James Gunn Debunks Rumors Of Hulk In 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'

Although just about every Avengers character is set for an appearance in next year's Captain America: Civil War, Bruce Banner is the rare exception. Mark Ruffalo confirmed last week that the Hulk would not appear in the film, putting to rest months of speculation.

But that, of course, just sparked fresh speculation about when the Hulk would resurface. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 seemed like a possibility, given the persistent Planet Hulk rumors that have suggested the Hulk might go into space, but director James Gunn has now gone on the record with an unequivocal denial that he has anything to do with the green guy. Read his response to the Hulk in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 question after the jump. 

The last we saw of Bruce Banner / Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he was on a jet headed for destinations unknown. Many fans wondered if he might be headed, eventually, for outer space, thus setting up the Planet Hulk storyline from the comics. But if Marvel is planning to go into the Planet Hulk arc (and we have no evidence so far that it is), it won't be in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Gunn made that much clear:

As Gunn points out, he's addressed the question before. In 2014, he dismissed rumors of a Planet Hulk movie or a Guardians / Hulk team-up as "complete bullshit." More recently, Gunn told a fan on Facebook, simply, that "they will not team up with Hulk." Kevin Feige has also stated that stories of the Hulk appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are "incorrect."

But Gunn and Feige will probably debunk this rumor several more times before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in 2017, unless we get concrete answers about the Hulk before then. As always, there's the possibility they're lying. After all, this is exactly what Gunn would say if Hulk were in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and he wanted to throw fans off the scent. But so far there's no indication that they are.

In an interview last week, Ruffalo revealed the Hulk had been left out of Civil War because his fate was "too big" for the movie, and Marvel wanted to save that plot point for later. However, it remains unclear when "later" might come. It seems likely he'll appear in one or both of the Avengers: Infinity War films, but otherwise there's no obvious place for him in the Phase Three slate.

When do you think we'll see the Hulk again?