What Now For The Hulk?

Published 7 years ago by , Updated June 26th, 2008 at 8:59 pm,

the incredible hulk What Now For The Hulk?

Anyone who thought The Incredible Hulk was going to pull in $60-$100 million last weekend were victims of nerdgasming – i.e. thinking a film was going to be huge because you were excited about it and the Internet was talking it up none.stop.

The funny thing I flat-out told people it was going to be like Batman Begins and have a solid (but not record-breaking) start around the $50 million region. And if it does well, it will be via legs and word-of-mouth after the opening weekend. So of course, I was immediately told, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And now after the reboot (a solid film you should check out if you haven’t already) opened to $55 million, I’m hearing the exact same people who earlier dismissed my lack of “knowledge” now comparing The Incredible Hulk to… you guessed it… Batman Begins. I hate to say I told ya so…

Anyway, now the discussion has turned to, “What now?” for everyone’s favorite angry green giant. And the answer is…iffy. By all accounts, Marvel has already lined up their next 3 years worth of films (including the much-anticipated Iron Man sequel). But Hulk 2 is nowhere to be seen.

Granted in the film-industry, things change fast and often – that’s an understatement of course. And the seeds for a Hulk follow-up were definitely planted (i.e. not to be a spoiler but…it involved a guy with a really big head!)

But, there’s the question of whether or not the Hulk’s “puny human” alter-ego Bruce Banner (specifically actor Edward Norton) will return at all.

I’ve heard conflicting reports regarding if Norton is signed up for multiple films. Considering his much-reported issues with Marvel over the film and his overall lack of promotion leading up to the release, I can’t see him returning on his own free-will. If there isn’t a Hulk sequel in our future, the next best option is The Avengers which is currently aiming for a July 2011 release.

But again, that brings Norton’s participation into question. Marvel’s made it crystal-clear these films are set in the same universe where characters can interact with one another (i.e. the now-infamous Tony Stark cameo ending to Hulk).

So I can’t see them getting someone else to play Banner at this point. Not to mention, it would be quiet jarring for audiences to sit through 3 different actors as Bruce Banner/Hulk on the silver screen in less than 10 years.

It’s just a big question-mark at the moment, ladies and germs. Of course, how well Hulk holds or bad it falls in its second weekend of release will certainly play a factor in all of this.

What do you guys think?

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  1. Good post Jamie,

    Reminds me of me, I argued the same thing here on these boards about Hulk will not even come close to Iron man, that was obvious and we were right.

    Ed Norton is key, he better friggin stay onboard. I should expect there will be a sequel because this was a solid movie and will turn a profit. A sequel in the fold of all these other marvel movies should do well with all the combined hype, especially if they can tie in more cameos from other characters. I would also say its very important for Ed Norton to be Hulk in the Avengers, I don’t see why he wouldn’t partake in an awesome crossover big-cast film like that. But how knows, Ed Norton could piss on all of us.

  2. It’s an easy formula. If Hulk is a success and everyone agrees to come back (read Mr. Norton) then the Incredible Hulk 2 slips into the slot now reserved for the Avengers in 2011 – then Avengers gets pushed back a year, and a Mr. Favreau can direct Avengers if he wishes – he has shown interest but said it was too soon following Iron Man II.

    If Norton refuses. A CGI hulk and no Banner becomes part of Avengers movie as a force for Avengers to fight. Possibly manipulated by the leader with the help of Ultron. Don’t know the possibilities are endless.

    I would love for Norton to come back for another one, but if not Marvel has flexibility.

  3. Matt is right, if he decides not to come back Marvel would just use The Hulk and leave Banner out of the equation. They could use him as a villian, or just have him jump in on the action, fight the bad guys and dissapear when its done. Marvel has alot of choices.

  4. I am not sure whats next for the Hulk,
    But i think what made Iron Man the great success it has become is it was a film for EVERYBODY!
    NOT just for fans of the character.
    The Incredible Hulk felt like an apology to the fans for the Ang Lee film..
    and all the easter eggs gave it a “Inside baseball ” feel.
    Non fans didnt get a lot of it .
    Just my opinion.

  5. I was one of the people who said 60-75 million on it’s opening weekend but I also stated that it will need tremendous legs to get a sequel..That being said this next weekend in North America will tell the tale so to speak..It started out with 31 million overseas in a lot of major markets with three more majors to come next weekend. I was expecting more from the overseas numbers so personally I will be suprised if we see another Hulk Movie outside of the Avengers. Too bad because this would have been a good start to any comic book franchise…

  6. I hate I told you so’d too…but I guess Jamie likes to trump his horn..

  7. I really doubt he will be back and I would be both shocked and amazed if he decided to participate in an Avengers movie. On a side note, is it just me or does it seem like Norton never seems to be enjoying himself in his films? I am not normally a fan of his but I did like him in Hulk. He is one serious guy though.

  8. As someone who usually expects trilogies (and frequently gets disappointed by third instalments), I actually find it refreshing that we may not NEED to expect an announcement of ‘Hulk 2′. This new Marvel universe seems to be making new rules about what to expect and I love that the next appearance of Hulk may be in ‘Avengers’ (or ‘Iron Man 2′, for all we know). ‘The Incredible Hulk’ has actually made me more interested in ‘Captain America’ (which I wasn’t really before) than hanging on for some kind of traditional sequel announcement.


  10. “Nerdgasm”. Well, why I really enjoyed this word creation being mentioned in ONE article (where it fits like a glove) I sure hope it will not stay around for a long time.

    While it basically designates the more “intense” movie fanatics as “a bunch of childish idiots” (most certainly not too far off) it also somehow degrades the user.

    If you want to create your own word to describe “fanatic, sometimes idiotic devotion to a (almost certainly idiotic) movie/franchise” that – on the other hand – would make a great article on this website! ;)

    My suggestion: “Fanthusiasm”. ;)



  11. IMHO, Hulk will still recieve a franchise just because the review are extreme positive and the DVD will do very well. Ang Lee’s Hulk film and slow marketing truly did handicap this film. Still hoping this is a good word-of-mouth week for “IH”.

  12. i think the DVD will really help also, especially with 70 minutes of extra footage!! I hope they have a Norton/directors version. That would be pretty cool….

  13. 55mil is a huge weekend for Hulk.
    If they did a midnight screening on Thursday they prob would have broke 60, and wasn’t that what Marvel was predicting?

    I think the biggest prob this franchise has now is Norton.
    There at his mercy on a sequel, what he demands will be the key to the future of him as Banner. If he demands TOTAL control he could be passed on.

    Also, on the 70min deleated footage, I’ve read that that’s only going to be on the BluRay version.
    Maybe that will change or maybe I’m wrong? They would deffinitley have to do a 2 disc version for that on dvd.

  14. Yeah, unfortunately Hulk is tracking right now for only $26.5MM this weekend which is more than a 50% drop in box office from opening weekend.

    A drop that big is usually a sign of bad word of mouth.

    The big green guy just can’t catch a break on the big screen, I guess.


  15. Yeah that’s too bad I’ve yet to catch a break to see it but I’m still looking forward to it. I still think it will overall make a profit enough to make Marvel happy.

    In hindsight maybe Norton wasn’t the best choice for a franchise film ?

  16. Maybe they need to do a version with a
    Banner that LIKES being the Hulk .
    and i mean he PICKS fights .
    he LOOKS for trouble .
    In that way ,
    Make it much more of a comedy .

  17. It’s about a guy who loses control of his anger and it rears its ugly head as a 9 ft 1500 lb green giant…no corn jokes please…How do you make it more funny…more light-hearted moments would have been nice but we all basically wanted to see HULK SMASH…I was disappointed by the last fight scene as I thought that as HULK GETS MADDER HULK GETS STRONGER so eventually he would’ve just blew the final gasket and utterly destroyed THE Abomination…Didn’t really happen that way but still a great movie none-the-less…I think the memory of Ang Lee’s Hulk just hurt this film too much…

  18. Was their ever a story in the comics where Bruce gets plastic surgery? I know it’s cheesy but an option. The whole Norton issue could blow over. Negotiations
    and a little time can bring parties back together. A 105-110 minute “Avenger” movie would still get crowded with four maybe five other characters.

    The villains, they have to have to have enough screen time for development. Given that, would a Hulk cameo really be that bad?

    The time frames and Marvels work load, three years beyond an “Avengers” release wouldn’t be unreasonable lag for another “Hulk.” If “Avengers” does well you could get more Hulk no matter what’s decided!

  19. Finally saw The Hulk today and …… I was BLOWN AWAY.
    (Going to see it again today).

    One of the best films of the year just as good as Iron Man!
    I was totally wrong about Norton, he was frekin brillant and perfectly cast. PERFECTLY!!! In some scenes I swear he was channeling Bill Bixby. (And we all love Bill). I loved his cameo btw as well as Stan Lees best ever not to mention Lou Ferrigno’s.

    The story just went right for it. I loved the overhead shots of the citys Banner lived in. It really gave the movie a huge scope.
    This time Marvel was able to capture the Comic Book feel without the 24 like split-screen of Ang Lee.
    Nice touch on the “Homeland Intervention Task Force, (lol).

    Somebody was saying Hulk looked weak when he cowered in the final battle, dude he was looking right past Abom and at Betsy. Gheesh. Gimma a Break. Hulk even spared Aboms life, looked weak. Yeah right.

    The final battle was worth the price of addmisson.
    The ending was stupendous as Banner seems to have a grip on himself as the Hulk.

    The movie was super awesome. Just really impressed !!

  20. Well as of today, by public accounts anyway “The Incredible Hulk” has broke even and put 77 million dollars into the Marvel/Universal coffers. Big Green currently rates 10Th in Marvel’s top grosses. Currently, just under Ang Lee’s version. “Iron Man” ranks fourth.