So, apparently Marvel’s new movie production company is going to be making The Incredible Hulk
. The film will be, in Avi Arad’s words
, a "do-over." Like Batman Begins
, we’ll get a new origin and presumably a new cast, rather than a sequel.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. While Batman Begins
succeeded at the box office, this isn’t the same situation. Batman and Robin
was a horrific failure, and Begins
raked in the dough in spite of it, but movie-goers had 8 years to forget Schumacher's failure as well as the three worthier films before it. On the screen, Hulk has only had Hulk
, and disappointed audiences may not be willing to give the Green Goliath the same benefit of the doubt they gave the Dark Knight, particularly if Marvel doesn’t give them enough time to forget and forgive.
For the record, I enjoyed Hulk
, and appreciated what Ang Lee was trying to do, though I do think the film could’ve been better. No matter how much I liked it though, that doesn’t mean I’ve ignored the less-than-favorable reaction from others.
It’s way too early to speculate what’s going to happen, what direction the film will take, who will direct, whether the Hulk will be CG or a guy-in-a-suit, etc. Zak Penn (The Fantastic Four
, X-men 3
) has been named as writer, and that’s just about the most solid news that’s come out so far. Considering this new movie production arm of Marvel is untested, I’m not entirely convinced the thing will even get made.
Regardless, I thought I’d make a little wish list for the (hopefully?) upcoming film.WRITING
I apologize that I don’t have a link to the quote, but I did read that Penn has said a lot of the story will be inspired by Bruce Jones’s run on the comic.
Dear Marvel, please send Mr. Penn some comics in which the Hulk actually appears.CGI VS. GUY-IN-A-SUIT
No guy-in-a-suit. Please God, no guy-in-a-suit. Fantastic Four
may have been a financial success, but ol’ Benjy wasn’t headlining the film, was he? Someone who looks like a slightly more expensive Toxic Avenger might work in a team film, but he ain’t gonna carry his own summer blockbuster.
Get Weta. Get their phone number and apologize for the comments circa-Hulk
about Hulk making Gollum look like nothing. They created, through motion-capture and animation, a major character that helped to enrich the flavor of two two-and-a-half-hour-plus films. Get Weta. They’re freaking incredible, and they’ve got cool accents. Hell, call Andy Serkis while you’re at it.
Don’t let the director be the motion capture actor!
Watch Jackson’s King Kong
. Kong vs. Dinosaurs. Watch it a lot.
No disrespect to Eric Bana, but if you’re doing a reboot, you’ll need a new Bruce Banner. It’s difficult to have an opinion about Bana’s performance either way, because I feel like he wasn’t given a lot to work with. Of all of Hulk
’s weaknesses, I feel the dialogue was its most glaring. It was just dead. It had no flavor. It sucked.
Now that you’re doing a "do-over," use the opportunity you missed the first time around. I read the Hulk trivia page on IMDB
and it claims David Duchovny, Tom Cruise, Steve Buscemi, and Jeff Goldblum were all considered for the role. It honest-to-Hulk amazes me that the actor who was born to play Bruce Banner isn't mentioned on that page.Ed Norton
Most notably with Primal Fear
and Fight Club
, Norton made his name playing characters possessing extreme dual natures: the wimp and the bully. He's perfect for the role, and overall is a superb actor. I just can't think of anyone who's better suited.
Regardless, even if you don't pick Norton, do us all a favor and don't be stupid enough to allow this rumor
to be true.
As for other characters, I only have advice for two.
Shortly after the release of Hulk
, I believe there was a rumor going around that a sequel was in the works with Geoffrey Rush
being considered for the role of The Leader. Whether or not it was true, make it true
Now, I thought Sam Elliott was brilliant as Thunderbolt Ross, but again if this is going to be a do-over, you need to re-cast. Gene Hackman
He'd be perfect for the role, and it'd just be cool for the guy who played Lex Luthor to hound Marvel's resident strongman.NIT-PICKY FANBOY STUFF
Just put Rick Jones in it. If there's one thing the Spider-Man
films have proven, it's that channeling the chemistry of the source material's supporting characters is just as important as it is with the lead. I have no idea why Rick didn't get a place in Hulk
. If I recall correctly, a poster at Alvaro's Hulk message board
(sorry, I don't have a direct link) once theorized that Rick might have been kept out of Hulk
in case any studios decided to adapt Captain Marvel
. With both the first and second of Marvel's nega-band Captain good and dead, this seems like a pretty far-fetched possibility at this point. Unless someone decides to adapt the stories of this new Captain Marvel who's on the way, but who knows whether or not Rick will even be involved with that.
Just put Rick in it.
And keeping with the subject of the supporting cast, if you're going to put Glenn Talbot in it, do it right. Talbot was a complex and tragic character in the comic, and was often depicted as heroic despite the fact that he was unsympathetic towards Banner. He wasn't a money-grubbing, one dimensional thug. And while you're at it, give the role to an obvious choice
. He's used to rejection.