Last Thursday Deadline confirmed the reports that claimed Marvel was negotiating with Mark Ruffalo to bring Hulk, Bruce Banner, to Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok. Let’s talk about those reports, and why that makes sense!
Thor: Ragnarok simply has to be good – as it might be the final solo film for Thor in quite a while. Still, there isn’t a ton of pressure on Taika Waititi, the director. While I adore the first Thor, it only got a B+ cinemascore from its audience (the lowest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far). Thor: The Dark World was not a huge success either, and thus one could argue that Waititi just has to make a crowd-pleasing picture.
That should be fairly easy to do if the story is interesting, now that Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) are probably going to be in the film. The former is a fan favorite, and without him The Avengers might not have been as well-received as it was (A+ cinemascore). Meanwhile, the latter is becoming a fan favorite, as he has delivered much better performances than both Eric Bana and Edward Norton did in the solo films they appeared in as Dr Banner.
We last saw Banner/Hulk in Age of Ultron, wherein he (SPOILERS) left the team. He is not going to be in Civil War, and we didn’t really know when we were going to see him again. Now, there are two reasons why it would make sense for him to go to Asgard.
- If he left Earth, then he wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone he cared for. In Age of Ultron, Banner realized how frightened he had made the people of South Africa as the Hulk, and he knows that he won’t be accepted anytime soon.
- Planet Hulk. No spoilers for that here (google it if you feel like it).
Now, the Deadline article did ask why we aren’t getting a solo film with the Hulk anytime soon. Here’s the thing: it wouldn’t make sense for Marvel to make one right now.
- The Incredible Hulk wasn’t a huge success.
- Universal Pictures still own part of the Hulk rights (they own the distribution rights).
Ultimately, Marvel needed to explain the absence of both Thor and Hulk in Civil War, and thus it makes total sense for them to team up in Ragnarok. Hopefully, they’ll get along…
I’m Jeffrey Rex