Sunday Discussion: What's Up With The Incredible Hulk?
by Alex Billington
February 10, 2008
The reason why I chose to talk about The Incredible Hulk today as the Sunday Discussion is because it satisfies two big thoughts that arose this week: my rekindled fascination with comic books and all you comic geeks out there, and my excitement for the upcoming summer movie season. This summer we'll some incredible comic book movies: Iron Man, Wanted, Hellboy II, and The Dark Knight. But what about The Incredible Hulk? Universal Pictures is still planning to release it on June 13th, but there has not been a single second of footage revealed or hardly any photos - just two promo stills released in December and some other leaked images. What's up with this movie?
Part of the problem lies in the possibility that most of the general movie-going public is still either a) unaware, or b) not happy about the fact that they're remaking a Hulk movie again after a fairly successful Hulk movie from 2003. The Hulk, as it was titled, was directed by Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution's Ang Lee, a director who I don't think really understood the concept of a comic book movie. I'm not alone in my passionate dislike for that Hulk movie, as it only has a 5.8/10 on IMDb and 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. Whenever I mention the new Incredible Hulk, almost everyone I talk to says "but didn't they do one before?" So I think that the "sour taste" left over from that Hulk, even though it was five years ago, still remains and I think that's the first giant hurdle that Universal must clear before actually successfully promoting this new Hulk.
With that, I'm still very confused that there hasn't been a trailer or teaser or any sort of footage. Iron Man, Wanted, Hellboy II, and The Dark Knight all have great trailers out that really hype up the movie (check them all out here). I know I'm very excited for all those purely based on their very well made trailers and the footage contained within. The Incredible Hulk is the only major comic book movie that doesn't have a real trailer released, and I fear for the worst; both for the film's box office outcome, and for the actual quality of the film. However, at the same time, everything I've "seen" (which isn't much) and heard still has me excited. Last year's Comic-Con presentation where Ed Norton talked about taking over the screenplay and rewriting it because he is such a huge fan of Hulk himself, still has me hoping that this could be amazing. Or at least that this could be the real Hulk movie that we should've seen back in 2003.
For all I know, Universal could finally put out the trailer next week, we could have our footage, and come June 13th, The Incredible Hulk could be a smash hit (pun intended). There is one thing I know - the comic book geek world is definitely excited for the movies this summer. In a couple of weeks I'm heading to San Francisco for WonderCon, and I'm personally very excited to see the reactions from comic fans in regards to the upcoming summer, since this is the last big comic book convention before all five of the movies arrive sometime in May, June, or July. The spirit of comic books still needs to be held high and Marvel's reputation for comic book films really needs to be reestablished. With Spider-Man 3 and X-Men 3 in recent years, to many, Marvel isn't looking so great. However, as long as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk turn out great, they'll be back in action and better than ever.
I know I've heard previously from director Louis Leterrier that he promises more action and better fights on top of a better love story. Then again, that's the same thing we heard a couple of months before Spider-Man 3 came out last year. I really want The Incredible Hulk to be a fantastic movie and I really hope it does well, but I can't push a movie that doesn't even have a trailer or a poster out yet. Universal really needs to get on the ball if they want to turn this into a big summer blockbuster. Or if they have something special up their sleeves that will soon be revealed, then maybe this could be a surprise hit in the works.
The Incredible Hulk is directed by French filmmaker Louis Leterrier of The Transporter, Unleashed, and The Transporter 2. The script for the film was originally written by Zak Penn (Behind Enemy Lines, X-Men 2, X-Men 3), but after joining the film as the lead character Bruce Banner, Edward Norton himself took over the reigns and re-wrote the screenplay. The Incredible Hulk arrives in theaters on June 13th.