What’s Up with The Hulk?

BATD ON Aug 12, 2010 AT 4:07 pm

The Hulk

The Hulk

We all know the legendary comic book story of physicist Bruce Banner’s transformation into an enormous green monster-man, and Bill Bixby’s famous quote, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” from the 1978 T.V. series, The Incredible Hulk.  But with the slew of comic inspired films in the past decade, Hulk fans are having a hard time putting a new face to the iconic superhero, as the lead actors appear to be coming and going through a revolving door.    

Ang Lee’s 2003 film The Hulk  saw Eric Bana as the lead, followed by Edward Norton in Marvel’s 2008 The Incredible Hulk, and it has now been confirmed that Shutter Island’s Mark Ruffalo will be taking over the part in 2012’s The Avengers.  Why so many different Hulks?

Eric Bana

Eric Bana

For starters, Lee’s The Hulk strayed from the plot of the original comics, and was met with mixed audience reviews – though it did okay in the box office – so Marvel Studios decided to reboot it in 2008 with a new back story that held true to the original plot, and, if you’re doing a reboot, why not add a new face as well?  Marvel chose Edward Norton, and The Incredible Hulk was met with great box office success and rave reviews

Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk

But fans were thrown for another loop this year with the announcement that Marvel would not be picking up Norton again for the upcoming The Avengers.  Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told HitFix, “Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.” Looks like there’s a bit of bad blood between Norton and Marvel, though this will be the second time that Marvel has dropped an actor – Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 for the role of Tony Stark’s sidekick.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

Rumors had recently been sprouting up over the web that Ruffalo would be Norton’s replacement, and Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr. made the official announcement at this summer’s Comic-Con in a press conference for The Avengers. Fortunately, fans seem to be excited about the choice and the new movie.  Let’s just hope we don’t see too many more actors come and go!  

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