We previously reported a rumor that Mark Ruffalo and Hulk would be coming to Thor: Ragnarok, the third solo film in the Thor franchise, and now it looks like it's nearing reality. A report from the Hollywood trade site Deadline says Ruffalo and Marvel Studios are "near a deal" and "it's indeed happening."
It's an interesting development as the Marvel Studios roster continues to grow, leaving less space in the release schedule for solo films. The next Captain America film, Civil War, heavily centers on Cap and Iron Man, with appearances and major supporting roles from most of the other Avengers characters who have appeared so far. Likewise, it seems, the next Thor will include Hulk, plus the regular Asgardian cast of supporting characters. The title, "Thor: Ragnarok" is based on the Norse apocalypse myth.
How exactly would Hulk, a very human monster fit into that story? Hopefully it's not just as a mind-controlled character again. In the comics, Hulk and Thor have clashed many times before, even having an animated movie called "Hulk vs. Thor" made (which featured a mind-controlled Hulk rampaging through Asgard). Hulk has also gone to space in a fan-favorite story called "Planet Hulk," where he took over a planet of gladiators where the strongest rules - and Hulk is strongest there is.
Ultimately, a combined film instead of another solo bout for the Asgardian God of Thunder should do one thing: make it make more money. Thor and Thor: The Dark World are 9th and 8th, respectively, on the all-time list for Marvel Cinematic Movies domestic (9th and 6th worldwide), and the presence of Ruffalo's Hulk can only help that for number three. The pair last appeared in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, wherein Hulk was mind-controlled and fought Iron Man.