At first, adapting Planet Hulk for another superhero's solo movie seemed like a bad idea, but Marvel found a way to make it work. Although some early reaction stopped short of calling Thor: Ragnarok a great movie, the consensus was that it ranks among the very best. Now, the film’s premiere has already taken place, and we’re getting new info about how the movie came to be.
During the Ragnarok press junket, Screen Rant asked Kevin Feige why Planet Hulk was included in the movie. Feige responded that the plan took shape after Civil War, when Chris Hemsworth asked which major Marvel players would appear in his final Thor movie (Thor was nowhere to be seen during the Civil War, since he was on his journey to learn more about the Infinity Stones):
Because when we were thinking about what other Marvel players to bring into Thor's story, which was important to us, it was important to Chris [Hemsworth], he had looked and seen Captain America get Black Widow and Iron Man, and all of these other players, and he goes, "Mate, who's coming into my movies?" But, in terms of other Marvel characters, we kept thinking about how fun it would be if we took our two most heroic, most powerful characters, Thor and Hulk. Pit them against each other, but also play up the fish-out-of-water humor between Thor and Banner. And that led us to, maybe that plane at the end of Ultron did go into space, and maybe this is a chance to see Gladiator Hulk.
Did Kevin Feige just say that the studio doesn't map out the universe’s stories in advance? That appears to be the case, which would indicate that the plan for the Hulk to be sent into space wasn't set when Joss Whedon made Avengers: Age of Ultron.
That’s quite an interesting reveal, given what we know about the MCU"¦
Feige also dropped the names of some important Thor comic book characters that the studio considered for Thor: Ragnarok:
And as we were thinking about that, number one, with Thor, more so than any of the other players, he's got an amazing cast of characters in his books. So certainly, one of your questions about Sif I'm jokingly pushing aside, but really, it was that we wanted to see Valkyrie in this movie. We wanted to introduce Hela in this movie, and there's Balder and there's Beta Ray Bill, and there's still people we haven't done yet, because he's got such a great cast of characters.
Hela ended up as the main antagonist. But Feige also mentioned Balder, Thor’s brother and the ruler of Hel, and Beta Ray Bill, another wielder of Mjolnir. An Easter-Egg featuring Beta Ray Bill has been spotted in the film’s trailers. You can see him below, with Ares and some other legends from Grandmaster's games:
It remains to be seen whether Thor: Ragnarok will hint at Balder when the movie’s released on November 3.