Thor: Ragnarok begins a trilogy for the Hulk

Since Marvel Studios can't give the Hulk his own solo movies, they're giving him the next best thing.

Copyright issues prevent the studio from releasing any film in which the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, is the title character. But Ruffalo recently told CinemaBlend that Thor: Ragnarok will be the start of a three-movie arc for his volatile yet lovable character.

"So basically, Kevin [Feige] pulled me aside before this, and said, 'If you were gonna do a… if we were going to do a standalone Hulk movie, what would it be?' And I said, 'I think it should be this, this, this, and this and this, and ends up like this.' And he's like, 'I love that. Why don't we do that in the next three movies, starting with Thor 3 and then we go into Avengers 3 and 4.' And I was like, 'That sounds great!' And so we are at the beginning of this arc."

In Ragnarok, Thor encounters his work buddy on the planet Sakaar, where they're both forced into gladiatorial battles run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). But, as we know from the trailers, they'll manage to get their freedom and team up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to take on goddess of death Hela (Cate Blanchett). 

Although it's not yet clear what exactly is going on with Hulk, we do know that he'll start to speak a little more than he has in the past. Ruffalo said that's a part of this new arc. "Hulk speaking is the start to separating of these two individuals, these identities in this split-identity person, and where that's going to end up going," he explained. "So it was really interesting to me. He's like a baby! He's like a 5 year-old or 6 year-old. So he has the same syntax, he has the same world view, and so it was fun. It's like Chris [Hemsworth], we all got to reinvent our characters in this."

All of this means that Hulk will definitely do more than just smash in next year's Avengers: Infinity War and 2019's Avengers 4. But it all begins with Thor: Ragnarok, which hits theaters Nov. 3.