Thor Ragnarok is the upcoming Marvel movie which will directly lead into the Avengers Infinity War. It is inspired by Jack Kirby’s Ragnarok comic wherein Asgard is burned to the ground and rebuilt from the ashes. Thor will confront an empowered Loki who has gained absolute control of Asgard while Thor was busy fighting Ultron and forces of Hela who command legions of the dead. He must defeat them to pave the way for the rebirth of Asgardian society. One fan aptly described the movie as “The way Winter Soldier was for Captain America, Ragnarok is for Thor.”
It’s been confirmed that we will see a version of Planet Hulk story-line within the Thor movie. In comics, the story revolved around how the Hulk crash-lands to a different planet ruled by a tyrant who forces him to fight against powerful creatures of the realm. He will be involved in gladiatorial games organized by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) wearing his one-shoulder armor just like in the comics.
At Disney D-23 Annual Expo, a new poster for Thor Ragnarok was unveiled which offers a better look at gladiator armor and the epic battle between Thor and his fellow Avenger “The Hulk”. Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the world after being banished by King Odin (or Loki) and will be forced to fight in an arena, wherein he will face the green beast (King of the arena).
Marvel studios are way ahead than DC for a reason, they sense an opportunity and turn it into an advantage while DC endlessly pontificate over the possibilities. Recently, there was so much hype over McGregor vs Mayweather battle, Marvel released a spot where Thor and Hulk are engaged in a gladiator battle as the movie’s promotion campaign is entering into the next phase. Till now, we have seen both of them race towards each other but in this footage they are locked in an intense battle.
It is still disappointing for many Hulk fans to see one of the most epic Hulk storylines being added to Thor Ragnarok just to add more flavor to a threequel. But the producer of the film Brad Winderbaum cleared the air and said that this was the best possibility for the Hulk character. He said:
“I mean, it was a very early idea. In the earliest development of Thor, we were looking at ‘Planet Hulk’ as inspiration, maybe not even to integrate the Hulk into the franchise but the idea of a planet where there’s gladiatorial games as being a Thor predicament. It really was a cool idea to us. Somewhere in the early conversations, when it looked like it was going that way, it was a no brainer. It actually started off as like, ‘…could we have Hulk in there too?’ And then as soon as that spark ignited, it ignited kind of an idea machine. And suddenly Hulk was married to the plot”.
He is basically saying that the idea of strict adaptation of Planet Hulk was’nt as great an idea as it sounds. But still Hulk fans have raised pitchforks in protest. We largely agree with fan outrage, infact Mark Ruffallo also expressed his dismay at the turn of events. At D23, Mark Ruffalo discussed the prospects of standalone Hulk movie in the future with Variety, and he said it’s never going to happen so don’t hold your breath. He blamed Universal for this as it does’nt want to play ball with Marvel. He said:
“I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today that a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don’t know how to play well with Marvel, and they don’t want to make money.”
He added that he has three years left before he is too old to play the green monster.
We know that Thor and Gladiator Hulk will battle it out in the arena, they would survive and would go on a “cosmic road-trip”. But their plans to save Asgard from Hela’s forces will take a massive beating and Asgard will be devastated in a huge battle. It is possible that Loki has been secretly working for Thanos all along. He joins Thor’s crew to defeat Hela only because Thanos asked him to do that. He is very likely playing both sides.
It seems that Marvel has given much character arc to Hulk and his fans should first check out his role in the movie. There will be a lot of fodder for gladiator Hulk to work with and return to human form. It’s time to get excited folks.
Thor Ragnarok will be released worldwide on November 3, 2017.