The Hulk almost wasn’t in Thor: Ragnarok

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

It’s no secret that ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ features The Hulk.

But the big, green Marvel hero almost didn’t make it into space.

During an interview with The Wrap, Kevin Feige revealed that Joss Whedon wanted The Hulk to head off into space at the end of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’… but Marvel didn’t want that to happen.

“We said, ‘Joss, we can’t do that because he’s not going into space and people are going to think we’re doing ‘Planet Hulk’ because Umberto has some big hot scoop that we’re doing ‘Planet Hulk,’ we can’t do it.’ He goes, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ We said, ‘We don’t know.’ So, if you go back and look at that shot of the movie, he’s in the sky. It’s blue sky.”

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Back before ‘Age of Ultron’, film writer Umberto Gonzalez reported that Marvel was working towards bringing ‘Planet Hulk’ to the big screen – an iconic comic book which sees The Hulk shot into space, eventually landing on a gladiatorial planet.

And elements of this made it into ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

But because of Umberto Gonzalez’s rumour, it looks as though Marvel decided to change things up… and it affected the ‘Age of Ultron’ ending in a big way.

“You had the big scoop about us doing ‘Planet Hulk’,” Feige told Gonzalez. “It turned out to be accurate [but] at the time, it was not accurate because we didn’t have any plans to do it and Joss was doing ‘Age of Ultron’ at that time. The way it ends as you recall with Hulk in the Quinjet going off, right?”

Essentially, The Hulk was supposed to head off into the wild blue yonder.

But then Marvel decided to use elements of ‘Planet Hulk’ in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

“We wanted to do something totally different with Thor,” said Feige. “Chris Hemsworth really was like, ‘When do other Marvel players come in with me?’… Definitely, [we] want Hela in the movie. Definitely wanted, of course, the continuing relationship with Loki. We had early ideas for Valkyrie. We were talking about Balder. We were talking about Beta Ray Bill, but, that’s not enough. But we were like, ‘We need something big’.”

And a chat with executive producer Brad Winderbaum led them full circle – back to The Hulk.

“Well, what if he did go to space?” Feige said. “We would jokily call it ‘Planet Thor,’ for a while. I went, ‘You know what that means?’ They go, ‘What?’ I go, ‘That means Hulk went to space at the end of Ultron.’ So, I had to tell Joss. And this was a year after Ultron came out. It was kind of a big thing. We were like, ‘You gotta change it Joss, he’s not going to space.’ A year after I go, ‘Joss, guess where he’s going?’ ‘He’s going to space’.”

You have to wonder what Joss Whedon thinks of all this.

But at least we’re getting to see The Hulk suit up for the arena.

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Anthony Hopkins, and Idris Elba.

Taika Waititi directed the movie, based on a script by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Stephany Folsom, and Eric Pearson.

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ opens in cinemas on 27 October 2017.

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