Hulk Avengers

It’s a question we’ve been asking for several years. “How is Marvel going to use the Hulk outside of The Avengers?’ The studio made a solo film starring Edward Norton some years back, itself a reboot of a less successful solo film by Ang Lee. But most felt the character wasn’t right until Joss Whedon’s version in The Avengers. Now Phase Two is almost over, but we haven’t seen the return of the Hulk, and won’t until the Avengers: Age of Ultron. So what’s next?

Mark Ruffalo, the actor now playing the role, has confirmed he and Marvel Studios have been thinking more about a new Hulk solo movie and Kevin Feige has long said we won’t see a Hulk movie until Phase Three. Ruffalo also added the long standing rumor of a Planet Hulk film was probably not in the cards. “I think you need more Banner,” he said. “The whole thing is just him as Hulk, on a planet, fighting other gladiators.”

Normally that would settle that argument, but this is 2014. J.J. Abrams swore Khan wasn’t in Star Trek Into Darkness.¬†Marion Cotillard promised she wasn’t Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises. These days actors, filmmakers and publicists sometimes have to lie about major surprises. So is Ruffalo lying about Planet Hulk and Phase Three? Yes and no, says HitFix. The specific answer delves into some pretty big Avengers: Age of Ultron spoilers, which you can read after the jump.

In a new article on HitFix, Drew McWeeny wrote about what he’s heard regarding Hulk Phase 3. The answer has some major ramifications and spoilers on the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron so only read below if you don’t mind some big spoilers. Here goes.

Begin spoilers, quoted from HitFix:

Without giving away why and how, let’s look at the state of things for Bruce Banner at the end of “Age Of Ultron.” Banner continues to play a key role in things in this movie, and when the final war with Ultron spills onto the battlefield and out of the virtual realm, he has a major part to play. Unfortunately, that ends with him onboard a Quin jet on his way off the planet, with no way to immediately turn things around. He’s going to have to ride out the trip. It’s pre-programmed and he can’t stop it.

Here’s where I’d wager his spaceship is headed: wherever the Guardians of the Galaxy are located. If I was a betting man, I’d say there will be no Hulk solo film as part of Phase Three. Instead, Banner’s ship will take him to another planet, where he will end up meeting the Guardians and having an adventure with them. Hulk will definitely come out to play a few times. I suspect we’ll see some sequences that very much feel like they’re part of the Planet Hulk story, but that the larger story will be about the Guardians finding a way to get Banner home, only to end up going with him. That would move a big piece of the puzzle into place to get Thanos looking back at the Earth in time for the third “Avengers” film.

End spoilers.

You can read more about the hows and whys over on HitFix. Also, Badass Digest hinted at this scenario a few months back.

To me, this seems like a great idea. Keeping it vague for anyone who may have avoided the spoilers, it seems like a smart way to combine a few ideas organically and push overall story forward.

If this is the Hulk Phase 3 plan, would you be happy?

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