One of Marvel Comics’ most popular heroes after Spider-Man, the Hulk has a checkered history of success and failure as a movie icon. Most well-known for the long-running TV series in the mid 1970’s starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, the Hulk is a tragic Jekyll and Hyde story with a super-heroic twist in the might Marvel manner.
In two years we will have our third Hulk actor since 2003 when Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, Zodiac) takes up the mantle. There are rumors that a new Hulk solo movie may be in development, but given the lackluster success at the box office, should it be made?
In 2003- Hulk was released directed by Ang Lee and starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
I’m one of the ten people on the planet who enjoyed this film and am still working on an article defending the movie. An ambitious project, the Ang Lee film features less than impressive CGi that caused many fans to refer to the Hulk as Shrek and a storyline that builds on Banner’s relationship with his abusive father played brilliantly by Nick Nolte. Not enough action, too much brooding, mutant poodle fights and artsy sequences that exploded into multi-angle screens mimicking the panel lay-out of comic books alienated many fans who perhaps were expecting a Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno homage.
This movie was much more successful with fans as it had a more engaging and action-oriented plot, a monstrous villain and improved CGi. The movie is a bit of a mess due to the fact that Marvel Entertainment was formed during the filming and interfered with some of Norton and Leterrier’s ideas, resulting in huge swathes of footage being cut, likely never to be seen. Marvel insisted that the 2008 movie be divorced completely from the 2003 release, which created some confusion. Still, a better film than the first for most viewers yet it made about as much as the 2003 movie which Universal considered a financial failure.
The closing moments of the 2008 Hulk film hint at a sequel in which Banner would face off against the mutated genius Sterns who had become altered by gamma-radiation as his lab was damaged by the Hulk.
2012 will see the release of The Avengers. Mark Ruffalo has been cast as Bruce banner/the Hulk in this ensemble film bringing together the many threads from two Iron Man movies, the Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Edward Norton had been in talks with Marvel leading up to the casting announcement and was snubbed at the last minute. I’m not familiar with Ruffalo’s work, but he seems to understand that he has a lot to live up to.
Ruffalo was recently interviewed in Empire magazine (on the stands this week featuring a spiffy Thor cover) and seems to think that another outing for the Hulk is possible. He casually mentions two more Avengers flicks as well.
“They set up several pictures over a couple of years and possibly there will be a Hulk movie,” he says in an interview with Empire Online. Dishing further on the studio’s plans, Ruffalo adds, “There’ll probably be a couple more Avengers too, which would be fun.”
Ruffalo is chosen to take over the role of Bruce Banner aka The Hulk from Edward Norton who played the character in “The Incredible Hulk”. Sharing his feeling about this opportunity, he says, “The way I see it, Edward Norton has bequeathed this role to me. I reckon the part is my generation’s Hamlet, and there’s still some room for interpreting who The Hulk is.”
Ruffalo will probably start shooting “The Avengers” in February 2011 in Los Angeles. The movie itself, which assembles the superhero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, is scheduled to arrive in U.S. cinemas on May 4, 2012.
Before Ruffalo hints on a possible solo “Hulk” movie, there have been talks about standalone film for another Marvel’s character Black Widow, who is portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in “Iron Man 2” and upcoming “The Avengers”. “We’ve already started discussions with Scarlett about the idea of a solo movie and have begun putting together concepts,” Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told Superhero Hype in late September.
So the question stands. Is a third Hulk movie in development? If so, what should it be about?
There are plenty of loyal Daily P.O.P. visitors who are fans of the jade giant that I am sure have strong opinions on the matter, so let your opinions be heard!