(Warning - the following contains potential SPOILERS for 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Proceed with whatever level of caution your innate SPOILER-aversion dictates...)
Now, when it comes to potential superheroic team-ups in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's been a fair amount of speculation of late about just how that could pan out. Would Tony Stark be mentoring Peter Parker, some wondered. Could Bucky Barnes turn up in Black Panther, others asked. Might Hawkeye, Falcon, or even Black Widow show up in Captain Marvel? Well, any or all of that could still happen, of course -- but it seems that the folks over at Marvel Studios are all set to announce an entirely different team-up...
A team-up, in fact, so unexpected that it makes absolutely perfect sense in retrospect. Y'see:
It Very Much Looks as Though The Hulk Will Be Turning Up in Thor: Ragnarok
Yup, that's right. That Hulk.
The one whose most famous interaction with the Norse God of Thunder is punching him in the head.
Now, rumors of an imminent, Hulk-shaped arrival to the Thor: Ragnarok cast have been floating around for a while now, but with Deadline now reporting that a deal between Mark Ruffalo (who plays the green goliath) and Marvel Studios is close, it seems we can actually start to get legitimately excited at the prospect of seeing Hulk and Thor team up on the big screen.
The big question then, though?
Just What Are Hulk and Thor Going to Get Up To?
After all, the pair have a long and storied comic book past -- but it mostly involves the pair beating the living snot out of one another as the result of either a fundamental misunderstanding, or The Hulk going rogue.
Which, odds are, we're likely to see in Thor: Ragnarok -- I mean, who doesn't want to see Thor and Hulk pound on one another for five minutes?
With Bruce Banner's green Id monster alter ego likely to stay caged for much of the film's running time, though -- he is, after all, prohibitively expensive to computer generate -- there's a pretty good chance we'll see a lot more of Mark Ruffalo in the actual, non-CGI flesh than we will the beloved emerald behemoth.
If so, then just what are Banner and Thor set to get up to? Here are three of the more plausible possibilities (along with one bonus idea)...
3. Bruce Banner Might Team Up with Dr. Erik Selvig to Help Out Thor
In many ways it'd be a shame if Banner's appearance in Thor: Ragnarok was largely limited to 'science bro'-ing it up with Doc Selvig, but it would make a fair amount of sense. After all, it seems likely that Thor's scientist pals could well have a major role to play in opposing whatever scheme Loki has hatched.
Could Hulk, then, prove less useful to Thor than Banner's big brain?
Alternatively, of course, Marvel could go in the opposite direction...
2. Bruce and Thor Might Go on a Buddy Cop-Style Road-Trip
Perhaps the most intriguing of these options -- not least because Banner and Thor being stuck together in a car/spaceship could lead to a hell of a lot of hilarity -- it's entirely possible that the two heroes will be thrown improbably together, much like Cap and Natasha in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Indeed, BirthMoviesDeath recently suggested that:
"The two heroes will be taking a cosmic road trip together, Hope and Crosby style."
Which would be awesome.
Another option, though?
1. Bruce Might Get Pulled to Asgard by Loki's Manipulations
After all, with Loki in charge of Asgard, and Hulk having firmly humiliated him back in The Avengers, it's not too hard to imagine that the Trickster God might lure Bruce into inadvertently working on his behalf.
A Hulk vs. Thor gladiator battle at the end of the second act, anyone?
In fact, speaking of gladiatorial combat...
BONUS: Thor: Ragnarok Might Be Setting Up Planet Hulk
Now, with the chances of us seeing a solo Hulk movie anytime soon still relatively slim (the distribution rights aren't exclusively owned by Marvel), it's a long-shot -- but Thor: Ragnarok could be the film that finally sets up a whole lot of fans' dream Hulk movie...Planet Hulk.
Whether or not we're ever actually going to see a Marvel movie in which Hulk stays green the whole time, winds up fighting in an intergalactic gladiator pit, and ultimately takes over the planet, remains to be seen though...
The big question now, then?
What do you reckon?