Sounds like Marvel plans to keep The Hulk busy for the next few years

There is a very short list of reporters online who consistently and correctly scoop information that is supposed to be secret.  I’m not talking about breaking a casting story because the studio sent you the press release ten minutes early, and I’m not talking about the shell game that gets played with information at the trades.  I’m talking about genuinely revealing something that someone else does not want revealed at all.  It is a skill set that very few outlets seem to value or cultivate.

Then you’ve got Latino Review and El Mayimbe, who evidently subsists entirely on a liquid diet of the tears from angry studio executives.  Mayimbe cracks me up because of how alpha male he gets about scoops.  When you’re hunting down information on movies about dudes in spandex beating all hell out of other dudes in spandex, it seems to be a particularly funny time to get aggro about what it is you’re doing.  And that’s what makes Mayimbe great.

It also helps that he’s got a pretty ridiculous track record.

Sometimes you end up with a direct pipeline into someone’s creative process, and it can drive them crazy.  There was a run of about three or four years where I think JJ Abrams was half-convinced I had a “Being John Malkovich” style portal into his actual skull.  Right now, Mayimbe is planted deep inside Marvel’s naughty spots, and he is giving them fits.  He’s been teasing a new Marvel scoop for weeks, and tonight, he revealed the story.  If it pans out the way he describes, then he may have just laid down the framework that the entire Marvel Phase Two and Phase Three films will be using.

Keep in mind, if this is all correct, then these are fairly sizable spoilers for several of the upcoming Marvel movies.  If you’re an avid reader of comic books, then many of the ideas here are already known to you, while the way they’re being utilized in the movie universe might be somewhat surprising.

Right now, the only Avenger who has not had further film adventures formally announced is The Hulk.  There was a brief period where it sounded like Guillermo Del Toro and David Eicke were going to spearhead a new TV version of the character, but Guillermo recently said that project has been completely dormant for over a year now.  Like the other key players in “The Avengers,” Mark Ruffalo signed a contract that gives Marvel options on him for a total of six films, and it sounds like they will be keeping him far more busy than I imagined.

According to Mayimbe, “The Avengers 2” will feature a legendarily-out-of-control Hulk rampage, and the decision will be made by several of the key characters in the Marvel universe that he is too dangerous to keep on Earth.  At the end of the film, he will be shot into outer space, permanently evicted from the planet.  This will lead to the Phase Three Hulk film, which will be based on the enormously popular Marvel comic event, “Planet Hulk.”

That’s exciting because once again, it seems like Marvel is willing to experiment on what a Marvel movie is.  There is a certain similarity to the shape of many of the Phase One films because you’re dealing with origin stories and simple heroic tales.  With Phase Two films, there’s more latitude to tell stories that expand the world or that explore the fall-out from “The Avengers” or that introduce new characters.

But if you’re talking about “Ant-Man” and “Doctor Strange” and “Planet Hulk” as the sorts of films we’re going to get with Phase Three, then I’m 100% aboard for that.  I am thrilled to hear that they’re going to get weirder.  And I have no doubt Marvel is deep into the planning stages for the Phase Three films.  The thing that makes Marvel Studios so unusual is that they are focused on this one thing, telling these stories, and they don’t have to think about anything else.  All of this is elaborately and carefully considered at this point.

Even more insane, Mayimbe hints that “The Avengers 3” could be built around the “World War Hulk” storyline that plays out once Hulk returns to Earth with the army that he has amassed during his time away.  That’s a really ambitious and unusual move for the third movie, and I’m curious to see if that’s the main storyline or just one of many threads that play out at the same time.

One thing’s for sure… this is a very risky move for the studio, considering the luck they’ve had with stand-alone Hulk films in the past.  There’s no doubt the audience embraced Ruffalo’s version of the character in a way they never have before, so it looks like they’ve got a foundation they can finally work from to tell some big crazy stories that previously seemed unlikely.

Of course, we can’t confirm any of this, and I’m guessing Marvel will start denying it vehemently in the morning, so you can file this under “possible” and not “confirmed.”  But consider the source, follow the logic, and it seems pretty likely we just got a big fat peek behind the curtain.

“The Avengers 2” will be in theaters May 1, 2015, and we’ll see where Hulk stands at the end of it, won’t we?