This article is a potential spoiler just by existing.
Drew McWeeny over at HitFix has written a piece about the recent semi-soft denial by Mark Ruffalo that Marvel is planning to make a Planet Hulk movie. In it, McWeeny reveals details about the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as some very convincing speculation about where it leads into the future of the MCU. This is your friendly warning that reading further will subject you to potential spoilers of a serious magnitude.
So, if you don't want to be even potentially spoiled hugely, stop reading now. This is your last chance.
Ok? Let's begin. As you know, while Mark Ruffalo has recently been teasing increased Marvel interest in developing The Hulk beyond his supporting role in Avengers 2, though, as we note above, he's shushing down talk that Marvel might be planning to adapt the Planet Hulk storyline, telling Mtv that "I don't think ['Planet Hulk'] is the way to go yet. I think you need more Banner."
Fair enough, though I'd clarify that to say you need more Ruffalo, since he's the magic ingredient that finally made Hulk click with audiences (and, in my opinion, made Hulk compelling enough on screen to care beyond coolness factor.) But clearly he seems confident that Marvel wants to do something with the character beyond The Avengers. But what?
Enter McWeeny, who (along with a dozen or so other journalists I'm insanely jealous of) recently visited the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. He's apparently obtained knowledge about the end of that film via means other than what he saw from the shoot. Here's what he says:
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... 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.
So there you go. Avengers 2 ends with the Hulk catapulted into deep space, almost like an inverse of what happens at the end of the first film.
But wait, there's more!
Now, you might have noticed that Marvel has a movie coming out in just a few weeks set entirely in outer space - or, at least, the parts of our Galaxy not inside of Earth's atmosphere. That seems like a convenient destination for Bruce Banner to end up. McWeeny speculates that the ship sends him into the GOTG sector of the universe, and that we're likely to see the Hulk team up with them in GOTG 2, incorporating elements of Planet Hulk into the story. That's assuming of course that it's a hit. But come on, we know it's going to be.
I'll buy it. Though I admit that's going to make for a potentially crowded movie. We already know for sure that Yondu has a small part. We also know, almost certainly, that Nova is going to appear in the stinger for the first Guardians movie. Further, it's looking very credible that Cosmo, voiced (according to rumor) by Nathan Fillion, will at least make a cameo appearance. And this isn't even including any of the various villains we'll encounter. All of which is to say we already have a fairly beefy roster of characters who might potentially be brought back for the sequel, well before Mark Ruffalo gets added to the mix.
I'm not saying it won't or couldn't happen mind you - McWeeny generally tends to be right about these things. And make no mistake, it would be awesome. Even so, I'm not completely convinced that Guardians 2 has to be the movie to bring it all together. Hell, I'm half convinced Thor 3 will see Asgardians in more cosmic and less Earth-centric adventures. We'll see.
But what do you think? Does this sound likely? Does it make you hope for a sequel before you've seen the first one? Sound off in comments.