Ever since Marvel Entertainment announced that they would be remaking the Incredible Hulk movie, critics and fans alike had been waiting with bated breath.
The 2003 edition of Hulk had been panned unanimously as a Hulk-sized flop and this time around fans were hoping Marvel wouldnít disappoint while critics were anxiously waiting to pan the entertainment company and the Hulk franchise into oblivion. However, when the Louis Leterrier movie debuted on cinema screens last weekend, critics and fans were almost unanimous in their agreement that the movie was a success. By the end of its debut weekend the movie had grossed over $54.5 million and newspaper, radio, TV and online media were awash with various viewpoints offered on the forces behind the successful remake of the movie.
The movie idea had stemmed from the rather successful comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby which had equally spun off into a successful TV series in the 70ís on CBS.
In 2003 hoping to capture some of the magic which had been associated with the TV series and the comic book, Marvel Entertainment in the manner of other entertainment giants decided to take the picture to the big screen. Chosen to direct the movie was Ang Lee, Academy Award-winning director, famous for box office hits such as Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain and a number of others. The star of the movie then was Eric Bana (Chopper, Black Hawk Down), Bana played the lead role of Dr. Bruce Banner and was ably supported by co-stars such as Jennifer Connelly( Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind) , Sam Elliot (We Were Soldiers)and Josh Lucas (Glory Road, Poseidon).
The movie was marked by serious acting but most people found the movie a flop, the acting was commendable according to some but hardly the best fit for a cult, comic-book based movie such as the Hulk. Despite the rating from critics the Hulk succeeded in grossing over $245 million, regardless of the fact that it took an estimated budget of $137 million to make the movie.
|Variant cover art for The Incredible Hulk vol. 3, #92 (April 2006)from wikipedia
by Bryan Hitch.|
Largely fuelled by the success of the franchise, Marvel Entertainment decided to give the movie idea a shot again, this time recruiting the services of director,
Louis Leterrier , the French director of The Transporter 1& 2 and Danny the Dog. The remake of the movie is titled The Incredible Hulk as opposed to Hulk (the 2003 movie version). Dr. Bruce Banner is played by Edward Norton (The Illusionist, The Italian Job). Norton was supported in his roles by Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings) and William M.Hurt , the Academy Award winning actor that starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1985.
The Incredible Hulk features a number of major changes over the 2003 movie and aims to incorporate certain elements of the comic as well as the smash hit series of the 70ís. Original Hulk series actor Louis Ferrigno was brought back in a dual-capacity in the movie. First he plays the cameo role of a security guard and voices the Hulk character as well. Another inclusion from the past is the walking away song from the series which is played in the movie as well.
The improvements were largely in answer to complaints from critics that the scenes in the Hulk 2003 movie were too somber and didnít have the characteristics of the old series.
Other than simply including elements from the past, some current changes were made as well. Enhanced visual effects were undertaken to ensure that the Hulk looked less like a toy or CG image in the movie and more like a real life monster of bulk and sinewy muscles. Part of the success of the graphics in the movie can be credited to visual effects supervisor Kurt Williams who wanted a movie where the Hulk looked less like a bodybuilder and more like a linebacker.
Make-up artists from the project were from the set that worked on X-Men: The Last Stand. This wasnít the only thing borrowed from the X-Men movie; script writer Zak Penn also authored the scripts for both X2, and X-Men: The Last Stand.
With the success of The Incredible Hulk at the box office, a revelation has been made that a sequel is definitely in the making. Again critics and fans again are probably waiting, will it go the manner of failed sequels or will it be another roaring success?