Good news for fans of Marvel’s meanest and greenest superhero, new reports confirm that Mark Ruffalo is in final negotiations to appear in “Thor: Ragnarok.” Given the low note that the character left off on in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” many fans may be wondering how Hulk will come back into the fold for the third standalone Thor movie.
Rumors of Ruffalo’s possible involvement began with a report from JoBlo, which stated that the 47-year-old actor was finishing up talks to team up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in what could very well be their final appearances before the all out mayhem of “Avengers: Infinity War.” The news was later confirmed by Deadline.
Assuming negotiations don’t fall through at the eleventh hour, Ruffalo would make his first appearance in an MCU film that isn’t one of the “Avengers” installments (that is, of course, if you don’t count his cameo in the post-credits tag of “Iron Man 3”).
While more Hulk smashing is always good news, this means that the mystery left behind at the end of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be solved for MCU fans in “Thor: Ragnarok,” set for release on Nov. 3, 2017, instead of making them wait until “Avengers: Infinity War,” which hits theaters until May 4 of the following year. When last fans left Hulk [SPOILER ALERT] he had just gone on a rampage through a populated city in Africa. The public finally saw what his monster is capable of when left unchecked, and were calling for his arrest. He helped the Avengers stop Ultron in Sakovia, but stole a jet to fly off on his own rather than link back up with the team.
It’s unclear how he’ll team up with Thor given that, for all the Odinson’s talents, he doesn’t exactly have advanced radar to track down Banner. Still, with Thor off searching for whoever is collecting the Infinity Stones, perhaps he comes across a threat so great that he needs the only Avenger that can take an Asgaurdian-sized beating for help. Then again, perhaps the opposite is true and Banner seeks out Thor. After all, if he’s looking for a place the Hulk can hide without hurting people, the citizens of Asgard seem to be able to take quite a smashing.
According to Variety, precious little is known about the plot of “Thor: Ragnarok.” What is known so far is that a majority of the film will take place somewhere other than Earth and Asgard, meaning that the Avenger’s heaviest hitters will likely be off on an adventure in an unexplored part of the cosmos. This has already prompted some to speculate that the film will set up a popular comic book storyline called “Planet Hulk.” However, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, that would require a standalone Hulk film, which Marvel Studios doesn’t quite have the rights to accomplish.
Luckily, whatever brings the Hulk to Thor’s odd world of gods and elves, he won’t be the only familiar face the green giant sees. In October, when Kevin Feige announced “Thor: Ragnarok” in the studios Phase 3 lineup, he mentioned that Tom Hiddleston would reprise his fan-beloved role as Thor’s brother, and principal “Avengers” villain, Loki.
“[Ragnarok] is a very important word, which means essentially ‘the end of all things,’” Feige said (via Entertainment Weekly). “It’s a very important movie for us in our Phase 3 timeline, changing everything that comes after it.”
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