February 4, 2013

SPOILERS: Marvel Plans To Use HULK In Phase Three Films, Including A New Solo Film

LatinoReview has finally dropped their big Marvel scoop and it's a big spoiler. Marvel is moving forward with plans for the Hulk to play a giant role in Phase Three. We've assumed this previously as Marvel has teased Hulk being a bigger piece of their future plans. After stealing a majority of the scenes in Avengers. Talk had already begun about a new Hulk movie during the promotion of The Avengers last Summer.

The big reveal/spoiler is that at the end of Avengers 2 Hulk will be deemed too dangerous for Earth and will be cast into space. This will lead to a new solo adventure based on the Planet Hulk saga. Banner is placed on a space shuttle to be marooned on a peaceful planet were he and others can be safe. Only one problem, his ship crashes onto a violent alien planet where he is turned into gladiator. Fighting alien creatures to the death for the amusement of spectators he ends breaking loose and leads a rebellion against an oppressive leadership. Which ends up with Hulk becoming the new ruler of the planet, Spartacus/Gladiator anyone? While Avengers 2 leading into Planet Hulk rumor has been around for a while it's the first time an outlet has spent this much effort to confirm it. It should be noted they would be treading familiar ground as they released an animated movie focusing on The Planet Hulk comic.

The biggest addition is that he'll end up becoming the villain of Avengers 3, taking cues from World War Hulk. Hulk feeling betrayed by Earth decides on conquering it with his new loyal alien followers and army. An invasion that could only be stopped with the help of the Guardians of The Galaxy and maybe even the Inhumans (sounds plausible with a film in development). Gamora and Drax being able go toe-to-toe with Hulk without being smashed into pieces. This plot point would overshadows talk of Civil War or even the Skrulls being the main storyline for a third installment.

Like I said before this isn't Earth shattering news because Marvel has been tip-toeing over a new Hulk movie for a couple of months now. A while back someone from Marvel accidentally let slip they had plans for a movie along with the television series they developing for ABC. Marvel's Kevin Feige went one step forward by actually naming Planet Hulk and World War Hulk as possible avenues for the Hulk post-Avengers 2 while speaking with MTV.

I don’t think there’s a lot that we couldn’t do someday, as the cinematic universe continues to grow and expand and get as big as the comic book universe. ”Planet Hulk’ is a cool story, ‘World War Hulk’ is a cool story. I think there’s pitfalls of continuity-overload, and mythology getting so dense that it almost collapses in on itself [with those cosmic projects]. It happens every few decades or so in the comics. Apart from that, I’d say everything is on the table.

The Hulk show has suddenly gone into limbo since Whedon has jumped the line taking his S.H.I.E.L.D. series to pilot. Guillermo del Toro had been producing the project and was going to direct the Hulk pilot episode. It's possible it could still happen but with Hulk getting his own franchise it's doubtful they would rehash old material with a TV series. When this is officially announced by Marvel I expect that plans for the series will be canceled. Whedon has already mentioned a desire to write a new Hulk film and this seems right up is alley.

 I wouldn't count out del Toro also being asked to direct the feature. He's already interested in the character committing to the TV series, already making a successful film starring a Marvel character with Blade 2 along with being attached to direct Dr. Strange years ago. While he turned down Star Wars (also a Disney production), a Planet Hulk film could be a way for Guillermo to make his own type of Star Wars film within the cosmic-side of the MCU. The idea of del Toro directing a Joss Whedon scripted cosmic Hulk film is too amazing not to consider. Del Toro is about to release Pacific Rim this summer and will begin production on Crimson Peak next Winter.  He wouldn't need to release Planet Hulk until at least 2016 giving him tons of time to work with Whedon and production designers.

This is speculation on my part but I had mentioned Alison Brie should be cast as the new Betty Ross when the first talk of a new Hulk film was being rumored. This was months before her linked involvement with Marvel for Captain America 2. A majority of the lovely ladies linked for the lead in Cap sequel were brunettes and if Sharon was really the lead character, why look at so many non-blonds?

It's possible that she and other actresses were being looked at for a different female role other than Sharon Carter. Betty Ross could be this other part (or Jennifer Walters) in Winter Soldier as she did work for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Ultimates. It could also see her transformed into the Red She Hulk (or She Hulk) while trying to find a cure for Banner maybe in Avengers 2. Making her a more viable candidate to join the Avengers roster than say Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) as she has already been introduced in the MCU via The Incredible Hulk. It would be simpler to include a female heroine like She Hulk or Red She Hulk because they wouldn't need to include Skrulls or Kree like with Danvers.

I wouldn't be shocked if a sub-plot of Banner's DNA becoming a viable piece of weapons technology could be introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier then played out in Avengers 2. Perhaps with a little help from The Leader (introduced in Incredible Hulk) the Masters of Evil/Hydra could amass their own group of power super-hulks with a sample of Banner's blood. You might remember that Banner wanted all his blood samples destroyed because he feared it would become a weapon "they couldn't get back". This could be played out within Phase Two, as in Avengers that phrase was attributed to the next evolution of weapons. Incredible Hulk is canon as Marvel has said it's indeed apart of the MCU along with using clips from it during Iron Man 2 and Avengers.

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