The Marvel movie headline of the day is that “Planet Hulk” is reportedly in the works for Phase Three, paving the way for a third “Avengers” film based on “World War Hulk.” We’ll give you a minute to process that potential awesomeness.
Okay, all good? Good.
Whether or not you believe the Latino Review report, just the sheer possibility of a live-action “Planet Hulk” is well worth pondering, particularly because it comes equipped with so many questions. Here are our first five thoughts stemming from the “Planet Hulk” rumors.
Who is the Illuminati? In the comics, the group that ships Hulk off to space consists of the Marvel Universe’s biggest power-players: Iron Man, Namor, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Professor Xavier, Mister Fantastic. Don’t expect to see that very same group in the movies, however. Xavier and Fantastic belong to Fox, and it’s unclear where the rights to Namor reside. Black Bolt and Strange have yet to be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, either, leaving only Iron Man for now. Is there enough time to introduce a full-fledged Illuminati in time for “Planet Hulk,” or will the decision to ban Banner from Earth come from the mighty heroes we already know and love? I’m putting my money on the latter.
Who will replace the Silver Surfer? The Fox-owned character has a memorable, if not entirely crucial, part to play in the “Planet Hulk” arc. Unless Marvel Studios can win the hero back to their stable — and that possibility feels a bit “been there, tried that” — then someone else needs to step in and fill out Surfer’s place in the arena. Seems like an easy way to bring Thor or one of the Guardians of the Galaxy into the picture, right?
What about Hulk’s son? One of the biggest components to come out of the “Planet Hulk” storyline is Hulk’s alien son, Skaar, born in blood and battle. Skaar’s story continues well after Hulk flees the planet of Sakaar … and if the “Planet Hulk” film follows those same story beats, we could be looking at an all-new “Planet” film franchise.
And what about Thanos? “World War Hulk” is supposedly the framework for “Avengers 3,” bringing Hulk back to Earth and pitting him against his old friends. Can that sustain an entire “Avengers” movie on its own, though? Surely another villain will weasel his/her way into the mix? Personal theory time: Thanos will be reserved for “Avengers 3,” and he’ll be the one responsible for bringing Hulk back to his home planet. Those stakes would certainly be big enough for a trilogy-ending “Avengers” film, don’t you think?
What does the rest of Phase Three look like? “Ant-Man” is confirmed for 2015. Kevin Feige told us “Doctor Strange” is in the offing as well. Toss “Planet Hulk” and the “WWH”-inspired “Avengers 3” into the mix, and that totals four Phase Three films. What else can we look forward to? Is there enough room for more “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America” sequels, or will the key “Avengers” players take a breather during Phase Three? Or maybe, just maybe, Marvel will attempt three-films-per-year after all? For now, until we know more, all we can do is sit, wonder, and obsess, obsess, obsess.
Let us know what you think of the “Planet Hulk” rumors in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter!