Thursday, April 15, 2021

RW414 - MCU Rewatch - Incredible Hulk


In this episode of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Rewatch, Cory and Nathan hold back their anger and discuss "The Incredible Hulk."


Our Favourite Trivia:

After the release of Ang Lee's Hulk, screenwriter James Schamus was planning a sequel which would continue the story featuring the Grey Hulk. He was also considering the Leader and the Abomination as villains. Marvel wanted the Abomination because he would be an actual threat to the Hulk, unlike General Ross. During the filming of Hulk, producer Avi Arad had a target May 2005 theatrical release date. On January 18, 2006 Arad confirmed Marvel Studios would be providing the money for The Incredible Hulk's production budget, with Universal distributing, because Universal did not meet the deadline for filming a sequel. Marvel felt it would be better to deviate from Ang Lee's style to continue the franchise, arguing his film was like a parallel universe one-shot comic book, and their next film needed to be, in Kevin Feige's words, "really starting the Marvel Hulk franchise". Producer Gale Anne Hurd also felt the film had to meet what "everyone expects to see from having read the comics and seen the TV series"

Shortly after the release of The Incredible Hulk, Gale Anne Hurd commented on the uncertainty of its relationship with Ang Lee's Hulk film. "We couldn't quite figure out how to term this ... It's kind of a reboot and it's kind of sequel." Hurd said that "requel", a portmanteau of "reboot" and "sequel", was a "perfect" description for the film. Norton explained his decision to ignore Lee's origin story: "I don't even like the phrase 'origin story', and I don't think in great literature and great films that explaining the roots of the story doesn't mean it comes in the beginning."

Norton and Leterrier argued with the producers over the final running time: they wanted it to be near 135 minutes, while the producers wanted the film to be under two hours. This was made public, and rumors spread that Norton "made it clear he won't cooperate with publicity plans if he's not happy with the final product". Norton dismissed this: "Our healthy process [of collaboration], which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute', seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them."

Lou Ferrigno provides vocal performance as the Hulk. During the 2008 New York Comic Con Leterrier publicly offered Ferrigno the chance to voice the Hulk for the film. This marks the third time Ferrigno portrayed the Hulk, having also voiced the character in the 1996 animated series. Originally, the Hulk's only line was "Betty" at the film's ending, which would have been his first word. Leterrier was aware that fans wanted him to speak normally, and added "Leave me alone!" and "Hulk smash!" The latter line received cheers during a screening he attended. Ferrigno also has a cameo in the film as a security guard who is bribed by Banner with a pizza.

Louis Leterrier wanted Mark Ruffalo for the role of Bruce Banner, but Marvel insisted on Edward Norton. Ruffalo would go on to replace Norton as Banner in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Captain America: Civil War (2016) is the first reappearance of William Hurt as General Thaddeus Ross since this film, an eight-year absence for his character. The Russo brothers, directing that film, wanted to incorporate Ross, as they felt that character had been forgotten a bit since this film.

The only film in Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One not to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, as Universal has had the rights to "The Incredible Hulk" since the television series, The Incredible Hulk (1977).

At 1hr 52min, this is the shortest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This is the only Marvel film in which the post-credits scene is actually the last scene before the credits roll.

Denise Cronenberg designed the costumes for this film, as well as for her brother David Cronenberg's previous film The Fly (1986). Jeff Goldblum was considered for the role of Bruce Banner, and later appeared opposite Banner/Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok (2017).

Stan Lee: (at around 13 mins) the comic writer who co-created The Incredible Hulk in 1962 is the man who drinks the soft drink contaminated with Bruce Banner's blood.

Martin Starr has a brief appearance in the film as the Computer Nerd. Nine years later, Starr appears as a teacher in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). One theory in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that Starr's character in this film is the younger version of his character in the latter film working on his degree. This was later confirmed by Kevin Feige who produced both films as well as the rest of the MCU.

What's Up Next?

Next episode, we discuss "Iron Man 2."

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