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.
Well Alex, they have showed the first trailer this week at the German Toy Fair, but we have yet to get it.
Stephen on Feb 10, 2008
I've been wondering about the lack of previews for The Incredible Hulk as well. Perhaps it has something to do with the rumored crossover between it and The Iron Man? They really need to get on the ball soon if they want people to spread the word about this film.
Joseph on Feb 10, 2008
... You know, I think they might be trying to put an indie film spin on this one. With the wonderful talent that has joined the movie (Ed Norton, Tim Roth and Liv Tyler, I think) maybe the studios are hoping this passes as more an indie small time film. Maybe? Or its just going to suck a big one and the studios are embarrassed to show it. Either way, if they would have at least tried to get the hype train rolling for this one, they would have made alot more money... I'm personally excited to see what Ed Norton can do with it. ...
Mondo Jay on Feb 10, 2008
I think it could develop hype quite fast, if there is ever any marketing done for it. Maybe the marketing team is just going to run a trailer for it in front of every action film possible, as soon as possible. Perhaps starting with Jumper? The studio execs would be very disappointed Im sure if this brought in any less than $200 mil, but theyve been sitting on their asses this whole time; I don't see how they'll be able to make up enough ground to turn this into as big a blockbuster as they want it to be.
Keith on Feb 10, 2008
it's probably going to be a bomb. and no i don't mean that in a good "gamma bomb" way. the fact of the matter is that no movie given a wide release with ZERO press (and I mean real press like tv spots, trailers, interviews, website, on-set diaries, etc) with only four months to go before opening has ever been a success. a lack of publicity only means one thing: they (universal & marvel) have a dud on their hands and they know it's gonna bomb so they're trying to cut their losses by pulling back on marketing expenses. i hope to hell i'm wrong but this exact scenario has been happening in Hollywood for decades. it's nothing new.
carg0 on Feb 10, 2008
I reckon Marvel are biding their time because of the sour taste from the last film. A big reason why they've delayed the trailer though is they're probably waiting for the best CG shots to arrive. The movie will be pretty easy to market: "To save the woman he loves, he must embrace the monster within." I can see that tagline.
Chris on Feb 11, 2008
I quite liked Hulk....the action was great when it got going, and some of the direction was superb (i really liked the way the screen was divided like the panels in a comic for some scenes). Hulk was a case of fans getting what they thought they wanted (in depth character building, a long story etc) and realising that they REALLY wanted a much lighter and shorter film with more action 😛 (you can't win it seems!)
chris on Feb 11, 2008
Ed Norton re-writes the script - that's a good thing? So either the writer strike affected revisions and Ed went wild-ass crazy with a red pen OR the original script sucked so bad that Ed threaten to bolt if he was not allowed to put in some glamor scenes for himself. I don't see an upside for this movie.
grendel on Feb 11, 2008
OH COMMON GUYS!!!! every comic book movie since "Batman Returns" SUCKED BIG TIME!!! "X men" was infentile as hell, with the second and third right up behind it. "Superman returns" should have been called "Superman returns to krypton and good riddance, too." The only comic book movie that really tried to delve into minds and characters of its ensamble was "Hulk".. even though Hulk didn't have anyone of his streanght up agains him, he still kicked ass, and the movie showed that realy, the worst thing that could have happened to Banner was his accident in the lab. his relationship with his father, and creator, is portrayed well, to the extent that geekdome demanded rescue from the too realistic background that helped create Banner's wrath, and the reason why it was that wrath that got physical manifestation after the accident. I'm sure Hulk 2 would be good, with Norton on board, as well as Roth, it has a very good start for me...but I don't expect it to go to the human depth of that the first movie described weel, for my taste.
Israelidude on Feb 11, 2008
Finally, someone who appreciates Ang Lee's Hulk.
Joseph on Feb 11, 2008
I am another person who enjoyed the last iteration of the Hulk. I was a huge comic book fan and collector in my youth and loved the Hulk then as well. I don't think Ang Lee did a bad job, I just think people expected too much from the film. I heard so many people say the film was not realistic enough. Excuse me? Realistic in the way that a giant green man is attacking tanks? Maybe more realistic in the way that said giant green man jumps? I mean c'mon people it's total fiction. Reality should not be a crutch. I heard complaints about how he was too big. Give me a break, I read the comics and saw plenty of images of him holding tanks over his head while noticing he was half the size of the tank. He was no bigger than that in the movie. Every artist has a way of doing a character and when you have a character as universally recognized as the Hulk is, some people are going to portray him the way they think he should be done. I really hope this new movie is good. I really do. Sadly I cannot say I am that enthusiastic based on the total and utter lack of promotion of it form the studio. Not even one semi-dark heavy breathing scream-filled strobe-like commercial for us to begin foaming at the mouth over?
Parish on Feb 11, 2008
GUYS! THERE IS NO IRON MAN CROSSOVER! It has been said multiple times and still people think it will happen!!!!! Anyway, I think that the first "Hulk" really ruined this ones chances at a HUGE B.O. I still think that this will cross the $100mil. mark and maybe scrape $200mil.
Ryan on Feb 11, 2008
I never heard that the complaint about Ang Lee's Hulk was the depth of the characters. And that is the case for me. I like the depth of it and the substance... but the pacing is horrible and the "artsy" style turns out to be more kitsch than anything. I also think it's funny how no one even mentions FF2 in the list of recent bad Marvel films. Does anyone over the age of 5 even remember that movie came out?? haha
Alfredo on Feb 11, 2008
According to Superherohype.com a trailer of hulk was showed in Germany, if you want to know what the trailer is about go to the site http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=6777
Curtis on Feb 11, 2008
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