This just in: a rumor is still just a rumor.
As you may recall, right after the Super Bowl Latino Review chimed in with a big, potentially SPOILER-tastic scoop about the ending of The Avengers 2, the build-up to The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 3 itself. Don't read any further if you don't want to know what that is. Hulk will smash.
And indeed, Hulk has just smashed that rumor, which claimed that Marvel Studio's "Phase Three" would follow the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk comic book storylines, which found the jade giant stranded in deep space, conquering an entire planet, and then returning to Earth to exact revenge on the heroes who betrayed him in The Avengers 3.
Ain't It Cool has heard from their sources, which remain just as nameless as Latino Review's, that Marvel Studios is not planning a Planet Hulk storyline after The Avengers 2 comes out. Their argument is that Mark Ruffalo was such an integral part of The Hulk's popularity in The Avengers, that a storyline featuring the Hulk without Banner – as indeed, both Planet Hulk and World War Hulk basically do – isn't even a being considered.
A couple of things with this.
Firstly, yes, this could be someone internally at Marvel working on "Damage Control," and no, not a Damage Control movie (although that would be awesome.) It's still possible that Planet Hulk and/or World War Hulk could see the light of day in theaters after The Avengers 2. As for wanting more Ruffalo on screen, we don't see how the hell that's a problem. The story would have to be adapted for the screening, and coming up with something for Bruce Banner to do on a hostile alien world on which only the Hulk can thrive could only make for more humor and drama.
Secondly, yes, it could be that El Mayimbe was wrong. Or at least that he's wrong now, because the spoilers leaked so impossibly early that Marvel has plenty of time to switch up their plans and keep their audiences surprised. In any case, the original spoiler alert was never anything more than a rumor to begin with, at least until Marvel officially commented on it (which it is not going to do, particularly about a project that's at least five or six movies away). So now we have a rumor that the rumor was just a rumor and we're calling it "news."
This is the state of online entertainment journalism today, and at times like this, it sure seems like a silly one.
In any case, if Planet Hulk ends up happening, one site can say they were right all along, and if it doesn't, the other site can say they were right all along. Audiences won't care – or at least they shouldn't – so long as the movies Marvel Studios puts out are actually good. Which they mostly have been so far, so the odds seem to be in our favor. For now.
William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel, co-host of The B-Movies Podcast, co-star of The Trailer Hitch, and the writer of The Test of Time. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.