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When audiences catch up with Mark Ruffalo's Hulk in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok, the big green monster is living in the lap of luxury. Although stranded on a strange alien planet, he's a beloved champion in the gladiator arena; lives in a beautiful, expansive suite; and has all his wants fully satiated all day, every day. He even has a pretty cool skull bed (seen above) that he sleeps in every night. What you probably don't know about this particular piece of furniture, however, is that it's made from the head of the monster that Hulk killed to become the Champion of Sakaar. Ruffalo recently told me,
We had to basically figure out what happened, how he got there. He was captured like Thor was -- that's how he knows Valkyrie, and she becomes his coach along the way. He becomes the champion, they love him. He ends up beating the beast that the bed was made out of. That's the previous champion! He tore him in half, and made him his headboard. You do all that.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Ruffalo during the Thor: Ragnarok press day in Los Angeles earlier this month, and one of my first questions was regarding the timeline gap for Hulk that exists between the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the new Thor sequel. While it's briefly touched upon in the new blockbuster how Hulk wound up on Sakaar, I asked about the level of detail that was available to the actor when he was building his performance. It turns out there was quite a bit, including a full backstory for the giant skull with blankets that Hulk sleeps on at night.
When it comes to Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, the audience isn't given any flashbacks to explain how he got to where he is, but hearing this story kind of makes me wish there were. If you haven't figured it out just yet, the previous champion was so ridiculously huge that Hulk -- who is massive in his own right -- is able to sleep in the creature's mandible. That must have been one hell of a battle, and while we've seen Hulk take on ridiculously big aliens before (namely during the Battle of New York in The Avengers), seeing this one would have been a nice bonus.
Frankly, it's a reminder of the disappointing fact that Marvel Studios doesn't make One Shot short films anymore. Sure, making a One Shot with the Hulk probably would have been way too expensive, given the performance capture/CGI budget it would have required, but this is certainly a full story that audiences would love to see, and it's understandable that it couldn't fit into the runtime of Thor: Ragnarok. Since we're not exactly holding out hope to see it in The Avengers: Infinity War or The Avengers 4, maybe Marvel will at least publish a comic about it someday.
Here's Mark Ruffalo, from a portion of our chat:
Thor: Ragnarok will be arriving in theaters on November 3rd, and tickets are now available for pre-order. Be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend in the coming weeks, as I'll not only have more from my interview with Mark Ruffalo, but also the other stars and filmmakers behind the new Marvel blockbuster.