We’ve known for a while that Bruce Banner is a key part of “Thor: Ragnarok,” the third film in the Marvel Studios franchise, which borrows elements from the popular “Planet Hulk” comic book storyline by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan.
When an encounter between Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god and Cate Blanchett’s Hela ends with Thor sent to Sakaar, a barbarian planet ruled over by one of the Elders of the Universe, Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), he encounters a Hulk who’s not only that world’s most successful gladiator but also very different from the teammate he last saw in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
“He’s much more of a character than the green rage machine you’ve seen in the Avengers movies,” Mark Ruffalo told Entertainment Weekly. “He’s got a swagger. He’s like a god.”
That’s certainly a departure from the previous depictions of the Banner/Hulk dynamic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Earlier films have seen Ruffalo’s mild-mannered scientist at odds with his chaotic, barely contained alter ego. Perhaps a coliseum filled with the applause of bloodthirsty aliens has gone to his head.
Directed by Taika Waititi from screenplay by Eric Pearson, “Thor: Ragnarok” also stars Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban. The film opens Nov. 3.
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