The Most Important Thing Thor: Ragnarok Borrows From Planet Hulk
Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok is not a direct adaptation of the comic storyline Planet Hulk, but it definitely borrows a number of elements. The planet Sakaar -- the setting of the bulk of the movie -- is taken straight from the arc, as is the idea of Hulk as a gladiator, and characters like Korg and Miek. Clearly it was a key source of inspiration for the filmmakers behind the blockbuster -- but screenwriter Eric Pearson recently told me that it was really the green monster's comfort level in Planet Hulk that was the most important adapted element. Said Pearson,
Similar to how Thor: Ragnarok showcases a different side of the titular God of Thunder, Hulk takes on a very different personality in the new blockbuster, and certainly a lot of that has to do with the alien environment in which he has been living for years. Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with Eric Pearson over the phone about his work on the film's script, and his response came after I asked him about the influence of Planet Hulk on his work.
Comfort for the Hulk is definitely a big thing in Thor: Ragnarok -- and part of that comes from the fact that he has a very different role in the movie than what we're used to seeing from him. Every previous time we've seen the character on the big screen the focus has always been on Bruce Banner and his struggle to keep the monster inside him contained. That isn't the case here, however. Instead, when we catch up with Hulk he has been out of his cage since the last act of Avengers: Age of Ultron, so he's had time to actually exist and develop a separate personality from his scientist alter ego. As far as the ratio of human and beast goes, his leads the latter to have a much larger role than any other previous feature.
Eric Pearson clearly had a lot of fun playing with Hulk in the Thor: Ragnarok screenplay, but he did drive home another point about the character's role in the movie during our Planet Hulk discussion. As great as it was to be able to utilize Marvel's angry green giant, he also had to always make sure that he didn't steal too much focus from the eponymous Asgardian. Pearson explained,
Both Thor and Hulk have been away from the big screen since the summer of 2015, but they return in a big way in just a few days. Thor: Ragnarok will be arriving in theaters in wide release on November 3rd, and you can pre-order your tickets for opening weekend here (opens in new tab).
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.