Sakaar to be in another dimension. Of course, he may have just been trying to keep Ragnarok details vague.
Only one thing is certain; Thanos will send the Hulk plummeting to Earth. The Hulk will crash-land in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, in a scene that deliberately parallels Jim Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, something that makes the Hulk revert to the form of Bruce Banner. That's pretty remarkable, given Banner feared the Hulk would never allow himself to transition back to the Banner form again. Thanos is clearly the most powerful threat the MCU has ever seen.
Ruffalo has described Ragnarok as the beginning of a Hulk trilogy. That film saw the Banner and Hulk identities positioned against one another, something that is sure to be complicated when they take on the Mad Titan. Infinity War is certainly going to kick off with some serious Hulk action, as Hulk learns just why Thanos should be feared.
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