Feb 5, 2013
Marvel May Set Its Cosmic Sights On PLANET HULK!
Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel are getting AMBITIOUS.
They smartly started their cinematic universe by keeping their characters fairly grounded and practical, so that by the time an invading alien army showed up in The Avengers, it seemed refreshingly large scale and sort of novel. But if El Mayimbe at Latino Review is right (and he usually is) then we ain't seen nothin' yet.
Despite his shaky, Edward Norton-fueled beginnings, The Hulk emerged as the breakout star of The Avengers. People loved Mark Ruffalo's take on the character and the fact that Marvel had no plans to further develop the character suddenly seemed shortsighted, but now it sounds as if "The Other Guy" will play a pivotal role in Marvel's Phase Three plans.
El Mayimbe's reporting that somewhere near the end of the next Avengers movie, Hulk will be deemed too dangerous to remain on our planet, and so Earth's Mightiest Heroes will send Bruce Banner hurtling out into space, thus setting up his next stand alone movie. The plan is to follow the Planet Hulk storyline, in which Hulk crashes on an alien world where he becomes a gladiator who rises through the ranks, Spartacus-style, and eventually becomes king. But lest you think they plan on stranding the big green guy across the galaxy, the plan is for him to return home in Avengers 3 in order to wreak havoc on those who banished him in the first place, i.e. the World War Hulk story.
Like I said, AMBITIOUS.
Comic book movies to date (the successful ones anyway) have always stayed frustratingly small, with no more than a single city under serious threat. Kudos to Marvel for not shying away from their big, batshit cosmic source material. I'm certainly excited to see Marvel go balls to the wall with some of these stories, but I can't help but wonder if audiences will really get on board with some of Marvel's more crazy and/or silly characters and plots. Next year's Guardians Of The Galaxy will be a good litmus test, as it features a walking tree and a blaster-wielding raccoon.
This story has been floating around for a few days now and I've yet to see any kind of response from Marvel, denial or otherwise. My guess is that their Phase Three plans are not exactly set in stone yet and even if this is currently the plan for Hulk, everything could still change by the time the Avengers return to theaters in 2015.
I certainly hope not though. Go for it, Marvel.
P.S. Does Planet Hulk sound totally awesome to you? Good news! You can watch Marvel's animated take on the story streaming on Netflix Instant right now. It's pretty fun.