If Captain America: Civil War brought together nearly all of Marvel's Avengers for one big 'event' team-up movie, what happens to the only two Avengers who weren't included? They get a team-up of their own next fall as Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner a.k.a. Hulk joins in on a cosmic buddy adventure with Chris Hemsworth's Thor!
And to keep things fresh and interesting, Thor: Ragnarok will also introduce several other major players from Marvel Comics while also offering a new look to the familiar heroes fans know and love... because there's no way Hulk goes to space without some major nods to the Planet Hulk story, right?
According the latest insider info dump from JoBlo (new Guardians of the Galaxy 2 details here!) which iterates on numerous other reports, this is exactly the case. When Thor meets Hulk on his third solo movie outing, it'll be in a loose adaptation of Planet Hulk - a story long rumored to get its own movie eventually based on a crossover event that saw Earth's heroes trick Hulk to get him off the world after he was labeled too big a risk to civilians on Earth. This matches the current state of the MCU where the Avengers were held accountable in Civil War after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron (where Hulk lost control again thanks to the powers of Scarlet Witch).
Hulk will sport Planet Hulk/World War Hulk armor and likely use weapons (that's a whole new toy line right there!) while battling in a gladiator-style arena governed by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).
It's unclear at this point how or why Hulk is off-Earth but the latest news adds credence to all of the reports we heard previously that early versions of the Avengers: Age of Ultron script saw Hulk fly out of Earth's atmosphere. With the Planet Hulk news and Grandmaster casting however, we have a new explanation, and a better one at that, suggesting that The Grandmaster plucked Hulk out of the Quinjet at the end of that film to use in his own games. That's his thing. The Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe like The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy (Benicio del Toro), is as old as time itself and finds amusement in organizing tournaments and pitting together creatures he finds interesting. Similarly, The Collector simply collects things he finds interesting.
But that's not all! Additional Thor: Ragnarok details that match things we heard earlier this year:
- Thor will have his hair shaved for part of the story (we're guessing this could happen if he's found in the gladiator arena himself).
- Tessa Thompson's live-action Valkyrie look will feature face warpaint.
- Their goal? Thor's searching for some mighty weapon/artifact to "stop Ragnarok and reset the universe."
These news items, specifically relating to Ragnarok including a Planet Hulk subplot and there being a special weapon Thor is after match previous reports about Thor 3 which have come true thus far.
If this all pans out, and we wouldn't be surprised if it's all true, it'd be a smart way to get another notable big event from Marvel Comics into the MCU without spending an entire film production covering it for a less bankable character. It also follows the idea we've been discussing for months, that more and more of the non-Avengers movies are turning into crossovers and/or team-ups to bolster their marketing appeal. If every Marvel movie is an 'event' movie, they sell better and it gives more characters who wouldn't otherwise get their own movie some time in the spotlight.
Spider-Man: Homecoming includes Iron Man; Ant-Man 2 is co-headlined by the Wasp, and Thor 3 is a team-up with the Hulk. Don't be surprised if Black Panther features another Avenger (Bucky and/or Captain America) and if Captain Marvel includes some familiar faces too (Guardians of the Galaxy related).
Two-time Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “Carol, “Cinderella”) joins Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, along with Jeff Goldblum (the upcoming “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Jurassic Park”) who joins the cast as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (“Creed,” “Selma”) who will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban (“Star Trek” trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”) who will add his might to the fray as Skurge.
Rounding out the cast for the film is three-time Oscar®-nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Foxcatcher”), reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk from “Marvel’s The Avengers” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Thor’s new cast members join returning stars Chris Hemsworth (“Rush,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Ghostbusters”) in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston (“Crimson Peak,” “The Night Manager,” “Kong: Skull Island”) as Thor’s adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Idris Elba (“The Dark Tower,” “Luther,” “Beasts of No Nation”) as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; and Academy Award®-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins (“Silence of the Lambs,” “Nixon,” “Hitchcock”) again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard.
“Thor: Ragnarok,” the third installment of Marvel’s popular Norse Super Hero, is directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Taika Waititi (“Two Cars, One Night,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”). Kevin Feige will produce the film, joined by executive producers Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.