- Hulk’s fate in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was altered due to rumors about a standalone movie.
- Rumors spread that a film adaptation of the “Planet Hulk” comic book storyline was in the works.
- Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that adapting “Planet Hulk” was never a consideration.
“We went so far as to change the ‘Age of Ultron’ script because of [the internet rumors],” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in a new behind-the-scenes book called “The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.
The storyline involved the green superhero ending up in space, on a planet known as Sakaar, and becoming a gladiator.
The publication reported that the second “Avengers” film, directed by Joss Whedon and released in theaters in May 2015, would lay the groundwork for the aforementioned movie.
Feige himself tried to dispel the rumor at the time, telling MTV that he thought “Planet Hulk” is “a cool story,” but an adaptation could get bogged down by “dense” mythology.
Then in 2014, Ruffalo expressed skepticism, telling MTV News: “I don’t think [‘Planet Hulk’] is the way to go yet. I think you need more Banner. The whole thing is just him as Hulk, on a planet, fighting other gladiators.”
Near the conclusion of “Ultron,” Hulk entered space via a Quinjet. With the aircraft’s stealth mode activated, his whereabouts were unknown and untraceable to the Avengers.
“One of our tech boys flagged this,” Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) told Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), showing her a tablet. “Splashed down in the Banda Sea. Could be the Quinjet. But with Stark’s stealth tech, we still can’t track the damn thing.”
“Probably jumped out and swam to Fiji,” Fury added. “He’ll send a postcard.”
In “The Story of Marvel Studios,” Feige said that the moment didn’t originally play out that way. He shared similar comments during a 2017 interview with TheWrap.
“One of Joss’ early drafts had Hulk, in a Quinjet, heading out of the atmosphere,” Feige recalled in the book. “At the end, Nick Fury is talking to Widow. She asks, ‘Any sign of him?’ And he says, ‘We lost his signal when it went past Saturn.'”
Feige continued: “So when Joss delivered those pages that had him going into space, I went, ‘Joss, we can’t do this. People are gonna think we’re doing ‘Planet Hulk.’ Just say he got lost and you can’t find him past the Fiji Islands or something.'”
Aside from adjusting the script, Feige said that there were visual modifications as well.
“Even in visual effects, where Hulk looks up [in the Quinjet], there were times where it started to look like stars and we went, ‘No, put blue sky in there,'” he said.
The producer also said that adapting “Planet Hulk” wasn’t an idea that came up “because, as cool as we thought the comic was, Bruce Banner is not a part of ‘Planet Hulk.'”
Even though “Planet Hulk” didn’t lead to a standalone film, aspects of the storyline were incorporated in 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” which featured Hulk and Thor fighting in a gladiator duel on Sakaar.