If you’re sitting there thinking that last night’s Iron Man 3 teaser was the biggest bit of Marvel Comics movie news, then think again. Thanks to El Mayimbe and entertainment website Latino Review, Marvel’s Phase 2 endgame and basis for Phase 3 have been revealed, and it revolves everyone’s favorite green goliath, The Hulk.
While much of what follows is broad in its information, some of it could be considered spoiler territory. You have been warned!
According to the El Mayimbe’s video post shot across the street from Marvel’s New York City offices on Saturday, Phase 2 of Marvel’s Movie-verse will see a cinematic iteration of Marvel’s Illuminati form and, as they did in the comics, have to deal with The Hulk. At some point within The Avengers 2, they will blast Hulk off into space setting up the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 3.
Phase 3 will begin with a third solo film for The Hulk, revolving around the critically acclaimed comic arc, Planet Hulk. Phase 3 will conclude with The Avengers 3, which will follow the aftermath of Planet Hulk with The Hulk’s return to Earth via another popular comic arc, World War Hulk.
Personally, I think these are incredible ideas. The Planet Hulk storyline is one of my favorite arcs Marvel has put out in some time and, aside from it being very similar thematically to the recently released John Carter, would be excellent idea for a Hulk movie. We’ve had two films that deal with General Ross and we’re well past an origin story, and the idea of The Hulk being stranded on a planet where he becomes a gladiator fighting for his and the planet’s freedom sounds like an excellent way to keep Hulk smashing and safe from backsliding into “mopey” Hulk territory.
Whatever your feelings on the previous two Hulk films are, it is widely accepted that no one quite nailed the role or got the right tone of the character until Mark Ruffalo stepped into The Hulk’s torn shorts for last summer’s own box office behemoth, The Avengers. Having signed Ruffalo to a six-film deal, Marvel obviously has a lot of faith in the actor and what he brings to the character and to their continually growing universe.
The only part I question is the Illuminati. Not in a sense that it’s not going to happen, but rather whether or not it actually needs to. Phase 2 of Marvel’s films, made up of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy have all been hinted at or are obviously going to be tied into expanding Marvel’s Cosmic universe, setting up Thanos as the “big bad” for The Avengers 2. That’s purely my speculation, but that’s where I see things going.
If that is the case and Thanos is the big bad in question for The Avengers 2, I feel like he could be the catalyst for Hulk’s space adventure, especially if Thanos is in possession of his beloved Infinity Gauntlet, which had a blink and you’ll miss it moment in Thor. One of the Gauntlets gems is Space, a gem that could easily, possibly in a moment of panic or strategy, be used to send Hulk off to another planet without having to shoehorn in the entire Illuminati plot into the films as well.
For that to lead into an eventual World War Hulk storyline for The Avengers 3, though, The Hulk would have to feel that his friends betrayed him. In the comics, at the end of Planet Hulk, Banner blames The Illumanti for wiping out his first chance at a normal life and comes back to Earth ready to destroy anyone in his way.
A lot of people have been crying foul about this aspect of the scoop; that Marvel would willingly paint Hulk as a villain for The Avengers 3, but, as far as the comics went anyway, The Hulk was far from the villain. The heroes that banded together were seen as the villains and The Hulk has merely returned for revenge against those that harmed him, by their actions or their choices. I feel it would make for some compelling storytelling within the confines of a mere comic book film and, if done right, could set a new standard for the type of storytelling superhero films can embrace.
Granted, most of these developments are still a ways off. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World both drop this year, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier coming in 2014, and The Avengers 2 and the first Phase 3 film Ant-Man slated for 2015, it’s going to be 2016 at the earliest that we see this Hulk-based phase take shape. If El Mayimbe’s scoop even remotely pans out and Marvel can manage to maintain the love and appreciation they’ve shown so far for their creations and their fans, than this is definitely going to be a wonderful ride.
– Matt Hardeman
Source: Latino Review