You May Not Want to Know These Avengers 3 Spoilers…

The Avengers 2 isn't coming out until May 1, 2015, and before that we've got Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Guardians of the Galaxy to build it up. The Avengers 3 is so far off in the distance that Marvel Studios hasn't even officially scheduled it yet. And yet, this Super Bowl Sunday, a rumor hit the internet like wildfire, giving away a key plot point from the end of The Avengers 2 and the overall plot of The Avengers 3.

It's not quite the identity of Keyser Soze, but it could potentially screw up more than five years worth of upcoming plans from the studio if the rumor is true. We'll get to it in a second, giving you plenty of time to flee if you'd rather let Marvel tell the story the way they actually want to, without someone giving it away years in advance.

Frankly, spoilers are often a problem. There's a difference between releasing information that only excites an audience, and releasing information that genuinely screws with the plans of a filmmaker. While we haven't heard from Marvel Studios yet about this rumor, it certainly seems like the sort of thing they probably would have preferred you not know until May of 2015, at the earliest. They're going to spend 2 1/2 years building up The Avengers 2, so perhaps getting all psyched for a movie they're won't even start building towards until Summer of 2015 isn't the kind of mindset they want their audiences in right now. Even if you think the rumor is cool – and if true, it would indeed be very cool – getting pumped half a decade before you'll ever see the finished product could very likely diminish your enthusiasm by the time it finally comes to theaters. 

In any case, we're torn about whether this is the kind of news story the online community should be proud of breaking. It's ethically at least a little grey. But it's out there, everyone's talking about it, and we'd be remiss if we didn't at least discuss it. Now that we've got some black space between the beginning of the article and the POTENTIALLY MAJOR SPOILERS, we can finally trust that anyone who wants to remain spoiler-free has fled. Let's talk about…

Wait for it…

Planet Hulk.

Yes, according to Latino Review, the ending of The Avengers 2 will leave the Hulk stranded in space, setting him up for a triumphant return to Earth as its potential conqueror. The storyline was originally told from 2006-2007, written by Greg Pak, and was the direct result of Marvel's "Illuminati," comprised of influential superhero figures like Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange, Professor X and Iron Man, who decided that the Hulk was too dangerous to allow to stay on Earth, so they exiled him into deep space. The Hulk wound up on an alien planet as a slave gladiator. That would be the basic plot of Planet Hulk, the presumed title of the stand-alone Hulk movie that Marvel supposedly wants to be a part of its "Phase Three," which we already know will include Edgar Wright's Ant-Man and the recently confirmed Doctor Strange film.

But that's not all. If the rumor is to be believed, the Hulk would then return to Earth for The Avengers 3, an adaptation of the crossover event World War Hulk, in which the jade giant waged war on Earth's superheroes for betraying him. 

The Hulk was the big breakout character in last year's Avengers, so it makes sense that Marvel would put together something big to feature him in the future. The storyline is simple, allows for a great John Carter-ish standalone movie, followed by an even bigger conclusion to that saga. It's easy to get excited about it. But again, if true, does this information getting leaked screw with Marvel Studio's plans? Will they see the fan excitement and be encouraged, or ultimately get so discouraged by having their Phase Three ruined before Phase Two even begins that they'll take the enormous amount of lead time as an opportunity to change everything around just to be able to surprise us after all?

We'd love to be a fly on the wall at Marvel Studios tomorrow. We'll keep you posted if they make an official statement. Until then remember: this is a rumor, even if it is a cool one, so keep your salt-shakers handy.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel, the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and the co-star of The Trailer Hitch. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.