What’s this? A story that isn’t a trailer and doesn’t contain the words “Super” and “bowl” in the title? Well, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of a post-Superbowl trailer-thon, to bring you one rather smashing, Hulked out, world-breaker of a rumour.
Now yes, this is still firmly in the insubstantiated rumour arena, but even so, this may contain some SPOILERS for those people who don’t want to know anything about their future movies. Chances are though, that if you recognized that title, then you’re not even bothering to read this as you’ve already clicked through for the details.
Now firstly, it has be known that this rumour comes courtesy of the professional scoopers over at Latino-Review. It’s important to note this source, because these guys are batting with a ridiculously high average when it comes to leaking Marvel related stories. Their last big scoop was of course Guardians of the Galaxy, and at the time, Marvel not only denied it wholesale, but took LR to task about it. A few months later, Guardians was officially announced.
After that rumour, LR went on a hunt to try and sniff out what Marvel’s gameplan was, because if it’s one thing that Marvel has proven, it’s that they have a very meticulous plan that’s laid out way in advance. And LR think they’ve pieced it all together.
Now last week, it was confirmed that Ant-Man and Dr Stange would be kicking off Marvel’s Phase 3. But what about the Hulk? We know Marvel want to do more movies with the not so jolly green giant, and the character’s popularity is at an all time high after his god-ragdolling turn in The Avengers. We also know that with the introduction of the Guardians and with Thanos being the main bad guy for The Avengers 2 that the Marvel cinematic universe is now finally reaching into the cosmic side of things.
Well according to LR, at the end of that film, we’ll see Hulk end up being lost in space. That would lead to a Hulk standalone movie based on Greg Pak’s highly acclaimed “Planet Hulk” storyline. For those of you not familiar with the story, in the Marvel comic universe, the Illuminati – a secret group of the most powerful representatives of the various factions in the Marvel universe comprised of Tony Stark, Captain America, Charles Xavier, Black Bolt and Namor, who came together to safeguard the five gems that comprises Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet – realized that Bruce Banner would never be able to properly contain the Hulk’s rage, and it’s only a matter of time before he commits some wholesale slaughter. So to prevent that from happening, they drug him and stick him in a spaceship and fire him off to an uninhabited planet that Reed had found, where he can “Hulk Smash!” till he’s dark green in the face without harming a soul.
Except, something goes wrong and he crashes onto a different planet, Sakaar. A planet where he not only meets up with and befriends characters that are just as powerful and monstrous as he is, gets put into slavery and forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena for the enjoyment of an evil emperor, leads a rebellion of slaves against said emperor and eventually takes the throne for himself, but most importantly though, it’s where he meets the love of his life, Caiera, a powerful warrior priestess that possesses the Old Power which makes her a perfect physical match for him.
With Caiera, Hulk finally finds peace with the world and also within himself. Hulk takes her for his queen and soon she is pregnant with their child, but then disaster strikes. The spaceship that originally brought him to Sakaar, which had been turned into a monument in his honour, mysteriously explodes. The massive atomic powered blast not only wipes out most of Hulk’s capital city and its inhabitants, but it kills Caiera and their unborn son. This fuels Hulk with a rage unlike he’s ever known before, and that rage gets directed firmly at the men who built that ship and sent him there.
Soon Hulk, angrier and stronger than he has even been, is leading a fleet of alien spaceships back to Earth, ready to declare “World War Hulk” on his former teammates.
As Latino-Review reports it, barring a few changes (such as the fact that the film rights for half of the Illuminati are held by Twentieth Century Fox, which means having different characters take their place), the Planet Hulk story will be adapted for the standalone movie (which has actually already been done for a direct to DVD animated movie), with Mark Ruffallo still in the lead as the character. It and all the other standalone movies will be building up to The Avengers 3, which would be a loose adaptation of “World War Hulk”, as the green giant and his crew of alien warriors reaches Earth and begins taking revenge on everybody and everything that stands in his way.
Now “World War Hulk” heavily featured the Sentry, essentially Marvel’s answer to Superman, which we have not yet seen in the cinematic universe. Could he be popping up in Phase 3 as well? Also, who would Marvel use to replace the Illuminati members they don’t have access to, specifically Charles Xavier, Reed Richards and Black Bolt? There’s been talk of a Black Panther movie for a while now, and he would definitely make the cut, but I can’t think of anybody else in Marvel studio’s stable that would be ranked high enough to be considered worthy.
Whatever happens, whoever they pick, if this rumour turns out to be true (and it certainly makes complete logical and narrative sense), it will make for one gigantic, sprawling, epic story of love, betrayal, friendship and a whole planet full of Hulk Smash!