DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Marvel’s Plans for The Hulk

The Incredible Hulk has been smashing his way through television and movies since the 1970s and now there’s more green goodness on the way, courtesy of Marvel Studios.

The Hulk teams up with the Avengers.

Mark Ruffalo owns the role of the brooding scientist/wrecking machine in “The Avengers.” So much so, he recently signed on for more movies (six of ‘em, in fact) to play the Hulk. And despite some past headaches with the franchise, Marvel is ready to (yet again) re-start the green machine.

“If Hulk’s successful turnaround continues,” Marvel’s Paul Gitter recently told Forbes magazine, then Marvel “will spin him off to a stand-alone program next year.” A new Hulk movie is slated for 2015. But before that, don’t be surprised if you see the Hulk making some cameo appearances in commercials. Marvel reportedly is interested in having Hulk represent one or more companies in a manner similar to the way that “Peanuts” character Snoopy has become the corporate icon for MetLife Insurance Company.

A new Hulk television show created by film director Guillermo Del Toro, of “Hellboy” fame has also been rumored. Some have wondered how well a Hulk TV show would perform against a new Hulk movie series starring Mark Ruffalo.


The birth of a giant: The Incredible Hulk #1. (Marvel Comics, May, 1962)

The Hulk is a creature of constant change, and he’s gone through quite a bit in the past:

“The Incredible Hulk” (1978-1982) 
The highly-rated television series starred TV icon Bill Bixby as the genetics researcher altered by his experiment. Part of CBS’ Friday night ratings juggernaut (along with “Dallas”), the program ran for 82 episodes over five seasons.

Journeyman TV actor Bixby was the producers’ first choice for the role of Bruce Banner, but much casting went into finding the right Hulk. Arnold Schwarzennegger auditioned for the role was thought to be too short. Bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno finally won the role – and three-hour makeup sessions (his green wig was made out of yak hair). After five seasons, CBS sold the TV franchise to NBC, which went on to make three made-for-TV Hulk movies, two of which were directed by Bill Bixby himself.


The original Incredible Hulk: Bill Bixby played troubled scientist David Banner, while Lou Ferrigno dominated the screen as the Hulk in the 1970s TV show of the same name.

“Hulk” (2003)
Directed by Ang Lee, this film was the first time the raging green monster made his way to the big screen. “The Hulk”made an impressive $245 million worldwide but had more than its fair share of film production headaches.

The project began back in 1990 and went through several re-writes (at one time or another, at least ten different screenwriters were working on the project). In addition to Eric Bana, the film featured Sam Elliott, Jennifer Connelly and Nick Nolte, as Bruce Banner’s father, David. In the end, mixed reviews and upset fans caused the film to be removed from the Marvel Universe…


Eric Bana plays the alter ego of the green giant.

“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)
After Hulk fans expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the 2003 film, Marvel reacquired the film rights and began making a movie that would meet fans expectations. One of those fans was actor Edward Norton, who liked the original comic book, as well as the original television series. When Norton was brought on board the movie (directed by Louis Leterrier), he not only took on the role of Bruce Banner but also served as script doctor, rewriting large chunks of Zak Penn’s script.

The movie grossed $263 million worldwide, scoring $58 million of that from DVD sales alone. As the production began, there became increasing conflict between star Norton and the film’s producers. Eventually it was decided that despite his major acting chops and writing talents, the Hulk franchise and Edward Norton would not work together again.


Edward Norton – a fan favorite – parted ways with the franchise due to conflicts over creative control with Marvel Studios.

“Untitled Hulk Movie” (2015)
Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton in “The Avengers” after negotiations between Norton and the studio broke down. Joaquin Phoenix was also rumored to be considered for the part, but in the end, Ruffalo stepped up and not only played the role, but owned it. For the voice of the Hulk in “The Avengers,” the filmmakers tapped Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the original television show, and who has often voiced him in other versions.


Ruffalo and “the other guy,” his new alter ego, The Incredible Hulk.

Actor Ruffalo spoke about playing the character(s) recently and had this to say, “(Bruce Banner is) a guy struggling with two sides of himself, the dark and the light; everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control.” What does he think about the “hulking” alter ego? “(He’s) a loose cannon – he’s the teammate none of them are sure they want. It’s like throwing a grenade into the middle of the group and hoping it turns out well!”

It looks like it will turn out well – Ruffalo enjoyed playing the Hulk so much, he has a six-film deal. And based on audience reaction, it appears fans have finally found their not-so-jolly green giant.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in Digital Filmmaking,News Blog and have No Comments

More Marvel-ous Movies: Avengers, Captain America 2, Thor 2

“The Avengers” has wowed audiences and broken box offices records. And in the not-too-distant future, “The Avengers” will be joined by even more movies from the Marvel Universe.


“The Avengers” assemble at Comic-Con in San Diego. From left: Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.

How about an”Incredible Hulk” franchise helmed by Mark Ruffalo? For now, all eyes are turned toward “The Avengers,” which is expected to be the blockbuster of Summer 2012.

Assembling a Cast of Heroes
“The Avengers” trailer features Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton), Stellan Skarsgard (Dr. Erik Selvig), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury).

The story, written by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon tells how the Avengers came together to fight Loki and an alien army he brings to Earth to destroy mankind. Whedon wrote the screenplay and directs the film.


On the set of  “The Avengers,” director Josh Whedon looks on while the actors relax between takes. 

The film, which was first announced in 2005 has taken a long road to completion. Originally delayed by the release of “Iron Man” in 2008, “The Avengers” was pushed back to July 2011. Then actress Scarlett Johansson signed on and the film was delayed again to accommodate her schedule.

Fine-tuning the script (which director Whedon rewrote after joining the project in 2010) additionally delayed production. And finally, there was the much-publicized substitution of Mark Ruffalo to portray the Incredible Hulk – after actor Edward Norton left the cast. (Longtime Hulk fans may be pleased to learn that the Hulk’s voice will come from none other than Lou Ferrigno, who played the not-so-jolly green giant on TV back in the 1970s.)

So much for the art of digital filmmaking, still both the studio, cast and director understand the urgency to get it right, because multiple sequels are riding the film’s success, like…

Thor 2
In November 2013, moviegoers can look forward to the arrival of “Thor 2,” which will again star Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-swinging Norse god from Asgard. His last screen outing, 2011’s “Thor,” earned nearly a half-billion dollars ($449 million internationally). Suffice it to say, Marvel already has high hopes for the follow-up film.


Immediately on the heels of “The Avengers,” release, Hemsworth will start shooting “Thor 2.” 

Filming on “Thor 2″ is set to begin late this summer in London and while several big-name directors have been attached to the project, it appears Alan Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) will get the assignment. The screenplay is being written by Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan”). Along with Hemsworth, Natalie Portman is scheduled to return for the sequel, along with Tom Hiddleston, who will again portray Thor’s evil brother, Loki.

Captain America 2
Last summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” also scored big at the box office, raking in more than $368 million worldwide. The film was a solid hit with critics, too. Critic Roger Ebert wrote, “I admired the way that director Joe Johnston propelled the narrative. I got a sense of a broad story, rather than the impression of a series of sensational set pieces. If Marvel is wise, it will take this and ‘Iron Man’ as its templates.”


The good Captain will return to movie screens in April 2014.

Marvel has been listening. The publisher/studio (now owned by The Walt Disney Company) has been planning a Captain America sequel since before the first film was released, they’ve even camped out a release date: April 4, 2014.

Captain America 2 is rumored to take place mainly in the present day, with the Cap’n adjusting to his new surroundings, although the screenwriters have said they’re experimenting with flashbacks to the World War II period.

Get Your Hero On!
Whether it comes to saving the universe or dominating movie screens, superheroes rule. And today’s superhero movies finally deliver the explosive, larger-than-life hollywood visual effects that comic books can only depict through illustrations. Creating comic book characters isn’t the easy and bringing them to life on screen is even more difficult. We’ll be headed to a theater to see if earth’s mightiest heroes “The Avengers,” really do save the day.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in Digital Filmmaking,News Blog and have No Comments