(Warning – the following contains giant, hulking potential SPOILERS for future movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including at least one set for release in 2017. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests is wise...)
Now, with 70-odd years of comic book tales to work from, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't exactly short of options when it comes to adapting classic stories for the big screen. From classic Golden and Silver age adventures, all the way through to the universe-shattering events of the past year, Marvel comic books have long since generated a back-catalog the envy of movie executives the world over.
For many Marvel fans, though, only one story will do — and if the latest rumors are true, it might just be heading to the big screen. That's right:
It Seems As Though 'Planet Hulk' Might Actually Be Heading To The MCU
That, at least, is the word coming out of Geek.com, where Dave Gonzales is reporting that...
(Note, this is where those aforementioned potential SPOILERS come in...)
Planet Hulk Is Set To Appear In 2017... But Not As Its Own Movie
Instead, according to Gonzales, a whole lot of plot details from the storyline (in which Hulk is stranded on a world obsessed with gladiatorial combat, eventually rising to become its ruler) are set to show up in... Thor: Ragnarok?
As Gonzales puts it (and its worth noting that the following contains major theoretical SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok):
"According to our sources, after Thor catches on to Hela and Loki’s (still mysterious) plot that is going down in Asgard, Hela destroys Mjolnir, and banishes Thor from Asgard. Loki and Hela’s plan involves the major arc of the Marvel Universe, and just when it looks like Thor is about to put a stop to it, he gets banished — but not to any old planet. He ends up on a gladiatorial planet where his head is shaved and he’s forced to fight for his life. Let’s call this planet Sakaar, like it was in the comic books.
"Thor knows that he has to get to some MacGuffin weapon object to defeat Hela and Loki (could this be the Infinity Gauntlet that Thanos is in possession of, or maybe an assemblage of Infinity Stones?) and he has to get off the planet. Thor runs through all of his alien opponents in gladiatorial combat, even without his trademark hammer. Finally, Thor has to face the current champion of the arena, and wouldn’t you know who that ends up being? The Hulk.
"When we reconnect with Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, he’s managed to avoid reverting back to the Banner state since we last saw him in the Quinjet in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Hulk in Hulk form is pretty much unkillable, so he survived the trip to Sakaar (however he got there). His “Banner” is starting to seep through into the Hulk persona, and because of the Hulk-Banner melding, Hulk actually remembers Thor and his relationship to him. That’s what starts the two on a Midnight Run to the MacGuffin that Thor desperately needs."
Or, in other words? Thor ends up fighting Hulk on a gladiatorial planet, and hijinks then ensue...
The big question that raises, though?
How On (Off?) Earth Did The Hulk Get To That Planet In The First Place?
In the comic books, after all, Hulk wound up on Sakaar (the planet in question) as a result of being shot into space by his friends for being too dangerous to have on Earth. Many have speculated that something similar would have to happen in the MCU (perhaps even with Bruce Banner's blessing) in order for us to see Planet Hulk - so could that be the big surprise ending of Captain America: Civil War?
Well, perhaps – though it's also worth bearing in mind that all of this is just rumor at this point, and that it's entirely possible that we'll see precisely none of that on the big screen come 2017.
In the meantime, though (and until anything is debunked), we can always dare to dream...
What do you think?