Back in May, before production even began on Thor: Ragnarok, a rumor surfaced that claimed the movie would definitely contain certain elements of the popular comic book Planet Hulk, which many had speculated about following the confirmation of Mark Ruffalo's Hulk in the cast. Since then, we've seen Hulk's gladiator armor, while director Taika Waititi confirmed in a set video that the Miek character from the Planet Hulk comics will be featured in this story. Today we have confirmation that the planet of Sakaar from the Planet Hulk comics will also be featured in this big screen adventure.
A Twitter user named Tom The Next Level posted images from Total Film's print issue story on Thor: Ragnarok, where Taika Waititi revealed that Sakaar is in fact where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reunites with his fellow Avenger Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). When they reunite, Hulk has "made a name for himself as a gladiator," according to this Total Film article, which certainly mirrors the iconic Planet Hulk comic book. Here's what director Taika Waititi had to say in a brief statement, which confirms the planet Sarkaar in Thor: Ragnarok, while teasing the notion of using Jack Kirby's work to influence the design of the film.
"Sakaar was just an insane, far-off, furutistic place which was the biggest shift for the film and these characters. I was really excited when Kevin and the rest of Marvel jumped on board with the idea to use Kirby as a big influence in the design of the film. What's really hard is staying authentic."
In the Planet Hulk comics, Sakaar was located next to a wormhole, which resulted in the planet becoming home to refugees from other dimensions. The planet also played host to gladiator games, which pits aliens against each other. After Mark Ruffalo was confirmed to return as Hulk, it was widely reported that the story will feature a "cosmic road trip" between Hulk and Thor, after Thor is banished from Asgard by the new villain Hela (Cate Blanchett), who teams up with Thor's nefarious brother Loki. Thor winds up on a "gladiator planet," which is now confirmed to be Sakaar, where he is forced to face the planet's current champion, Hulk.
It has also been confirmed that most of the story will take place in the cosmos, away from Earth, and that Earth-bound characters such as Natalie Portman's Jane Foster and Stellan Skarsgard's Erik Selvig are not returning for this story. There are several new cast members coming aboard for this adventure, though, such as Jeff Goldblum's The Grandmaster, Karl Urban's Skurge, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett's Hela. They will be joined by returning characters Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Tom Hiddleston's Loki, Idris Elba's Heimdall and Anthony Hopkins' Odin. Marvel has set a November 3, 2017 release date for Thor: Ragnarok. Take a look at this tweet below featuring the Total Film article on Thor: Ragnarok.