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Following recent confirmation that the long-rumored Doctor Strange is part of Marvel’s Phase Three plans, another piece of the puzzle may be falling into place.
Latino Review, which last summer ran afoul of the studio after spoiling its big Guardians of the Galaxy announcement, now contends Marvel is plotting a third Incredible Hulk solo movie — one based on the 2006-2007 comic book storyline “Planet Hulk.”
Written by Greg Pak from an idea by then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, the arc launches the Hulk into space after the Illuminati (a cabal formed by Tony Stark, Namor, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt and Professor Xavier) determined he was far too dangerous to remain on Earth. Although the intention was for the Hulk to be stranded on a peaceful planet, his shuttle instead crashes on Sakaar, a violent world in which gladiators are forced to battle for the emperor, the Red King. Hulk becomes embroiled in a rebellion that ends with him being crowned the new ruler of Sakaar.
According to Latino Review, the big-screen adaptation would spin out of the May 2015 sequel to The Avengers, in which the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the Illuminati send the Green Goliath into space in time for Phase Three, which begins with the Nov. 6, 2015 premiere of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. Following the solo outing, Hulk apparently would return to Earth for The Avenger 3, based on the 2007-2008 storyline “World War Hulk.”
Although the scale of those plans might be a little surprising, Hulk’s return in a solo feature certainly isn’t: Marvel was “pleasantly surprised by the phenomenal response” to the character in The Avengers, so much so that one executive was suggesting within weeks of the blockbuster’s opening that the Green Goliath could get another movie as early as 2015. And when asked in September whether a live-action take on “Planet Hulk” was within the possibility, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told MTV, “I don’t think there’s a lot that we couldn’t do some day, as the cinematic universe continues to grow and expand and get as big as the comic book universe. ‘Planet Hulk’ is a cool story. ‘World War Hulk’ is a cool story.'”
However, he acknowledged that those kinds of adaptations bring come with potential problems. “I think there’s pitfalls of continuity-overload, and mythology getting so dense that it almost collapses in on itself,” he said. “It happens every few decades or so in the comics. Apart from that, I’d say everything is on the table.”
So perhaps Marvel has found a way around those obstacles.