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Hulk's Louis Leterrier Explains the Trailer

by
March 14, 2008
Source: Empire

The Incredible Hulk

By now most of have seen the debut trailer for Ed Norton's upcoming The Incredible Hulk. And I bet everyone's drawn a conclusion or two from what they've seen; at least judging from the 70+ comments we received in our initial post original post on Wednesday. But before you get too far down an opinionated path, take a moment to hear what the film's director, Louis Leterrier, has to say about various parts of the first trailer. Empire has great walkthrough of 11 different parts of the clip with commentary from Leterrier.

Here are some of the better points to take away:

1 - Similar to Ang Lee's 2003 film, The Incredible Hulk is primarily about Bruce Banner's struggle.
Not that this is surprising, per se, since that's the classic superhero dilemma. "Bruce's struggle is the whole story of our movie. That guy doesn't want that superpower. It's like Spider-Man: My power, my curse. He really doesn't want that; it's too big for him." But unlike Lee's version, there isn't a lot of preface to Banner's condition and current place in life. Banner sees a therapist, Leonard Samson (Ty Burrell), and partakes in yoga and meditation to "keep the monster inside him."

2 - Hulk is not shy - he appears in the first three minutes of the movie.
As I mentioned, there is no build up to the story. "We're not treating it as an origin movie…he's the Hulk already." This is so refreshing, really. No waiting around and superfluous explanations and scenes. We want to see the Hulk in action. And at this rate, we only have to wait a mere 180 seconds. Fantastic!

3 - Hulk and Abomination fight for a full 26 minutes!
"This sequence is toward the end of the movie. But our final scene, our final battle, unlike a normal movie where the final fight scene is six minutes long, ours is 26 minutes long! So you get 26 minutes of two monsters pummeling each other through New York City, jumping up and down, ripping helicopters from the sky and stuff. You know, lots of green blood on the street, splashed all around." If Hulk's immediate reveal is viewers having their cake, this grand battle is us eating it, too.

4 - Abomination is green like the Hulk.
For those of us not completely in the know, Abomination is actually green in appearance like the Hulk. That's hard to imagine given what you see in the trailer; he appears more like a decomposed white color. "Since there are lots of layers of skin and he's kind of transparent, he reflects whatever's around him. Since both he and Hulk are gamma monsters, they both have to be gamma green. He's brand-new, he's a new monster, so he's unstable and not perfectly green, but he's still very green."

5 - Tim Roth, who plays Emil Blonsky and eventually Abomination, was Leterrier's favorite pick as Norton's archenemy.
"When I met Tim I was like, God! He was so good and had so much energy that I said, Blonsky must be Tim Roth. I had to push Marvel, Edward, everybody was hesitant to get Tim, but he really added a new dimension to the character." Personally, I've liked Roth for a long time and think it's great he's playing opposite Norton, who is also on my list of faves.

6 - The trailer took so long to come out.
With only three months until its release, Norton's Hulk has been surrounded by speculation given the sheer lack of noise surrounding the film. It's safe to say that this trailer was received with hungry appetites. "No shots are finished yet. That's why we took so long to release the teaser, because unlike the other movies coming out this summer, our main character relies on so much calculation and technique. None of the shots in this trailer are finished shots, but I think it's decent enough and it shows the audience what we're going for."

For the full article and the walkthrough of 11 different scenes from the trailer, head on over to Empire.

This last point is an important one since there seems to be a strong focus on the visual rendering of the Hulk. Obviously, this makes sense since the Hulk's true scale can only truly be rendered through artificial assistance. Lee's version was widely criticized for what a lot of people regarded as sub-par CGI. There's been similar reaction to Norton's version so far, though certainly not as extensive. But keep in mind Leterrier's statement that things aren't finished yet.

Personally, I'm not as sensitive to the visuals as some might be. I think Ang Lee's Hulk was pretty decent. And I think Norton's is going to be better. What I'm looking forward to more in this version is Norton, himself. As Leterrier states, the primary story is Banner's struggle. I think Norton is pretty good at the whole stressed-out/running/fighting/serious-stares kind of deal. I have total confidence that we'll get a better rendering of the Hulk. Where there's more chance, I think, is the rest of the story shaping up. And I think Norton can do that.

Judging from what we've seen, what we've learned, and where we are in the process, I think Norton's version has the potential to be… incredible. (I couldn't help myself!)

Has Louis Leterrier settled your fears or is The Incredible Hulk still looking like a big summer letdown?

The Incredible Hulk

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  • Djoser
    "Some" of the better points? Is it illegal for you guys to post a link to the actual interview? I think it kind of stands for itself, especially considering the photo accompaniment for each point. But yeah, as one of the first posters, I'll say to all the Nay Sayers: "Told you so."
  • Michael
    I've read Ed Norton's draft of the script. And it's awesome - everything that everyone wanted a Hulk movie to be. So quit your whining.
  • Well...there actually is the link to the Empire piece. I thought these were some of the more interesting tid-bits and potentially a better way for folks to to absorb the info. Plus it gives us at FS.net a chance to comment on particular material. Hard to do in abstraction (i.e., if we don't bring the material over & alongside our input).
  • Djoser
    Nevermind. There's the link. I don't see why Abomination being 'green' or not is an important point (?) I do think it's funny that "Gamma Green" has become a part of the lexicon now, though. hehehe Picture how different Ang Lee's version would've been, if Ed Norton or someone else were playing Banner. Maybe the problem all along wasn't Ang Lee, but what's-his-name... The way-too-beefy to play Bruce guy, who kinda talked & whined like Corey Feldman... Eric Banana, or something.
  • Djoser
    My bad, Kevin. You're doing a fine job! Just keep the Hulk-hype movin'! We need this movie to do well, so we get more of them in the future, like Norton's planning...
  • Michael
    Djoser, No, the problem was Ang Lee. If Ed Norton had been cast, it'd have sucked just as much. Ang Lee's problem was that he used the action to try and intensify the drama of the father-and-son story. You're supposed to do the opposite - use the drama to intensify the action.
  • Icarus
    I'm not drooling over this like I am over Dark Knight and Iron man. Something in it just feels... off. Like the marketing or the director comments made for "February Superhero Movies." I can't explain why, but this film just "smells" like Ghost Rider or Daredevil to me. Not to say I won't be entertained, because I don't think that will be a problem. But I just don't feel like we have another great Superhero movie on our hands.
  • Brandon
    It's garbage, people. It was garbage the first time, and now it's garbage again. It's far too difficult to make the Hulk look real enough for me to buy into it. Sadly, Fantastic Four is more entertaining than this...
  • So far, this feels just as lackluster as the recent HULK. The dialogue is pretty bad just in the trailer alone. So this kind of scares me. It just feels like a one-dimensional film, Ed Norton or not.
  • It's interesting that folks have such strong opinions on the movie. Is part of this attributable to 'Batman Begins'? The film certainly set the bar of what a real comic book adaption should be. I don't know that Norton's take is going to be on par with that, per se, but I do think it'll be enjoyable and a good addition to the franchise. Keep in mind, too, Norton (apparently) has purposefully set this up for a sequel or two. I CERTAINLY think this will be better than the likes of 'Ghost Rider' or 'Daredevil'. Ugh...can you imagine?
  • Djoser
    Re: Icarus- If you're expectin the Hulk to do a slo-motion fly by in front of the American Flag, yeah, I'd be willing to say that we don't have the Big Summer Blockbuster Extravaganza you're talking about. But that's never been what the Hulk's about. I think there's a strain out there of people who know the Hulk's face and name, and who will be eager to line up to the theatres out of sheer curiosity, w/ their families & friends in tow - and I think this time around they are not going to be disappointed in the least. Re: Michael- I'm realizing a pattern on blogs & posts. The vast majority of posters display little knowledge of film-making, and are simply eager to see their 'Comic/Game/Cartoon' instantly turned into a good movie, so everyone else will get why they're so enthused about it. Having taken several film courses, and done some theatrical directing & acting- one thing has become clear: the Majority of Viewers simply don't know how much a talented Actor or Director contribute to an enjoyable Film. Film you have to sit through. So all the responsibility of enjoyment falls on the creators, to get it across in one sitting, with little to no interactivity from the audience. What I've seen over and over, is that impressive concept design, effects, buzz, viral campaigns- etc.- is that, in the end, NONE of these things make that substantial a difference to making a satisfying movie experience, unless you have a tight Actor/Director combo. People will complain about the effects being bad- because the Acting (or directing) is actually what was bad. In other words, if you liked Batman but your girlfriend, aunt or grandparent knew not one iota about the character, up-to-date effects won't do a single thing to convince them you know what you're talking about. Also, your point about drama to intensify action vs. action to intensify drama is actually backwards- because any Action flick Fan can smell "forced drama" from a mile away. Superman Returns suffered from this- b/c the romantic interest btw/ Brandon Routh and that blonde girl from 'Blue Crush' was, quite simply- not there. (As a result, insufficient Action is what gets the blame). "Action" is the icing on the ages old craft of Story-telling, which still, to this day, is grounded in the basics of talented Actors, who work with directors who can coordinate all the supporting performances to tell a Believable Story (note: I didn't say 'realistic'). Dark Knight represents one of the most startlingly talented casts, coupled with an amazingly talented craftsman at its helm. Mark my words- their franchise is completely re-writing the way studios will see 'Comic to Film' adaptation from here on. But that's another story... Nonetheless- I'm convinced that Ed Norton is bringing 2/3rds of the full commitment to portraying the Hulk as he read, wrote, and understood it to the screen. The other 3rd is Louis Letterier. And this interview provides several of the missing pieces to illustrate that he's a good match for Norton, in his commitment to the job. The effects, as they're refined over the next 3 months, will simply be the icing on that cake.
  • Michael
    Djoer, I disagree with you about the action/drama thing, but: The reason Norton's brought so much more to the screen here is because he wrote the script. It's not just his performance, it's his story. The vast majority of the time, this is not the case. So while an actor has an obligation to keep the audience tied to the story through his performance...sometimes the story just isn't any good. And that's what happened with the first Hulk. Hell, all you have to do is watch Lee's previous films to see he was the wrong person to direct it. The studio took a huge gamble by letting him, being he's a director historically known for sober character dramas. Hell, even the cast came out and said they were surprised he got it. In the end, the gamble didn't pay off.
  • I am truly more excited about this film than I was. Ed Norton is a great fit for this film and will do justice to the work because he truly understands it. His overall embracing of the concept is evident by his writing of the final draft of the screenplay. I am now looking forward to the three superhero films this summer in the following order: 1. Dark Knight 2. The Incredible Hulk 3. Iron Man I think one of the bigger downfalls of many films is that they push TOO much out in trailers on tv and the web and in truth over saturate the typical movie goer that when they see the film finally they are let down because so much of the film has already been shown. In my opinion we have seen more of Iron Man in theaters and on tv. I am sure that Iron Man is going to do well but I am a little worried that we may have actually seen many of the cool parts.
  • Alfredo
    I must say I'm a little more excited about this than when I first saw the trailer. I was sold at "Hulk appears 3 minutes into the movie" When I first saw Hulk's appearance I was a bit disappointed, but I'm glad they'll be working on these scenes up until th end. To Djoser, as much as a good actor/director has to do with the film, this movie's about special effects. Get that wrong and you kill the movie. Having taken no film courses or anything or the sort, but being part of the audience... to whom this is catered... I have to say the effects/cg will either kill or make this movie.
  • Curtis
    this makes the movie even more better and gets me more excited for it. Should be Incredible like Kevin said hahaha...
  • Sinner
    Djoser, I gotta say, you are a creepy guy. Is it possible to like Hulk TOO MUCH?! You are all over these posts & you are just plain frightening. Yeah, It looks good & I'm going to go see this as well but dude; BREEEATHE.
  • I have a feeling about this one and it is NOT a good one.
  • 3 - Hulk and Abomination fight for a full 26 minutes! That is the best 😉 26 minutes just fighting wow ... both monsters are fighting for 26 minutes !!!! ...that is a great job ... I am thinking how many CGI shots were in that 26 minutes ??? that will be really a new thing ...
  • Brough
    I watched them film a couple scenes while down in Toronto during one weekend. After seeing Zanzibar in the trailer, turns out it was the main fight sections. I have to say: 1. A lot of things blow up and catch fire 2. There are enough people running to make it look like Godzilla is on the way. Interesting little tidbit, the cam-cars they used for shooting scenes were all hybrids.
  • Djoser
    It's actually not possible to like the Hulk too much. He's just such a likable guy- the angrier he gets, the more likable he gets. What a teddy bear, that green-skinned goliath.
  • EDA
    Hulk-out in 3 min, 26 min fight scene and Iron Man makes at least a cameo. Am I dreaming?
  • Sinner
    I'm with you Djoser. I just like to bust balls & see what happens. I'm excited about this one too. Much respect to ya.
  • Djo
    Word. Hulk respect much, too. (couldn't resist.)
  • avoidz
    At least Leterrier admits the FX shots aren't finished yet. Not sure a 30-minute videogame fight makes a good movie, though...
  • Reverend
    I don't know what people are seeing in these trailers that they disagree with so much. The cgi looks about as good as I can imagine it to be, and they are still working on it. Norton is a great actor, and obviously invested in this story. It sound like he's made a great script. Leterrier sounds like his head is in the right place for this movie, and Tim Roth is great, especially when it comes to playing the bad guy. This looks like the same kind of re-imagining of a character we got with our new batman, which is exactly what I felt was needed. I'm psyched for this film, TDK (Heath Ledger's performance looks phenomenal-sadly the performance of a lifetime?), and Iron Man (Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, c'mon, people). This is the most exciting superhero summer I've ever dreamed of. I don't know where all these weekend warrior critics are coming from.
  • Pohang
    Lee's Hulk was more awesome. This one is too sinewy, and ripped. The bigger, darker, more chunky Hulk in Lee's movie looked more impressive, and WAS more impressive because of moments where he seemed to brood and consider...like in the lab with his father before he exited through the ceiling. This made for a much more unpredictable, and therefore more interesting Hulk. Lee's Hulk was also bigger...remember the scene with the girl just after he fought the mad dogs?--he must have been 15 feet tall in that scene. This Hulk is just a dummy....he roars like an ape, and at one point throws a boulder into the sky because the lightening is upsetting him, and screams at the clouds. Pretty stupid. A disappointment. Abomination wasn't believable at all...sternum on the outside, looked like a cheap halloween costume to me.
  • Sean Ryan
    Hi I saw Hulk last week and i found the final battle between hulk and abomation is only 6 mins long! Where is 26 mins!? Is Marvel cut it out? I really need to know please
  • Sean Ryan
    I m very disappointed that final fight through New York between them is NOT on the cinema. Why? Louis said there will be 26 mins Hulk and Abomation fighting and HUlk destroys good part of New York. But nothing in cinema?! Is Marvel Studio cut it out right? Im deaf and i need to know please? Will the full 26 mins final battle on DVD?
  • Sean Ryan
    Hello? Nobody explains to me? Im sad now i have no answer from them.
  • Djo
    Sean Ryan- Louis Letterier later explained that the entire scene is 26 minutes long - from Hulk Out to the end, and the actual fighting is about 16 minutes. If you count: - the initial Leap at Each Other face-off, -the drunken hulk snapping out of it & making Police Car Boxing Gloves, -the Throwdown & Punch Out, the Building Scaling, -Helicopter Leaping and Aerial Takedown, then -the Abomination's Comeback and Strangling Hulk Against the Wall, all the way to the Hulk's knocking him out by wrapping the Chain & Betty stopping him. I think that adds up to about 15 minutes. Add Banner falling, the Hulk rising from the street in the beginning, and the Hulk coming face to face w/ Betty and leaping away into the city at night, and that must be the "26 minute sequence" Letterier was talking about. It's sometimes confusing to follow Letterier's statements, I know, but what did you think of the movie??? If FF1 was as bad as it was, and FF2 was that much better - just think how much better the next Hulk movie can be!!! W/ the Leader nonetheless!!! This is an old post, so I don't expect anyone will reply anytime soon. Thanks for posting- we'll all wait w/ baited breath for the DVD, that includes some 70 minutes of cut footage - including action, Banner's character development, and that missing reel from the Arctic in it. Let's hope Letterier wasn't lying about Captain America being in there - but if he's not, then I am SO Psyched!!!
  • Sean Ryan
    Thanks for explaining to me. Yeah im confuse Leterrier's statements. I read film magazine called Empire and said ripped heliciptors apart and lot of green blood on the street. It must be cut some bits. I think Hulk 2 is worth to watch. I just need subtitles because some drama is slow. Know i mean? And I cant wait for 70 mins with some more action, Banner developement, Arctic and others for DVD. Is that true? Can you tell me about more 70 mins please? Thanks
  • Sean Ryan
    Wait a minute i read film magazine called Empire said HUlk V Abomantion fight each other, jumping and down the buildings, a lot of green blood on the street, ripped the helipoters aparts are missing in cinema. That means they cut it big.
  • Sean Ryan
    Im not happy that Hulk in Hulk 2 almost dont speak and final battle are NOT long enough.
  • Sean Ryan
    70 mins will be in DVD/BLU-RAY. More action and more action right? Please answer me. Thanks
  • Sean Ryan
    I mean more drama and more action right?
  • Sean Ryan
    Im waiting for an answer
  • Djoz
    Letterier said in an interview online that he cut action, he cut plenty of Banner character development (including, obviously, the sit down chat w/ Doc Samson), and he cut exposition. It sounds to me like the 'Norton Cut' of the film was considerably more dramatic and even Epic. I'm anticipating that 70 mins. might be more like an hour of worthwhile footage, & anything even approaching that amount makes for a considerably larger scale movie. Marvel was clearly flexing its muscles by going against Norton for their final cut, so I think they wise up and make SURE that the whole world sees the DVD as an 'extended cut'. Letterier has also been quoted as saying the Theatrical release is the 'Final Cut'. That there will be no Director's cut - which, though honorable, leads me to believe that the DvD and Blue Ray will end up having all that footage in SEPARATELY as opposed to being edited into one, final extended cut. Overall, I'm glad that people were overall so surprised by what a great film this turned out to be. I'm can't imagine that some 20 mins of character development, plus another God knows how much action would make for a bad film. Unless w/ the final CGI inserted they decided it's pacing was uneven or some kind of editing/clarity reason like that. Still, I SINCERELY hope that they include that extra 70 minutes not only on the Blu Ray, but on the DVD as well. God knows I ain't buyin' a whole new system, not even for Ole Jade Jaws!!!
  • Sean Ryan
    Ok but Louis should not cut action because its make sure to erase this horrible hulk 1. Plus make sure much more action than hulk 1 but sADLY they failed to erase it because the final battle is so short. It remind me from hulk 1 brief final battle only few mins longer. Not good enough. Louis should have keep 26 mins final battle. The fans expect that.
  • Sean Ryan
    i mean they failed to help me to erase hulk 1
  • Sean Ryan
    i want to talk to you about blu ray special features offer ok.
  • Sean Ryan
    Dear sir .Where is much longer Hulk v Abomination final battle on BLU RAY? Is it in delete scenes? Will Director cut happen for BLU RAY in future? Please answer please.
  • Sean Ryan
    Dear sir are you going to answer me? Im waiting for your answer please

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