Just outside of Brisbane, Australia, Thor: Ragnarok has wrapped filming, so says director Taika Waititi. In a behind the scenes video, he took fans on a tour of part of the set that included actors in costume, weapons, and what an industrial junk yard near a lake that he referred to as “sci-fi space wasteland.” Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson also makes appearances in the video, but act as Waititi’s comic relief instead of revealing any information about the film itself.
In Thor: Ragnarok, we know that Hulk and Thor will have their day in the arena. In an arc that is expected to come full circle, Thor is stripped of his power and sent away by (presumably) new villain Hela (Cate Blanchett), before he again earns the right to wield Mjölnir. If Thor: Ragnarok truly takes its lead from the Planet Hulk story line, is this Marvel’s way of circumventing the fact that Universal still owns the rights to the standalone Hulk franchise? Fans have enjoyed the the difficult yet humorous relationship between Thor and Hulk in their contact throughout The Avengers, and it looks like another friend of the Hulk is making his way to the big screen.
A throw away sentence nearly 11 minutes into the Facebook Live video introduces an actor named Steve who is playing a character Waitit refers to as Miek. It’s unknown whether the reveal was intentional or not, but Michael Bay made a similar (accidental?) non-announcement in his Facebook Live video of the last day of filming for Transformers: The Last Knight. The Miek we see in the video is wildly different from the character fans of the Planet Hulk comic are familiar with — for starters, Waititi’s Miek is human.
Rumors of whether or not Thor: Ragnarok would be following the Planet Hulk story line have been tossed around since the film itself was announced. In the comics, Hulk’s absence from Marvel’s Civil War was due to his (forced) exile by the Illuminati. After being sent away, he found himself on the planet Sakaar where he and Miek become allies as they continue to fight in gladiator style battles for Sakaar’s ruler, The Red King.
Miek is an insectoid, native to planet Sakaar, whose hive and family was destroyed by a local army. In the aftermath, he was captured and enslaved to do battle at The Red King’s behest. Eventually Hulk, Miek, and the rest of the Warbound escape Sakaar and head to Earth in order to help Hulk take down the people who sent him away.
But how will Thor fit in with Miek, the Warbound, and Hulk to (hopefully) escape the gladiator world? Is Miek being human just a nod to the comics instead of actually being the character fans are familiar with? We’ll have to wait and see.