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How Will The Hulk Fit Into Marvel’s Plans For Phase 2 and 3?

by on February 4, 2013

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Note: This article may contain SPOILERS for The Avengers 2 and other upcoming Marvel franchises.

According to an exclusive report from Latino Review, fans of Hulk smashing puny gods like Loki have quite a bit to be excited about. Sources have indicated to them that The Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo) will be smashing and pulverizing everything under the sun in the Avengers 2, which will lead to a standalone Hulk film that follows the storyline of 2006′s “Planet Hulk,” an arc that saw Hulk launched into deep space, conquering a planet and subsequent plans to return to Earth for bloody, bloody vengeance in ”World War Hulk.” Here’s the kicker – according to Latino Review’s mystery source, the plot of Avengers 3 will revolve around the “World War Hulk” storyline. How likely is this? It’s hard to say, but there seem to be several discrepancies with the theory.

Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in Avengers Assemble

- The report draws heavily from a quote from Marvel’s Kevin Feige, who told 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.”

This quote shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a hard confirmation. Yes, “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” are cool stories, but that’s all he really says here. That being said, there’s no reason to rule out the potential for a “Planet Hulk” film down the line in Phase 2.

- Latino Review indicates that at the end of Avengers 2, Hulk will be sent into space by the Marvel Universe’s Illuminati, which consists of Tony Stark, Professor X, Namor, Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Doctor Strange, and Black Bolt, leading to the “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” story lines.

While this was definitely the case in the comics, there has been no precedent for the Illuminati in the movie-verse. Mr. Fantastic is off the table, as Fox still owns the film rights to the Fantastic Four and X-Men, so freeing up those characters would take some serious finagling. Doctor Strange and Ant-Man have both been confirmed for Marvel’s Phase 3, so perhaps they may do some Illuminati roster reshuffling and swapping in Hank Pym for Reed Richards. Introducing viewers to Doctor Strange, Namor, Black Bolt, and the Inhumans and the other assorted Illuminati characters isn’t impossible, but it’s certainly a tall order. One possible way around the whole Illuminati issue is to have General Ross or perhaps SHIELD be the ones to send Hulk where no gamma-radiated rage monster has ever gone before.

For more clarity, here’s an excellent piece by Screenrant that shows you which studios own the film rights to which Marvel characters.

/Film’s Germain Lussier paints a pretty compelling picture of what it could be like:

“Picture this. The Avengers are fighting Thanos in The Avengers 2 along with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Hulk does something really really bad, maybe kills a major character, and after the battle, the Avengers vote for the Guardians to send Hulk away. End of Avengers 2, beginning of The Incredible Hulk 2 in space. In fact, if Planet Hulk turns into Incredible Hulk 2World War Hulk could pretty easily be The Avengers 3. Hulk and his alien minions fight The Avengers on Earth.”

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How much cooler would it be to have the Illuminati blast Hulk into space instead of General Ross? Truthfully, it may depend on the success of Marvel’s upcoming spacefaring story, Guardians of the Galaxy, but this is a case where we’re going to have to put on our X-Files hats and say, “I want to believe.” (Or, if you’re a cynical bastard, “There’s got to be a logical explanation for this.”)

Would you like to see “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” in Marvel’s Phase 2 and 3? Quemment below and let us know!

[HT: Latino Review]