MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE INCREDIBLE HULK - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE INCREDIBLE HULK

 Geek Dave Hulks out.

1. The second film in the newly conceived Marvel Cinematic Universe arrived a mere two months after the debut feature, Iron Man. The Incredible Hulk saw a return to Marvel for the character, with the development rights having previously belonged to Universal Pictures (who still retained distribution rights for this release). After Marvel's Kevin Feige decided that this film needed to be a reinvention of the character, rather than a continuation from Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk film, Eric Bana was out, and several new names were linked with the part of the Hulk's alter-ego, Dr. Bruce Banner.

The man who would play him from The Avengers onward, Mark Ruffalo, was an early contender and someone who director Louis Letterier personally championed to get the part. It appears he was one of three actors who had a strong chance of taking the lead, along with Edward Norton and David Duchovny...

...Marvel really wanted this take on the Hulk to stay truer to the character and pay homage to its past. So when the original live-action television Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, stated that Edward Norton reminded him of the late Bill Bixby, who acted beside him as David Banner (same character, different name - find out why here) on The Incredible Hulk TV show, Marvel took notice. That endorsement seems to have pushed Norton ahead of everyone else.

2. Once Edward Norton was on board he set about rewriting and restructuring many areas of the script, something he has been known to do with other films he has starred in. Originally, Bruce Banner's sidekick Rick Jones was featured in the screenplay, but Norton removed the character completely. Norton introduced many references to other Marvel comics, and wrote a part specifically for Michael Kenneth Williams because he was a big fan of Williams' work on The Wire - ultimately Williams' scene was all but cut out, with just a few seconds left in.

According to Tim Roth, Edward Norton carried on rewriting scenes every day, and would spend hours with Liv Tyler discussing their characters' lives outside of the filmed scenes. In certain promotional posters he was credited as a writer under the pseudonym of 'Edward Harrison', but later Norton's writing credit was denied by the Writers Guild of  America, and Zak Penn became the only writer credited.

3. Apart from featuring Lou Ferrigno as a Security Guard, there are many, many references to the classic TV series including;
  • The scene near the beginning of the movie when Bruce Banner is flipping channels on the TV, one of the shows he stops on is The Courtship of Eddie's Father which starred Bill Bixby (Dr. Banner in The Incredible Hulk TV series).
  • The Military Base mentioned in the film is called "Fort Johnson", named after Kenneth Johnson, the writer, director, and producer of that TV series.
  • After the Hulk appears at Culver University two students are interviewed in the news, they go by the names of Jack McGee and Jim Wilson. Jack McGee was a tabloid reporter who attempted to track down the Hulk in the TV series, and in the comics Jim Wilson was a young orphan who befriended the Hulk.
4. There's also a nice nod to the 1960's Hulk animated series. Paul Soles who portrays "Stanley", the owner of the pizza shop, also provided the voice for Dr. Bruce Banner in that animated series, and that character's name was given in tribute to Hulk co-creator Stan Lee.

5. In the comics, Emil Blonsky takes on a scaly reptilian appearance, becoming the Abomination. However, director Louis Leterrier felt that it made little sense considering there was no reptile mix in his origin. So Blonsky's appearance was redefined substantially for The Incredible Hulk. His skin, muscles, and bones were exaggerated and stuck out all over his body. Leterrier described Blonsky as:
" uber-human, just like the Hulk, but a human who was injected with something in the wrong places and these places are growing differently." 
They also weren't keen on using the name "Abomination". Writer Zak Penn felt it sounded too silly, so Emil Blonsky is only referred to by his proper name. However, the word "abomination" is used once when Samuel Sterns warns Blonsky that the mix of Banner's mutated DNA with Blonsky's injection "could abomination." 

6. Just like every modern day comic book film, there are lots of special effects throughout The Incredible Hulk, but it might surprise you which of them took the longest to produce. It's not any 'Hulk-out' moment, or the Abomination, or any large fight scene, it's actually the scene where Bruce Banner's gamma-irradiated blood falls through three factory stories into a bottle. It took the VFX artists over a year to construct that shot!

7. Tim Blake Nelson's character, Samuel Sterns, gets The Hulk's blood in a wound in his head, which then starts to mutate before he's seen smiling. This is a foreshadowing of his role in a proposed sequel, where Sterns would've been the main villain, The Leader.

8. The filmmakers decided to make the production environmentally-friendly, using hybrid vehicles on set, zero-or-low VOC paint and locally-sourced yellow pine to build the sets, among other measures. As such, The Incredible Hulk became the first blockbuster film to receive the Environmental Media Association's Green Seal, which is displayed during the end credits.

9. This is the only Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One film in which Nick Fury does not appear. However his name does feature in the opening credit montage. Keep your eyes pealed at the 2:46 mark, as on a S.H.I.E.L.D. page there is the text Nick Fury, Shield Command, Code RED, New York NY 060564.

10. Although the scene was cut from the theatrical release, Captain America can be seen in the alternate beginning featured on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases. When the last piece of ice breaks up toward the screen, hit the pause button. There, frozen within the ice, lays Cap with his shield.

Previous MCU Trivia Articles
10 Things You Might Not Know About Iron Man

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