What’s the end of existence without a little smashing?
Mark Ruffalo will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Hulk, this time alongside Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god in Thor: Ragnarok, several sources have confirmed for Entertainment Weekly.
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The movie, which will be directed by What We Do in the Shadows filmmaker Taika Waititi, is set to hit theaters on Nov. 3, 2017. The exact plot hasn’t been revealed, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said it will be a major gamechanger for the character.
“[Ragnarok] is a very important word, which means essentially ‘the end of all things,’” Feige said last October. “It’s a very important movie for us in our Phase 3 timeline, changing everything that comes after it.” He also confirmed at the time that Tom Hiddleston would be returning as the villain Loki.
Word of Ruffalo joining the Thor film was first reported three days ago by Paul Shirey of the movie news site Joblo.com, who picked up on the news after New York Comic Con.
The movie will pick up immediately after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which featured Thor having an apocalyptic cave-vision.
In that movie [SPOILER ALERT] we last saw the Hulk curled into a ball aboard the Avengers’ Quinjet, flying off into who-knows-where after unleashing some bad havoc in Africa and some good havoc trying to defeat the robotic army of that movie’s artificial-intelligence villain.
Ruffalo has been keen to play Bruce Banner and the Hulk whenever possible. He was coaxed into a post-credits cameo on Iron Man 3 by Robert Downey Jr. when they were backstage at the Oscars in 2013.
But there’s still no sign of another stand-alone movie for the big green guy, after so-so reception of two previous tries with Ang Lee’s Hulk in 2003 with Eric Bana, and director Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk in 2008, starring Edward Norton.
Ever since Ruffalo brought a new charm to Banner in 2012’s The Avengers, fans have been agitating for him to get a solo film. But Ruffalo himself sees obstacles there.
“It’s a particularly hard character to make a movie about, because he doesn’t want to be there, generally,” he told EW in a previous interview. “He doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do. So it gets a little frustrating as an audience, and there’s only so much of that.”
Ruffalo also indicated in other interviews that a solo Hulk movie has been stymied due to rights issues with Universal Pictures, which made the previous two.
For now, the Ragnarok news should keep Hulk fans happy. (You wouldn’t like them when they’re … not.)