After the premiere of The Incredible Hulk trailer, Empire Magazine sat down with director Louis Leterrier to go through the preview. What he actually ends up revealing is what the plot is about, and what we can expect from this new Hulk Smash! adventure. Hint: Lots of action, but what sounds like a heart and a center.
I hope it goes without saying that with a title like "Incredible Hulk Director Reveals Plot Details!" it's clear that there will be what could be considered spoilers below. :-)
The new Hulk movie opens with a bearded Bruce Banner (writer/actor Edward Norton) working in the Brazilian jungle. Hmm... Isn't that essentially where the last movie left off?
Leterrier promises this isn't an out and out origin story, and he turns into the Hulk within the first three minutes. I guess that takes care of the whole 'Hulk shows up after hour one' bit that annoyed so many of us in Ang Lee's infamous version, five years ago. Banner also using meditation and Brazilian jujitsu to keep the monster at bay. (And yes, that's a pre-Doc Samson, Dr. Samson. Yes, the close-up shots of his eyes remind me of Bill Bixby, and that's a cool thing!)
Leterrier also explains why the Abomination looks the way he does; he can't justify the look of the comics on the screen, and I'm okay with that. It makes sense that Emil Blonsky (here, an older, not-quite-where-he-wants-to-be American military man who takes the ultimate risk) had the gamma juice put into his body and bones. Hence the exoskeleton. Looks like something out of the Resident Evil video games.
He then goes on to say that Betty Ross (Liv Tyler; hoping she does well in the role) is Banner's true love, and with her around, he's only going to get in trouble. Mainly by General "Thunderbolt" Ross (played by the always excellent William Hurt), who is obsessed with tracking down and capturing the Hulk for military purposes. Apparently, they're going to focus a lot on the obsession, which sounds interesting. Don't forget, in the trailer, General Ross says, "As far as I'm concerned, that man's whole body is property of the U.S. Army."
He also revealed that the scene in the trailer where The Hulk is running head-on towards the Abomination is the start of an extended third act fight scene. All right! Sounds like all-out action to me!
Finally, Leterrier explains why they waited to put out a trailer: they wanted the FX to be as close to finished as possible. Hmm, another lesson learned from the Ang Lee flick. I remember watching the teaser during the 2003 Super Bowl and my friend and her family remarked about how CGI-ish the VFX looked. And that was the beginning of the backlash. Yes, it did make sense to hire Ang to direct the film, after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon... but it still stunk. (The scene of Banner Hulking out after getting pummeled by Talbot [Josh Lucas] notwithstanding.)
Yes, I have to say, I'm plenty excited about the new Hulk movie.
It almost seems like it's a continuation and a re-imagining at the same time. I'm very cool with that, and since it won't 100% be an origin movie (even Jon Favreau recently told our own Vic that origin movies feel like different movies - exactly! Good thing he's looking to mix it in with the rest of the story in Iron Man), we'll be able to enjoy it more. However, Batman Begins had one heckuva great origin story mixed in with the plot! They did it right by keeping focused on the entire story, instead of starting it halfway through (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man, etc.).
The movie opens June 13, 2008, from Marvel Studios and Universal Studios.
Source: EmpireOnline.com (which has an excellent play-by-play with secrets revealed of the trailer and movie)