Who does the Hulk fear

Universal 2003

Directed by Ang Lee
Script: James Shamus, John Turman, Michael France (film);
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (comic)

Eric Bana - Dr. Bruce Banner
Jennifer Connelly - Betty Ross
Sam Elliot - General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross
Josh Lucas - Talbot
Nick Nolte - David Banner

Honorable mention
Lou Ferrigno - Security Guard (the Hulk from "The Incredible Hulk")
Stan Lee - Security Guard (The Man)
Daniel Dae Kim - Aide (Jim Kwon from "Lost")

"Hulk" came out at the height of comic book adaptations. With "Spider-Man" and the "X-Men" Marvel had already brought their biggest brands to the cinema and now it was hoped to lead the green giant on the screen to similar success.
With Ang Lee as the director, Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly and Nick Nolte as the actors, they had excellent staff and they could even hire ILM for the special effects. With these prerequisites, there could only be one hit in the end, right?

The film had a budget of $ 137 million.
The development of the film began in 1990 by the producers Avi Arad and Gale Ann Hurd. In December 1992 there were negotiations between Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures. In 1994 Stan Lee and Michael France were invited to Universal. France was to write the script, with the studio having the idea that the Hulk should fight terrorists. France was against it, which is why they brought John Turman on board in 1995 to write a script. The comic fan wrote a whopping ten versions. Its story was based on the "Tales to Astonish" comics in which the Hulk fought the military and the leader. He chose the story of how the comics came about as the background and brought Brian Banner, the father, as the cause of Bruce's anger problems.
At the end of 1996, Hurd's husband, Jonathan Hensleigh, joined as producer, ILM was hired for the digital effects and France was invited again to write a script. In April 1997, Joe Johnston was hired as a director and the film was named "The Incredible Hulk". Universal now wanted Hensleigh as a writer because he and Johnston had already worked together successfully on Jumanji. So France was fired before he could even write a page. He got paid anyway, but he was still interested in writing the script. After Johnston quit in July 1997 to direct October Sky, all signs were good for Hensleigh's directorial debut. Turman was brought back, who wrote two more scripts, which were then rewritten by Zak Penn. There was a scene in which the Hulk is fighting a school of sharks. There were also two scenes that were later used in “The Incredible Hulk”: First, that Banner cannot sleep with Betty Ross for fear of the transformation, and second, the transformation after jumping out of a helicopter.
But, since you didn't seem to have enough scripts already, Hensleigh wrote his own too. In his version, before becoming the Hulk, Banner experimented on three criminals who turned into insect monsters. The start of shooting was planned for December 1997 in Arizona, but was then postponed to April 1998. During this time, Hensleigh was revising his script with J.J. Abrams. In addition, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski were brought in later. In October 1997, pre-production began with the manufacture of masks and the first CGI effects. There was also the first news about the cast with Gregory Sporleder as Banner's archenemy "Novak" and Lynn "Red" Williams as one of the insect people.
In March 1998, Universal's entire project was put on hold. There were concerns about the high cost of $ 100 million, with $ 20 million being spent on scripts (real?), Masks, and the CGI. Hensleigh set about rewriting the script one more time to cut costs. But then he got out because it was too exhausting for him.
In the following eight months, France tried again to be hired as an author. The whole situation paraphrases the following quote from France: “Someone in the Universal Hierarchy wasn't sure whether it was a science fiction adventure or a comedy, and I was given instructions to write both. I think that at a time when I was not in the room there might have been a discussion about making a Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler film out of it. ”(David Hughes 2003“ Comic Book Movies ”, London, Virgin Books p. 261 -269). France wrote continuously from July to September 1999 in order to meet the scheduled shooting date in April 2000.
In his script, Banner was based on the comics of the 1960s and drew inspiration from the stories of the 1980s. Banner wants to prove that he is different from his violent and destructive father and tries to create cells with regenerative abilities. The famous phrase "You make me angry ..." comes from his father, who used to say that before beating Bruce. From this draft, the "Gammasphere", the love between Banner and Betty and the secret command made it into the film. France submitted the script in late 1999 or early 2000.
Despite Universal's positive response to the script, Michael Tolkin (January 2000) and David Hayter (September 2000) were hired to revise it. In Hayter's version, the Leader, Zzzax, and Absorbing Man were the Hulk's opponents. They were colleagues from Banner and were affected by the same accident.
As of January 2001, Ang Lee and his production partner John Schamus took over the helm. Since Lee did not agree with the script, Schamus rewrote it (for how many times actually?). An important change was the merging of Banner's father with Absorbing Man to create a physical counterpart.
Lee named "King Kong", "Frankenstein", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”,“ Beauty and the Beast ”,“ Faust ”and the Greek tragedy (why is this list completely missing the comics?). The shooting lasted from March 18, 2002 to March 8, 2002.
Skywalker Sound took care of the sound design. ILM worked on the CGI from 2001 to May 2003 and was only finished with it a month before the premiere. Ang Lee even did motion capture in post-production.

In the 1960s, the scientist David Banner worked on a possibility for cell regeneration at a military base and carried out experiments on himself. This changes his genetic material and he passes this mutation on to his son Bruce. When the military responsible for the experiment, later General Ross, finds out, a tragedy occurs.
In the present, Dr. Bruce Banner, who has fuzzy memories of his childhood, on a similar project. When an accident occurs, it has unpredictable consequences. His father, who has sneaked into the laboratory, witnesses and resumes his own experiments, with equally devastating consequences.

The pros:
+ Camera & Editing: Lee really created a visually impressive film here. The pictures are breathtaking and the use of split screens and freeze frames gives you the feeling of having a comic in front of you.
+ Actor: Sam Elliot gives the quick-tempered “General Ross” very well and Josh Lucas, the sleazy and slippery careerist “Talbot”, also seems very believable and unsympathetic.

The cons:
I'll go alphabetically.
-Action: The action is far too short. It takes over 40 minutes to see the Hulk for the first time. 40 minutes! There are also only three action scenes. In the first, the Hulk dismantles the laboratory, in the next, he beats up Talbot and fights with monster poodles (oh yes, monster poodles). The best is when the Hulk escapes from the military's laboratory. He competes against the soldiers. But why are there only three tanks, three helicopters and a fighter jet involved? Epic is something else. I don't mention the fight against his father because it's just bad.
Cast: Eric Bana only has in common with his role that their last names are pronounced roughly the same. He looks completely out of place. At no time does one take away the somewhat eccentric scientist.
-CGI: Oh my god, how bad does the Hulk look? It is anatomically incorrect, the proportions are incorrect and change several times in some scenes. He looks more like a big green blob and not like the strongest being in the world. The transformations are ridiculous and look really wrong. I don't want to start with the dogs.
- Actor: I've already said everything about Eric Bana. Jennifer Connelly rewinds her part from "A beautiful Mind" and looks like a block of ice and not like a worried and warm friend. Nick Nolte not only looks but also acts like he's drunk all the time.
- Script: If you can easily follow the plot at the beginning, it will only be incomprehensible at the end. What does Banner's father actually want? Why does he want to connect with the Hulk and how? How can the Hulk transfer his energy to him and how does he know he will win with it? Because the Hulk is not exactly the thinking type of hero.

"Hulk" is not the total catastrophe the film is often portrayed as. The big problem is the discrepancy between aspiration and reality.
I can see what Lee was up to here. He wanted to do a character study and give the character more depth. Unfortunately, the Hulk is not suitable for this. He's just a huge angry berserk who doesn't think about his problems, but hits them. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, is the one with internal conflicts. It is with the dramatic life and the personal problems.
But in contrast to the other superheroes you have to look at the private side of Banner and the life of the Hulk separately. They have no points of contact, if one is there, the other no longer exists, which is why the conflicts cannot be transferred. As a result, the focus in a character study has to be on banners, and despite all the sophistication, the title hero should not just be a minor character, but the center of a superhero film.
I can only recommend the film to real hardcore fans who really watch all Marvel films. But also in the film not to buy, but only to rent. The best thing about my composure are all the bonuses.

Universal 2008

Directed by Louis Leterrier
Script: Zak Penn

Edward Norton - Dr. Bruce Banner / Hulk (Motion Capture)
Liv Tyler - Betty Ross
Tim Roth - Emil Blonsky / Abomination (Motion Capture)
William Hurt - General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross
Tim Blake Nelson - Samuel Sterns

Honorable Mention:
Lou Ferrigno - Hulk (voice) / security guard
Stan Lee - man who drinks from a bottle
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tony Stark

After the first film was a serious disappointment, I actually had little interest in another. But then only "Iron Man" came out and in its waters followed "The Incredible Hulk". I was then ready to see a new film with the big green one.

The budget was $ 150 million.
While the first part was in the cinema, James Shamus was planning a sequel in which the gray Hulk would appear. As an opponent, he thought of the Leader and Abomination to oppose the Hulk with a real threat. On January 18, 2006, producer Avi Arad announced that Marvel would finance production and Universal would be in charge of sales. Universal had not met the deadline for a sequel. Marvel didn't plan on doing a direct sequel from the start because they felt they hadn't met the expectations in the first film (oh, really?).
Louis Leterrier, who had been a fan of the series as a child and also liked the first film, actually applied to direct "Iron Man". When the film went to Jon Favreau, he was offered "Hulk". At first he wasn't sure because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to repeat Lee's style, but Marvel's statement that they didn't want to either convinced him then.
The main inspiration was “Hulk: Gray” by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, a retelling of the story of its origins. Leterrier also read many other comics and took many panels for the storyboard. He then reproduced the original in the film.
Zak Penn was hired as a writer. He wanted to write a direct successor to "Hulk", but the tone should be more based on the series and the comics by Bruce Jones. As a comparison, he used "alien" and "aliens", which played in the same continuity, but were completely different. Its version contained the two scenes already mentioned.
Penn wrote a total of three drafts before quitting in 2007 to direct "The Grand". Norton, who had also reworked the scripts of other films he had starred in, was doing it again.
His version appealed to both the director and the studio and was now a complete reboot in terms of content. Norton didn't want to tell the story of its origins again, as it is already widely known. The story mentioned in the film was based heavily on the one from the "Ultimate Marvel" universe.
The best thing to do is to briefly explain what it is. In order to gain new readers and at the same time not to scare them off with all the past stories, Marvel started the "Ultimate" universe. Here all characters were started in the current time with new and appropriate background stories for the current time.
The Hulk here is the result of a failed reissue of the super soldier program that Captain America spawned. Norton deleted the character of "Rick Jones" and reduced the share of S.H.I.E.L.D. He worked on the script every day. Norton is not named as an author because he did not change the content of the story.
The shooting started on July 9th, 2003 in Toronto, where you could count on the support of the city because the mayor is a big fan of the Hulk. A main road was closed for four nights for the fight between the Hulk and Abomination. Despite the great effort, the crew cleared everything away within 20 minutes the next morning in order to keep the traffic running normally. Because of its environmentally friendly production, the film was awarded an environmental seal.

For five years, Dr. Bruce Banner on the run from the military after being turned into the Hulk in an accident. When the opportunity for a cure arises, he returns to the United States. However, General Ross, who is indirectly responsible for it, and the combative soldier Emil Blonsky, who also underwent treatment with the super soldier formula, are already waiting there. However, the injections seem to have a very different effect on him.

The pros:
+ The Hulk: Finally we're getting the Hulk as we always wanted to see him. It is much better animated than in the first film and delivers brute action.
+ Actor: Norton is Banner. He embodies all facets of the figure perfectly and makes him a character that you like. Tyler plays the loving Betty Ross who really cares about her boyfriend and wants to help him, Roth plays the psychopathic Blonsky perfectly. Hurt puts his General Ross on more desperately and worn out than angry, but it fits.
+ CGI: I already said that the Hulk looks wonderful. He no longer looks like a blob, but like a powerful being, a real set of muscles. His opponent Abomination also cuts a good, terrifying figure.
+ The integration into the Marvel universe: Not only the appearance of Robert Downey, jr. as Tony Stark (Iron Man) integrates the film into a coherent universe, but also the allusions to the Avengers (filming started in 2012) and Captain America (comes to theaters in 2012). You have the feeling that you are looking at a closed world, like in the comics.
+ Action: Leterrier is a specialist in action films ("The Transporter") and you can tell. There is a lot of rumbling and due to the many practical effects everything looks more plastic and real.

The cons:
-If you're already very much oriented towards the series (before the accident, Banner was sitting in a similar machine as in the series, the transformation is also initiated by a close-up of the eyes), it would have been nice to show him as a hitchhiker too, e.g. on his way to Brazil.
-A cameo of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the boss of S.H.I.E.L.D., as in "Iron Man" would have been great. Maybe a scene in which he picks up General Ross for his failure.

"The Incredible Hulk" is an entertaining and action-packed film that unfortunately got lost in the hype surrounding "Iron Man". You are not trying to create a big cinema here, you are not looking for a profound meaning where there is none. You want to entertain the audience, which works very well.
I can recommend the film to everyone. Anyone who already liked "Iron Man" can also buy it in stores.Unfortunately I only have the single DVD, which contains almost no bonus material. I hope the double DVD or Blu Ray will be cheaper.

I like it:

LikeLoading ...
This post has been filed under Reviews and tagged Ang Lee, the Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton, Eric Bana, Hulk, Jennifer Connelly, Lars Filmschau, Liv Tyler, Louis Leterrier, Tim Roth. Set a Bookmark the permalink.