Joss Whedon Believes in Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk; Solo Film Possible But ‘Tough’

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Happy Hulk Mark Ruffalo The Avengers Joss Whedon Believes in Mark Ruffalos Hulk; Solo Film Possible But Tough

The Hulk is one of Marvel’s most recognizable and well-known characters, but over the years, that realy hasn’t translated into big screen success. Bill Bixby’s live-action Hulk TV show lasted five years in the late ’70s, early ’80s, and there have been multiple cartoons and animated features to go along with the long-running Marvel Comics series that began in 1962.

When it came to the big budget theatrical features however, two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee wasn’t able to sweep the box office with his and Eric Bana’s take on the character, and Louis Leterrier tried again in 2008 with the help of Ed Norton (and a cameo by Robert Downey Jr.), but that didn’t see any increase on the box office revenue side either, and so no Incredible Hulk 2. The character was again recast for The Avengers and with Mark Ruffalo playing both Bruce Banner and his big green alter ego, Marvel seemingly honed in on the winning formula, but that doesn’t mean Hulk will get another solo film anytime soon.

Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe begins with Iron Man 3 in May and from then on, the road is already paved for the next three years, leading up to and including The Avengers 2 in 2015. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige said that he does believe Hulk can work again on his own, but that such a thing couldn’t happen until after The Avengers sequel.

Mark Ruffalo Bruce Banner Avengers Still Joss Whedon Believes in Mark Ruffalos Hulk; Solo Film Possible But Tough

On Sunday Joss Whedon shared a similar sentiment while attending the ninth annual Glasgow Film Festival as part of the European premiere tour of his take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and the very last question of the Q&A was specifically about whether or not he could see Ruffalo’s Hulk get his own film.

“Yes. But it would be very, very hard. Hulk is a tricky son of a bitch. He’s the Claudio of superheroes. Because the problem is it’s a very popular character, but it’s not a superhero. Half of it’s a superhero, half of it’s a werewolf. And you can’t structure it like a superhero movie, you can’t light it like a superhero movie. How do you develop that? It would be extremely difficult. The one thing you would have in your favour would be Mark Ruffalo. But right now I don’t know if they have plans to do that or not, because he works so well as part of a greater whole, but by himself, it’s tough. I don’t envy the guys who went before.”

As we’ve discussed here on the site and on the Screen Rant Underground podcast, Hulk works better as part of a team. The Jekyll & Hyde dynamic has been played out and there’s only so much fun to be had in seeing an uncontrollable, indestructible green monster smash things.

Planet Hulk 2010 1 570x320 Joss Whedon Believes in Mark Ruffalos Hulk; Solo Film Possible But Tough

With The Avengers taking steps to evolve the character however, there’s potential to do some interesting things with Banner/Hulk in the future and while there are no (official) plans in store for the character (yet) outside of The Avengers 2, Mark Ruffalo does have a six-picture contract and there is that big rumor that Planet Hulk could happen come time for Phase Three of the Marvel cinematic universe, which begins with Ant-Man in late 2015.

Such a film would serve as a lead-in to a World War Hulk storyline that would factor into The Avengers 3. At this point, it’s all speculation, but we all want to see more Mark Ruffalo. If you’re interested, Whedon also dropped an interesting tease about “death” in The Avengers 2 while on his Eurotrip.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes and let him know if you want more Hulk!

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Source: GEEKchocolate (via CBM)

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. The Incredible Hulk 2 villain is The Leader, The Incredible Hulk 3 villain will be the Red Hulk (General Ross).

    • So many possibilities for the hulk, but basically more of the same hulk we saw in avengers, in incredible hulk 2 I would certainly like them to introduce the she hulk, the leader as the main villain, doc samson maybe, the hulk & the she hulk and doc samson could go up against abomination absorbing man and leaders creations, I don’t rule out the the cattorak juggernaut and the rhino for the future, we could get a glimpse of the red hulk he may kill the abomination and that sets him up for the incredible hulk 3, and then there’s the planet hulk,

  2. Part of the problem with The Incredible Hulk is they switch out the leads, stick to one, and change directors not actors.

  3. I used to love this Incredible Hulk Series. In my view all of the digital incarnations of the Hulk, from the 2003 movie through to the HULK in the Avengers, just don’t work. Purely because they are digitally created. CGI has it’s place, it worked really well in Jurassic Park, and other movies such as Independence day, 2012, but it really does get over used.

    There is a big trend in the Horror movie business to move back towards physical special effects because we know that CGI is a digital film making device and therefore anything created with CGI is not real, this takes us away from the reality of the story. Therefore CGI special effects in a horror movie damage it’s plausibility and consequently the shock horror effect which is precisely what that genre is trying to achieve.

    The reason most people (who were around to watch it) prefer the old Incredible Hulk TV series is that a real person was used to portray the Hulk. However silly you may think his hair cut or eyebrows looked, this ultimately gave it realism, because you are aware that it’s a real, physical being rather than a digitally created one.

    Let’s take a moment and look at the Spiderman movies…they use a real guy in a suit for the close ups and scenes that don’t involve any superhuman stunts, and for those that do, they seamlessly edit the actor or stuntman in the suit into a CGI character, and back again. This works, but if you imagine a completely digitally designed Spiderman acting next to human actors, that would look weird and you wouldn’t enjoy the film as much.

    So, in the light of that, why is the HULK done in this way? It would be FAR better if they stayed loyal to the TV series and used an actor (who would need to be 7 foot tall or over) to play the hulk in close up scenes then edit him with a digitally created version for the superhuman ability scenes. This would work really well.

    The series also worked well because of the following:

    1. The writing, directing and performances by Bill Bixby. He was an expert in making you really believe the story, ultimately buying in to the fact that he was s*** scared of changing into the Hulk and causing havoc, not knowing whether he would kill or not.

    2. The Fear factor, this was built up by the above but it was that one moment, where David Banner was being beaten by some adversary’s, thrown around like a rag doll until finally he would fall behind a desk or cabinet, and as the music built to a crescendo, lift his head up with a shocked look on his face and piercing white eyes…the moment the director Kenneth Johnson describes as ‘The point of no return’. This used to give me goosebumps and a feeling of excitement, knowing that the bad guys were in for a whole load of pain. The movies loose that moment, it doesn’t exist in any of them.

    3. It was mainly aimed at an adult audience but was also attractive to kids. This resulted in something that wasn’t cheesy, watered down or too Caricature. Kenneth Johnson admits that he wanted his TV series to be psychologically disturbing, that he wanted you to feel the angst, pain and fear that David Banner felt. He wanted to steer away from it being too camp. Which is why he changed the name Bruce banner to David Banner.

    4. The metamorphosis needs to be longer as well, in the movies it all happens way too quickly and again because you don’t see real, physical clothes ripping and tearing off David Banner’s body, that it’s all done with CGI, it looses it’s realism. Essentially this metamorphosis would be the same kind of thing as when a guy changes into a werewolf in movies (some of them anyway!). Look at An American Werewolf in London, and the scene where David Kessler changes into the beast. It’s very drawn out using ONLY physical Prosthetics, a scene for which Rick Baker won an award. You can see the pain, agony, disbelief and complete horror the guy is going through as his bones crunch and muscles disfigure. This should be the same for David Banner.

    It saddens me when movie makers loose the realism of something like this, purely for marketing and merchandising reasons, because they need to rake back the money they’ve spent on CGI by selling toys to kids. Then, a few years down the line they feel the need to remake the movie, because it wasn’t good enough. I mean, where does this end???

    Bring back a live action Hulk using what I would call ‘RCGI’ (Required Computer Graphics Imagery), which means, don’t just use CGI for the sake of it, be clever and cautious with it, use it sparingly and only when absolutely necessary…that’s what I say, it’s the only way this is going to work well! 😉

  4. They should just swallow the pill and do the movie. Allot of people like the hulk. Its not hard really just use the hulk from the avengers/the incredible hulk. They did it with all the other heroes, so they can do it with hulk. Continuing the movie hulk would be easier and cheaper than starting another hulk t.v series wich will never be better then the 80’s one. If Frank Lupo could do a whole t.v series complete with to good reunion movies. Then surely Marvel can do it with the new technology and money. I am a fan of the old hulk t.v series and am glad that they based his movie off of the series. So they should just tweak The Incredible Hulk and make a sequel. No offense what so ever to Hulk (2003) fans, but the old Hulk and the new one more than surpassed that movie. I do not know why they are over complicating this. I also do not get why they feel the need to wait 8 or 9 years just for a sequel, like pixar. Just do not kill the hulk or turn him evil. BTW if my writing is messed up please do not harass me about it.

  5. Oops, I meant to write two good reunion movies not to.

  6. Also they are wrong, the hulk does not just smash things he smashes evil. There is lots of fun in seeing the hulk do this. If you see it all as pointless smashing you are wrong. The hulk is a rage fueled superhero, not just some insane green ape. The smashing is my favorite part. “Hulk Smash”!!! Is the hulks favorite thing to say. Would there really be any fun in him saying this if he does not get to do it. If hulk did not smash, he would lose almost every battle. That is what hulk does, smash!!!

  7. I will say it again… Hulk is like salt and pepper to a movie script… too little and your meal is bland, too much of either and you’ve ruined your meal… You need a great supporting cast like a young Rick Jones to add some light heartedness… and there are just tons of great ideas…

    I always wondered what it would be like to drop Hulk in on the deceptacons in transformers… or how about Hulk landing in front of Cloverfield or Godzilla… something in which clear shows the Hulk getting stronger while angry aka being propelled by emotion and determination to overcome…

    I have published a overview script here and there, but the point is any script has to be well balanced and feel dynamic… both other hulk movies had a continuous gloomy feel to them and had very little dynamics to the characters and story when Hulk was off screen. Both stories didn’t draw you in, they just seemed like a series of things occurring between Hulkouts.

    • Interesting thoughts. I think TIH drew me in a lot though. Every moment that wasn’t an action packed hulkout, or Bruce on the run battling bad guys. That its either Bruce and Betty sharing a romantic moment that really draws me in, or another piece of the movie puzzle being put together. TIH was like one giant puzzle. You inferred that Bruce was on the run, you inferred that he got the hulk from a freak science accident, or that Betty was the woman he loved and had accidentally hurt after his first hulkout. For that reason, I loved the movie. I kinda wish they had killed the abomination, but I still loved it. I am just annoyed that they still haven’t turned it into a franchise by now. Are you a marvel publisher? Because if you are could you possibly talk to Fiege and tell him that turning the hulk evil, and getting rid of avengers heroes is NOT a good idea?

  8. Oops, I meant to write was either, not “that its either.”

  9. I really liked Ed Norton’s Hulk. I was at first skeptical of Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible-ness as the “other guy” he often refers to in The Avengers.

    However, It took only a couple personally focused viewings to buy in and really appreciate what he brought to the character. I hope Marvel gives us a (GOOD OF COURSE) sequel to The Incredible Hulk or at least another movie to give one of the most popular comic characters ever some motion picture justice that Marvel Studios has no doubt proven they’re capable of with their other SuperHeroes.

    ALSO really loved Ruffalo’s rendition of the Bruce Banner side. Love the paranoid goofball and LOVE how he was sort of a median, well as best there could have been with the guys – specifically Stark and Rogers – in The Avengers.

    FWIW I also really really enjoyed Ed Norton’s take on the character as well, but that time has passed.

  10. the guy below talking about a ‘real’ hulk VS a CGI hulk makes a very good point – but i think a good hulk movie plot is easily possible if it includes certain characters and REALLY fleshes them out – Doc Samson! Modok! the Leader! maybe a Defender member – its doable! i could easily write it – CALL ME MARVEL!!!!

  11. The Hulk is an Avenger, treat him like one. You did a good job with him in the Avengers Whedon. You set the stage for all future Hulk movies. Now, he’s not going to be a discount Frankenstein. You of all people should know this. He becomes the Hulk at will now, and he’s not constantly trying to avoid being the Hulk. He’s an actual superhero and people can count on him to save the day. I hope in Age of Ultron you show a lot of him getting respect and trust from the civilians. Then you can do a proper Hulk movie that has relevance to the comics. Unlike those uneducated first 2 attempts.

    And Whedon,this quote makes me a little scared for the future of the Hulk, but you aren’t doing Avengers 3&4 huh? So, this is your next project, and I still believe your the man for the job. Come on Marvel, I just saved your heavy hitter now send me so checks.