Kevin Feige, President of Production for Marvel Studios spoke with MTV News earlier this week about the success of this summer's The Incredible Hulk.
Feige discussed the risks in doing another Hulk-centered film and how it paid off financially and critically compared to Ang Lee's Hulk of 2003. Although, not even close to the success or critical acclaim of The Dark Knight or Iron Man, Feige says they now have a Hulk they are proud of and that fans can enjoy going forward. He details the two objectives Marvel had with the new adaptation of Bruce Banner's alter-ego:
"One was to make even a dollar more than the first one did, so we could justify that we had done it from a financial aspect, and the other one was to bring a Hulk to the screen that a broader fanbase could enjoy. The good news is, we accomplished both."
I agree with that. I really enjoyed the Incredible Hulk while I hated Ang Lee's version. I thought the movie did everything right and was very story-driven. I also liked how they turned Hulk into more of a hero and focused on Bruce Banner learning to control his inner demon to use it for good.
Feige also discussed the increased revenues from this new Hulk and the future of the character:
"We made more [than the first 'Hulk'].... We made 3 or maybe 4 million more domestically, and I think 10 or 12 million more internationally. That was one feather and a big deal! Now we have a Hulk that we can be proud of and that is a better match and fits more with the tone of what had been in our comics and what we want him to be in our films going forward."
The thing is, they've made no plans or announcements on a Hulk sequel while making as much noise as they can about Iron Man followups and films for Thor, Captain America and the Avengers. Why is there no Hulk sequel in there? Screen Rant reported last month that Edward Norton had not been contacted at all or been part of any dicussion about him or the Hulk being featured in a sequel or the Avengers film.
Well, it's pretty clear that the profits for Hulk don't even come close to Iron Man or what's expected of Thor or Cap. Since Marvel can only self-finance two films per year at the moment, why waste that opportunity on a film that doesn't seem to have room to grow significantly? Feige explained that Hulk has had two films in the last five years and that it's time to give other characters their chance. He did clarify however, that characters could be popping up in other characters' stories much like in the comics. Feige concludes:
"I would expect that people may see the Hulk again soon before he is again carrying his own film,"
hinting at the possibility of Hulk appearing in the Avengers.
If Marvel has officially confirmed the Avengers film, in my mind they should have contacted Mr. Norton immediately. I really dug him as Bruce Banner and I think he would be a cool element of the team. Just over a week ago, we discussed the possibility of the Hulk being the villain in the Avengers movie. Personally, I don't like that idea and if that is some way of not including Ed Norton, then it's even worse an idea in my opinion.
My ideal Avengers team would have Hulk as a good guy with Banner played by Norton. His intellect and reluctance of transforming into the Hulk would be a really cool aspect and addition to the team. I would also like to see the film focus on a true villain and not take away from what was developed in The Incredible Hulk with Banner learning self-control.
What do you think? Should Marvel be signing Norton to play Banner in the Avengers? Does Hulk deserve another solo film?