It looks like the report from JoBlow was true!
Variety and other trades are confirming previous reports that Mark Ruffalo‘s Bruce Banner/Hulk will have a major role in Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Along with further confirmation that Oscar nominee Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark, Boy, What We Do In The Shadows) will indeed direct the film.
Pairing Thor with Hulk would be taking a page from the classic Marvel Team-Up and Defenders comics, including the fan-favorite Avenger will only help build-up the anticipation for the film. I know a lot of people seemed confused by this inclusion, but they might not even be aware of the many occasions Hulk has been to Asgard, it’s actually canonical.
I think there’s a bit of a expectation that Ragnarok really needs to knock it out of the park, as the Thor films are the most poorly reviewed and attended of the MCU franchise. It needs the shot in the arm that Nick Fury and Black Widow added to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and in similar respects Tony Stark in Captan America: Civil War.
There is also word from Birth Movies Death that Avenger/Defender team member Valkyrie will be included in the film as well. It’ll be interesting to see who Marvel ends-up casting in that role, as it could possibly fill Thor’s spot in the future Avengers lineup.
Kevin Feige said last October that Hulk and Widow would be a key supporting character moving forward, and he wasn’t kidding.
I’m curious if Black Widow might take a similar role in something like Black Panther, which would make sense since it would involve politics, arms dealers, mercenaries, spies, and assassins.