Saturday, July 10, 2010

Someone else will probably be The Hulk in "Avengers"

With the impending nerdgasm of "The Avengers" movie, fans with a solid grasp of history have probably been wondering what the "uh-oh" x-factor was going to end up being. Well, now we apparently may know: HitFix's Drew McWeeny, formerly "Moriarty" of AICN, reports the not-terribly-shocking-news that while The Incredible Hulk WILL turn up in the film, he will likely not be played by Edward Norton again:

This will probably be spun as a cost-cutting decision, but it's equally likely that Marvel Studios simply didn't want to work with him again. Norton has a - perhaps overblown - reputation as an actor who insists on insinuating himself into the production side of things; and for good or one thing that's absolutely true about Marvel Films is that they decidedly NOT running things in an "artists' commune" style a'la Pixar. Definitely dissapointing, but for my money "how" bad this news is is heavily reliant on what movie is actually "about" - specifically, what The Hulk is DOING there.

For non-fans: Technically, Hulk was a "founding member" of The Avengers, but for obvious reasons he A.) only stuck around for two issues and B.) entered as a sort-of enemy: In Avengers #1, the heroes (Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man and Wasp) initially come together to FIGHT Hulk, then he joins the team after it turns out he was being mind-controlled by Thor's evil brother Loki. In Mark Millar's "Ultimates" re-imagining (which had been called an "outline" for an Avengers movie LONG before there was ever going to be one) this was mirrored by having "fight and contain an out-of-control Hulk" be the big initial obstacle for the team.

In other words, there's a certain amount of precedence for Hulk being the "bad guy" (tool of the bad guy?) in the film, which would necessitate that alter-ego Bruce Banner NOT be onscreen all that much (i.e. Hulk gets beaten and morphs back into "some guy playing Banner" at the VERY end.) Obviously, actor-continuity is fun, but speaking for myself if the choice is "Hulk is in the movie but with a new Banner" or "No Hulk," I pick the first one, easily.


Anonymous said...

This is good news as far as I'm concerned.
Absolutely HATED Edward Norton as the Hulk.
Nothing against Edward Norton at all, it was just so so SO wrong casting him on Marvel's part.
He did as good a job as he could, just wasn't believable at all.
I think Eric Bana was much MUCH better as the Hulk, in the much MUCH better version of the 2 movies.
Marvel should try and get Bana to come back to play the Hulk, may be somewhat confusing though since there trying to scratch John Woo's version which I feel was far superior to that new one.
Just a thought though.

rob said...
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rob said...

Wow, I couldn't disagree with you more!
The first movie was as typicly and as bad as all late 90's action movies and the Fantastic Four movies.
This portrayal could have almoast only be done by an A-list actor like Norton, who just nails these dramatic parts.

The Norton movie was absolutely excellent, it had the action, it had the drama and was actually kinda 'believable'. It showed how Banner would handle being Hulk.

Stan Lee dying in his cameo, I was looking for a metaphor, but the only thing I could think of was the dying of the old generation of bad comicbook movies (sorry Generalissimo) and the continuation of the movie being a rebirth of Marvel's movie 'life'.

(which they're going to spoil by making Human Torch into Captain America)

Pixel Rush said...

My problem is that Marvel's trying to sell the oddness that is the Marvel Universe to the mass market, quite a few of whom might not even know that the Avengers exist, and Marvel has repeatedly fucked with the fidelity of this universe. You're trying to sell Captain America, a frozen supersoldier from World War 2, Iron Man, a lush with a messiah complex, and Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, being all on the same team and existing in the same universe.

The Norse god thing is going to be an easy sell for nerds, as long as the movie's good, but how's the general public going to react? I can't even count anymore the amount of calls I got asking me to explain Mjollnir at the end of Iron Man 2. Yet, it might work, even in this post-TDK realism trend. Who knows?

However, they have to sell this universe or it's going to be too weird for a lot of people, and this repeated recasting of actors is only going to undermine the fidelity of their universe, especially when establishing it is such a tricky proposition in of itself.

Anonymous said...

I dunno man, i only saw the movie once in theater and walked out with a very bitter taste in my mouth.
It just felt to cartoon y and silly for me.
I honestly felt through the action sequences anyway, that it looked like 2 action figures being smashed together by 5 year old children trying to recreate what they saw there older brother doing in marvel vs. capcom.
I just felt Eric Bana was the far superior actor in the 2 films.
Yes i will definitely admit the John woo adaptation of the Hulk was way WAY too long for any normal person to sit through and took a few odd turns here and there with the story (mainly due to budget cuts because Woo was spending way to much money on CGI) but it told the story much better and made me actually care about Bruce Banner as a character. I thought that everyone else in the movie was perfectly casted as well.
The new version of the Hulk just didn't do it for me. I did enjoy Freddy Newandyke's part as Abomination, better than fighting a bunch of dogs in the forest, haha.
The military action sequences and comic style editing was just plain ingenious in Woo's version though.
I really hate how people give John Woo some much shit because the Hulk could "fly" in the movie, but, he was able to do those things in the comic's from sheer leg strength and the speed he was able to get while running from his leg strength.
I dunno though, just my opinion, and i know im in the minority here when it comes to the first Hulk movie, but i feel it was the better of the 2 and completely underrated.

rob said...

@Anonymous: yeah, the battle between Hulk and his G(r)ay opponent was very stock, I agree, but that was a way to get mainstream audiences in.

Marvel comics are always about more than the heroes, but how that part of their life impacts their personal life.

For Spidey it's sacrificing all for saving people but ending up being hated in costume.
The X-men save the world everyday, but are discriminated against worse than anyone.

Hulk is about Bruce Banner knowing he has to control himself, or people will get hurt, or die.
Now, the Eric Bana movie never touched on that subject, but the 2008 movie did. And that is probably why I like it way better.

And indeed, hell, Hulk can jump to the moon, and from there, to anywhere in the galaxy, but that is too far out there, exactly like Pixel Rush is saying, it's too... abstract (for lack of a better word) and out there, for regular viewers to go to the theaters.

I mean, we would get footage like the premiere of Transformers 2, where 2 models told us that it was the best movie ever made and that they'd see it again...

and do we really want it that dumbed down?

tyra menendez said...

I hated Ang Lee's Hulk. The jumping shit? Always part of the comic and it wouldn't have bothered me if it had been handled right. My real problem was that Hulk landed like he had just hopped a couple feet. Mass, inertia, and all that other physics stuff and he didn't even leave a creator when he landed? That made it look fake and cartoon-y.
I'm with Bob, on this one.

tyra menendez said...
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BFG said...

Ang Lee's Hulk tried to delve into the Hulk's past as an abused kid with a screwed up family, with some god-awful editing and retarded ending. And it fails as a character piece when Eric Bana so far has never managed to show just about any damn movie he's been in. Christian Bale and Sam Worthington and himself can pack their shit up and get the hell out of movies.

It's Just Some Random Guy did a great music video about Iron Man 2 sucking and mentioned David Duchouvney as being the Hulk. No. Don't do that. Don't try that. Stop that.

Smashmatt202 said...

So much for "continuity", although continuity was thrown out the window when Rhodey was played by a different actor in Iron Man 2, so while this is upsetting, it doesn't seem TOO bad.

Anonymous said...

I'll add my voice to the "Thank goodness" box, thank you very much. Norton's Banner was a snore, and I find it hard to imagine you could do much worse if his character needs to actually do anything in the movie proper. I know people complain Bana didn't express emotion, but at least to me, it felt a lot more like he was simply a man uncomfortable in his own skin which is pretty much EXACTLY who Bruce Banner was in that movie, and indeed in the Hulk mythos in general.

Taylor said...

1. Does it even matter considering he'll be CGI for most of the important films.

2. Bob, this film is a remake. Remember in Nightmare on Elm Street when you mentioned the word "remake" in the same sentence as "Michael Bay" with the intention that both would convey a skin crawling horror?

Well, that's what this is, a remake. I mean, look at the elements, already rendered characters going through an already done plot. That isn't a reimagining or a bold new vision, that's a remake. Pure and Platinum Dunesey Simple.

I guess it seems less obvious since comic books have a long and proud history of shamelessly retreading old ground on autopilot, but this film is a guided missile aimed square at disaster.

I know how you must feel, wanting this film to be good so bad, but if The Last Airbender has taught me anything it's that you should never have faith in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

oh shit..... ooops, i feel stupid.
I meant Ang Lee not John Woo.
sorry bout that.