Earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel unveiled props from Thor: Ragnarok in the form of “gladiator Hulk armor” pieces, confirming that a portion of the storyline would be an infusion of Planet Hulk. Now, director Taika Waititi has revealed another major piece from the well-known comic book storyline.
Sakaar was just an insane, far-off, futuristic place which was the biggest shift for the film and these characters…I was really excited when Kevin [Feige] and the rest of Marvel jumped on board with the idea to use [Jack] Kirby as a big influence in the design of the film. What’s really hard is staying authentic.
In Planet Hulk, Bruce Banner’s alter-ego found himself on Sakaar when it was ruled by a corrupt empire led by the Red King, whose forces subsequently captured Hulk and made him into a gladiator in the Imperial Arena. S.H.I.E.L.D. had planned to shoot Hulk off into space to a lush, uninhabited planet, but his ship got sucked into a wormhole, leading him instead to Sakaar. Perhaps the same will befall Mark Ruffalo’s Banner. The magazine notes that Sakaar will be where Thor reunites with Hulk, who has “made a name for himself as a gladiator.”
Among the film’s cast, Thor: Ragnarok features Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, which seems like a good replacement for the Red King in this scenario. Cate Blanchett (Hela), Karl Urban (Skurge), and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) join returning players Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), and Idris Elba (Heimdall).
Much like the mid-credits scene from Ant-Man was lifted from Captain America: Civil War, it seems like the same was done for Doctor Strange, which suggests Benedict Cumberbatch will appear as the Sorcerer Supreme in Ragnarok.
The film is scheduled for release on November 3, 2017.