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Mark Ruffalo Thinks ‘Planet Hulk’ Won’t Work For Solo Film

Warning: This post includes potential spoilers for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.


Despite Joss Whedon’s dismissing them as “nonsense,” rumors of a live-action feature based on Marvel’s “Planet Hulk” storyline refuse to die. And while Mark Ruffalo has long championed another solo movie for the Avengers’ Jade Giant, he isn’t sure that 2006-2007 comic book arc is the direction the studio should go in — at least not yet.

“I don’t think [Planet Hulk] is the way to go yet,” he tells MTV. “I think you need more Banner. The whole thing is just him as Hulk, on a planet, fighting other gladiators.”

Written by Greg Pak from an idea by then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, “Planet Hulk” launches the character 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.

“He falls in love, has a Hulk baby,” Ruffalo summarizes, “… and then the Avengers nuke the planet.”

With that, HitFix‘s Drew McWeeny chimes in, insisting that although he doesn’t think Marvel is developing a Planet Hulk movie, he thinks fans of that storyline will be happy with what occurs between The Avengers: Age of Ultron and its sequel:

Without giving away why and how, let’s look at the state of things for Bruce Banner at the end of Age of Ultron. Banner continues to play a key role in things in this movie, and when the final war with Ultron spills onto the battlefield and out of the virtual realm, he has a major part to play. Unfortunately, that ends with him onboard a Quin jet on his way off the planet, with no way to immediately turn things around. He’s going to have to ride out the trip. It’s pre-programmed and he can’t stop it.

From there he posits that Banner will wind up wherever the Guardians of the Galaxy are, which could lead to the introduction of elements from “Planet Hulk” without fully traveling down that path. Plus it would keep Banner in the picture more than the comic did.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens Aug. 1, while The Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives May 1, 2015.


  • Dalarsco

    On one hand, I’m disappointed that he doesn’t want to do my favorite Hulk story yet. But on the other hand I’m super impressed that he actually knows them material well enough to have an understanding of the story and a grounded and logical objection to adapting it at this point.

  • percane

    i think he’s right (almost). the whole reason they ship him off is because he’s a menace, and i believe he was framed for actually killing someone during one of his rampages. in the movies, he’s not really seen as a big menace yet.

    also, as i recall the avengers didn’t nuke the planet, one of his insect allies sabotaged the ship that took him there to make it look like they did.

    now, having said all that, what WOULD be cool, IMO, is for phase 4, have 2 hulk solo movies: the first one sets him up (frames him perhaps) and sends him off to space at the end. the second movie is planet hulk, and then Avengers 4 (or 5) could be world war hulk

  • Kabuce

    Shouldn’t there be, like, a spolier warning if what Drew McWeeny says is true? I mean, thats a pretty huge development between franchises and for the MCU as a whole.

  • demoncat_4

    not to mention marvel would not be able to have the illumaniti send hulk into space at all since marvel other then doctor strange does not own the movie rights to the rest of the group. and doctor strange has not shown up yet film wise. for maybe down the road if a solo hulk film works and marvel gets back some of the rights and after doctor stranges film is done they can do that storyline which would also lead to world war hulk and hulk meeting his son skarr

  • John Northey

    Yeah, that is a giant spoiler for the next Avengers movie if true. If just a random fan speculating that is fine but it sounds very much like he knows what he is talking about there. I cannot imagine Marvel would want a spoiler of that level released. I know I didn’t want to read it, I was just looking for speculation on the next Hulk movie not how the Avengers Ultron movie was going to end.

  • tokuiten

    Planet Hulk worked fine as a solo film in the animated version…

  • Jason M Bryant

    That’s the kind of detail that’s easily changed. No Hank Pym yet? Iron-Man builds Ultron. No Illuminati? The Avengers do it. Maybe Nick Fury.

  • Jason M Bryant

    That’s animation. A lot o what people liked about Mark Ruffalo’s version was Mark Ruffalo. He wouldn’t have a lot of time directly in front of the camera in a Planet Hulk movie, so they’d be losing a big asset.

  • Yakushiji Tenzen

    UGH. Just do it Hollywood. Then we can get movies with his sons. Skaar and Hiro-Kala

  • Dalarsco

    Actually, a lot of the Hulk stuff in Avengers is him in mocap. He even worked with Any Serkis during AoU to hone his craft.

  • demoncat_4

    odds are the avengers would be the ones to send hulk into space saying his skills are needed out there. proably just iron man and cap.unless by the time they okay a hulk film.

  • CudaBiro

    The reason Planet Hulk doesn’t work for me is that the MCU is much too young for them to continue shooting Banner off into space. On top of that, so many relationships have been ignored for Banner/Hulk besides Betty, Gen. Ross and really that’s about it.

  • Kevin Melrose

    There’s a spoiler warning at the top of the article.

  • Tu_Vieja (DerKopf)

    Forget Planet Hulk.

    Hulk goes to the space… in the “aftermath” with Ultron… Ultron in space? That doesn’t sound like Annihilation Conquest? Maybe they go for that kind of story… leaving Hulk to something else… maybe, Thanos controls him and Avengers 3 would be something like World War Hulk, without the motivation of Planet Hulk…And also, with Thanos the Titan.

  • Robert

    in small font, right above a large picture that immediately draws your eyes away from said warning.

  • Robert

    The animated film was horrendous and did not capture the comic at all.

  • Jason M Bryant

    Yeah, I know. That’s not the point.

    Let me rephrase what I said in a more clear way.

    That’s animation of Mark Ruffalo, where he’s not talking and and he’s only expressing a limited range of emotions. A lot o what people liked about Mark Ruffalo’s version was Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. He wouldn’t have a lot of time directly in front of the camera (meaning face time, not mo-cap time) in a Planet Hulk movie, so they’d be losing a big asset.

  • js

    He’s right, Planet Hulk is a good story, but the world outside comics readers aren’t ready for that kind of saga. If they do one, it’s got to be one that showcases both aspects of the character, and is easy enough for new fans to get into. Don’t forget that the fans of the movie don’t know or care about the looong and varied history of the “funny papers”.

  • Alex Hayden

    Sure, people like Ruffalo, but I don’t remember seeing people saying “Someone finally got Banner right!” I remember people saying “Someone finally got Hulk right!”

    Punching Thor, “puny god” line, fighting stance, overall rendition… I’m not saying I don’t care about seeing Ruffalo as Banner more. I do want that. I’m just arguing that I think what “a lot of people liked about Mark Ruffalo’s version” was more specifically Hulk than Banner.

  • David Speranza

    I can see a Planet Hulk movie including Guardians of the Galaxy (replace Silver Surfer).

  • JCM

    If you want to avoid spoilers do not read about movies or books online.

  • JCM

    and iron man and possibly black bolt, but you’re right about the rest.

  • JCM

    Banner being part of who Hulk is. I think that is a lot of what people mean when they say they finally got Hulk right as a whole package.

  • demoncat_4

    unless they make a new one of the characters they have with doctor strange who by then would have shown up movie wise plus the fact planet hulk had hulk also fight some characters like the silver surfer in the areas. though like the idea of hulk having to team up with the guardians. for hulk argue with groot or rocket would be interesting to see on screen.

  • Walter

    The Avengers don’t nuke the planet. The bug looking guy (I can’t remember his name) nukes it to set Hulk on a rampage.

  • MBM

    Miek didn’t nuke the planet, he nuked Caiera. She lived on in spirit but Hulk didn’t know and was heading for Earth by the time she reappeared. It was Galactus who devoured the planet.

  • MBM

    Ruffalo is only saying that because he wouldn’t get any
    screen time but it would be hard to do for the reasons you listed.

  • alexxela

    Hes right. I love planet hulk and want to see it but not yet. We need at least 1 or 2 new hulk films and some more character development for him first. Not sure I like the idea of him joining the guardians though it was always tony that joined them by accident and im pretty sure groot and rockey wouldnt hesitate to attack the jade giant the second they saw him.

  • Jason M Bryant

    Yes, those were great moments. However, there was less than 10 minutes of Hulk in the whole movie. Part of the reason we cared about the Hulk was Ruffalo building him up with stories about putting a gun in his mouth and riding in on a little motorcycle. Whedon said that buildup is a lot of what made the Hulk so good when he finally showed up.

    Stretching a character that can’t talk into a whole movie is asking a lot. Doing that when you have a charismatic lead actor who would barely have his own face on screen is just not a good bet.

  • Jason M Bryant

    This is an article about Ruffalo commenting on whether a solo Hulk movie will happen or not. It’s reasonable to think we won’t suddenly be reading the ending of Avengers 2.

    You’re right that there’s some risk of spoilers with these sites. However, there is a middle ground where they can help us avoid spoilers. The little blurb at the top is not the standard place to put a spoiler warning, and it is easy to miss.

  • JCM

    What you say is reasonable, but I’ve found avoiding sites like this works best. I.E. Until I finished watching Breaking Bad I skipped every reference to it that I came across (not an easy task). Granted these films haven’t even been made yet so it’s a different circumstance but I don’t care as much about spoilers when it comes to these types of action adventure flicks myself.

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    believe that my sister was like trully erning money part time on there
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  • Jason M Bryant

    This is even worse than what you’re describing. This is like someone avoiding Breaking Bad articles, then reading the ending of Breaking Bad in an article about Godzilla.

  • JCM

    This is true! Well best of luck. I have a feeling with it’s heavily integrated movie strategy this is going to be happening more often.

  • JCM

    And BB is so much a part of the culture I was getting spoilers from everything from late night talk show satires to just walking down the street LOL. I finally had to do a marathon and watch it all. At least I had that option.

  • John Northey

    Yeah, noticed it now. Seems more visible now than when I first read it. Might not have picked up on it at first as the picture and headline overwhelm it. Ideally the spoiler warning should be after the picture but before the text imo.

  • Kabuce

    The spolier warning wasn’t there yesterday.

  • Kevin Melrose

    It’s been there along, but I made it larger after a couple of complaints.

  • Green machine

    Who care what puny Banner say.

  • logat890

    he could have just said that Planet Hulk wouldnt work for him as an actor! Banner’s pretty non-existent in Planet Hulk!

  • Dalarsco

    And that’s part of why I think Planet Hulk (and possibly PADs Professor Hulk era) would make a good Hulk movie. We actually have a Hulk who acts with intelligence and speech.

  • ZerkReaper

    So true. An the CGI cost would be way too much. You can’t have fully 3d Hulk in the entire movie. And the movie will be crippled without having Hulk fight the X-men. And since they don’t own those movie rights….

    Yeah, it’ll be so much better to adapt another comic story arc with Hulk.