MarvelVision: Phase One – The Incredible Hulk
You wouldn’t like us when we’re podcasting about 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt and Tim Roth. As we continue our journey through Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we revisit the requel of Ang Lee’s Hulk, which came out two months after Iron Man. Find out how well the action scenes hold up, explore the almost casting, and relive the weird amount of work Norton did on the film. Plus, we roll in an archival interview from 2008 with Tim Roth, director Louis Letterier, producer Gale Anne Hurd, and a young up and comer named Kevin Feige.
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Full Episode Transcript
Alex: Welcome to MarvelVision, a podcast about Marvel, the MCU, and you wouldn’t like me when I’m podcasting because today [crosstalk 00:00:16]-
Justin: Oh, boy. Come on.
Alex: … we’re going to be talking about [crosstalk 00:00:17] The Incredible Hulk.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:00:21] Don’t do that. Don’t waste it.
Alex: The Incredible Hulk. I’m Alex.
Justin: I’m Justin.
Pete: I’m Pete. Don’t waste the fun stuff.
Alex: No. We’re going to do it about 50 more times.
Pete: Ah, that’s what I’m worried about. That’s what I’m worried about.
Alex: So we are making our way through the phase one of MCU, the first couple of films. Last week we did Iron Man. We talked about that. This week we are going to be talking about The Incredible… What is your question right off the bat? [crosstalk 00:00:45] I haven’t even started. What is going on?
Pete: [crosstalk 00:00:46] I make him crazy here. He’s introducing. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hand raising. What the fuck. Who’s picking this order? This is so fucking random. This isn’t even in chronological order. We didn’t start with Blade, we’re doing Incredible Hulk instead of Hulk, like what the fuck, man.
Justin: Pete. Pete, so much to talk to you about.
Alex: Yeah. So first of all, we talked about this in the last podcast, but it’s really interesting to me that you’re trying to erase Mahershala Ali, [crosstalk 00:01:16] who is the official Blade of the MCU. That’s wild to me, right off the bad.
Pete: It’s not the official [crosstalk 00:01:21]-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:01:21] It’s interesting to me. It sounds like you don’t like him as an actor, and you’re not looking forward to the new Blade movie.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:01:25] You’re acting like the first Blade doesn’t exist. Wesley Snipes doesn’t exist to you?
Alex: This is completely derailing the podcast here, and not interesting-
Pete: And also, I’m upset because [crosstalk 00:01:33] I rented-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:01:34] Yes, and also shut up, I hate you.
Pete: … [crosstalk 00:01:35] Hulk and Incredible Hulk, because I didn’t know which one we were watching, and I had to fucking watch both. I started The Incredible Hulk, I was like, “Oh, no. This is-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:01:43] Oh, is your texting machine not working anymore?
Justin: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:01:46] on your phone.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:01:46] Could have text your friends to ask me, “Hey, which of the two movie is the one that makes sense than the other one.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:01:51] I’m not going to give you that fucking moment for you could be like, “You dumbass, Pete. We’re doing Incredible Hulk.” [crosstalk 00:01:57]-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:01:57] alive for the podcast. Thanks, Pete.
Justin: Yeah. Also, Pete, you were horribly punished by doing something you probably would have done anyway, watch a Marvel movie?
Alex: Ang Lee Hulk, Tommy Boy, Incredible Hulk, Tommy Boy. [crosstalk 00:02:11] You got Saturday right there.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:02:13] That’s a media giant.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:02:14] Why can’t we talk about Ang Lee Hulk? Why did you skip over [crosstalk 00:02:18] it?
Alex: [crosstalk 00:02:18] We’re definitely going to talk about Ang Lee Hulk because it ties in, if you would have just waited a second for the introduction. So Incredible Hulk came out June 13, 2008. This is two months after Iron Man came out and destroyed box office records. Interestingly, Incredible Hulk, as many people could probably predict if you didn’t know already did not do quite as well at the box office. I think it’s still the lowest grossing MCU movie of all time. But it was directed by Louis Leterrier, it was written asterisk by Zak Penn, and the reason I put the asterisk there is there was a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on with star Edward Norton.
Alex: Reports varied in terms of how much he tackled the script or not. In previous movies, specifically American History X which is a fantastic movie, he tackled a lot of that script and rewrote a lot of that. Here he reportedly did the same, didn’t end up with a writing credit. You can see a vague, I think it’s Edward Harrison or Edward Hawson or something like that on some of the posters, but ultimately the WGA ruled in favor of Zak Penn getting the sole writing credit there.
Alex: But this led to a lot of behind the scenes consternation that ended up in the press, and since this was back in 2008 it was very early internet, but even then I can remember people going back and forth, who said who, did people fight on set. And this leads into something that we have a fun archive surprise for you all at the end of the podcast. Back in 2008 in April at New York Comic Con, we were hosting video interviews for Newsarama at the time, [crosstalk 00:03:44] and they brought Incredible Hulk to Comic Con since it was in April. And we set up an interview. Justin, you and I did this one. We rotated as we went through the interviews. I’ll tell you what-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:03:56] Because Pete was screaming about Blade on the floor, I believe, at that time.
Pete: Yeah. Yeah. I was out there in Artists’ Alley, in the streets, talking to the people, while you guys were up in the hoity-toity sky-box.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:04:07] That’s right.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:04:08] And there was a young man named Mahershala Ali who was passing along and was like, “Blade, you say? Sounds interesting.”
Justin: [crosstalk 00:04:13] Maybe I should take a look at that.
Alex: Maybe I should look into that. So we did an interview for Incredible Hulk. First of all, surprising to me that they weren’t touring around Iron Man at that point in April, instead they were touring around Incredible Hulk, but I guess they had to do a little bit damage control there. I remembered us doing this interview, but I had forgotten the participants.
Justin: Exactly. [crosstalk 00:04:33] We did that. Tim Roth is who we talked to, right?
Alex: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, and I remembered Louis Leterrier, because I have stuck in my brain the one thing which is not in the interview, that spoiler but we’re going to roll this out at the end of the podcast so you can listen to the whole thing, but I remember very specifically talking to Louis Leterrier about the soundtrack for it, the score for it, and he said, “Oh, it is a Star Wars level score. I can’t wait for people to hear it.” To the point that he loved it so much he essentially forced Marvel, or I guess Universal, to release a two disk set of the entire score, which even surprised the composer, Craig Armstrong, where he was like, “Really? Why would you want to do that?”
Pete: Every time you say that name I think you’re going to say Louis the terrier.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:05:22] That’s what I means in French.
Justin: Way to translate that, Mr. LePage.
Pete: Yeah, I know.
Justin: Peter the page.
Alex: So yeah, I remembered Tim Roth, remembered Louis Letterier, I didn’t remember the two producers there. One of those, Gale Anne Hurd, who people probably know at this point from Walking Dead, this is even pre-Walking Dead at that point, which is wild to think about.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:05:42] Whoa. Yeah.
Alex: But she had done Terminator, she had done Alien, she had done so many other movies. But the other guy that I completely forgot, to the point of watching this video and being like, “Wait, is that…? No, that must be wrong.”
Justin: [crosstalk 00:05:53] Kevin Feige? As we probably called him back then.
Alex: It was Kevin Feige, and thinking back it had to be like, “What is this random producer doing here? What’s going on?” But now, of course, he’s Kevin Feige. And at that point they hadn’t launched the MCU, nobody knew really who he was, and he was just sitting there chatting about it.
Justin: And if you’re watching this on video, you got to watch it on video, you see all of us young people, they’ve changed so much, we grew tiny beards technically and that’s about it, so there’s a lot of stuff that you get to really take in on this. [crosstalk 00:06:29] You’re going to see our interview style in evolution.
Alex: Exactly. And just a warning since it is 2008 video, maybe the audio quality is not 100% the best, but I still think it’s fun to check out, and I liked hearing a lot of that information, particularly pre, now that we know the movie and the impact of it. So there’s a lot to talk about here. I wrote down way too many notes and behind the scenes things, because I’ll be honest with you, we talked about this beforehand, after recording Iron Man, Pete who claims to have forgotten which Hulk we were talking about said, “Why are we going to talk about that? Are we just going to hate on that movie?” At the time I said, “Well, honestly, I like the Harlem fight.” Because that was before watching this again-
Pete: That’s what clicked. I’m watching the Ang Lee one and I’m going, “Wait a second.” And your voice in my head goes, “Yeah, I like the Harlem fight.” I’m like, “I’m watching the god damn wrong movie.”
Justin: I want to hear more about this voice in your head, Pete. Alex is just in there like a little Jiminy Cricket?
Alex: [crosstalk 00:07:24] 24/7 baby.
Pete: Yeah. Just constantly [crosstalk 00:07:28]-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:07:28] So before we get into specifics about the movie or any of the trivia or anything like that, the main takeaway that I had, the point I was bringing this up is, my memory of the movie, seeing it at, I think it was at the Marvel friends and family screening in New York. Big reaction to everything. Those were the perfect screenings to see things at because everybody got everything. And I remembered being blown away by the Harlem fight, absolutely loving it. Being like, “This is great. The rest of the movie is fine, but this is great.”
Alex: Watching it again, that was the weakest part of the movie for me, honestly. And there were other points that I really enjoyed a lot more. Some of the weird character choices, some of the action scenes were actually pretty good, versus the Harlem fight at the end felt like, “All right, we’ve seen better CGI figures fighting at this point, and it’s not the best stage,” thing. But my big takeaway here is I don’t think this movie is a total loss. I don’t mind parts of it, and I liked watching it again.
Justin: Yeah. I mean, I think I remember liking Ed Norton as the Hulk, even. Obviously that was before we got Mark Ruffalo, and before the tone of Marvel movies came into full focus. This movie is much more self-serious, and like an austere, almost you can feel like Ed Norton being, “Look, look at me. I’m doing this.” And almost the Bill Bixby Hulk Show in the way that it tells the story.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:08:54] Well, it has the little homage in the beginning.
Justin: And it feels like that goes throughout in a lot of way, where it’s this melancholy melodramatic Bruce Banner just trying to hide, making his way through the world. He starts in a place where he doesn’t want to be and ends up in a place where he’s still wondering. But I think retroactively I like that you liked different parts going back, because I think in the moment everyone was down on it because Iron Man was so good and so hot. And then, looking back, all the other Marvel movies are so good and so hot. And this movie feels like a weird sore thumb sticking out, but I agree with you, I like parts of this movie.
Alex: What about you, Pete, having seen a movie-and-a-half to prep for this podcast?
Pete: Yeah. I mean, well first off, I appreciate the fact that this one starts like where we are Hulk-wise right now where Hulk is a little bit more horror oriented. Again [crosstalk 00:09:49]-
Justin: In the comics, you mean?
Pete: Yes. Yeah. It has a little bit more menacing music as the music starts-
Pete: Yeah. And it also-
Alex: Star Wars level.
Pete: Take it easy with that. But it’s more of a villain set up, which is very interesting, or as the Ang Lee start was a little bit more funner, like the start of it. Also, we had the Marvel flip which had the comics in there, and I miss that. I miss the title card with just the comics and not the live action stuff.
Justin: Pete, I love whatever you prepare for a podcast, even if you prepare the wrong things, [crosstalk 00:10:30] you still make sure to talk about it.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:10:32] We’re going to be talking about the Ang Lee movie throughout the whole thing, so buckle up.
Alex: I’ll tell you though-
Justin: I’m here to throw the discus on the Olympics, but I also want to shoot a gun into the sky on skis, I don’t care.
Pete: Yeah. I don’t care. I do not care.
Alex: It is actually a good place to start, because the thing that’s interesting about the Ang Lee movie is I think that’s gained critical mass over time as people have realized it’s very weird, but it’s very interesting at the same time.
Pete: It is.
Alex: But this was supposed to be not exactly a complete clean reboot of the Ang Lee version. There were actually points that Sam Elliott was interested in returning as General Ross, they tried [crosstalk 00:11:14]-
Pete: Yeah. That was a mistake, [crosstalk 00:11:16] not trying to get Sam Elliott back.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:11:16] They tried to get Eric Bana back, and Eric Bana was like, “No, not coming back. Not in a million years. Not doing that.”
Justin: My name’s too similar to Bruce Banner, I can’t do this anymore.
Alex: And part of the reason you were mentioning the beginning of the movie here where we get this montage that sets up the Hulk’s origin story-
Justin: Yeah, which is nice.
Alex: … large part of that was because they had the Ang Lee version and they felt like we don’t need to do the same thing again. People know what the Hulk’s origin is. Let’s get through it. However, the little sub point here is there are apparently at least 70 minutes of deleted scenes from this movie. Both Edward Norton and Louis Letterier wanted it to be a solid two-and-a-half hours or longer, and the studio said, “No, you absolutely have to do it less than two hours. Do not do that under any circumstances.” So there’s about 35 minutes of footage that an editor, the same editor who did the Marvel flip, edited down to that sequence that you see in the beginning. So that wasn’t a montage they filmed, that was an entire half-hour of the movie that never ended up in it.
Pete: Well, either way I appreciated the fact that we didn’t have to sit through an origin story again, you know what I mean? I thought it was smart, being like, “Hey, you’re a Marvel fan. You’ve probably seen this shit, you know this shit, so let’s just roll.” So I did very much appreciate that, and I want to just talk about Sam Elliott real quick. That ‘stache that Sam Elliott has, I mean, that’s General Ross’ ‘stache, you know what I mean? When you recast that, I was like, “I don’t care how many times you say this guy’s [crosstalk 00:12:41]-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:12:41] They brought back the ‘stache.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:12:43] Same ‘stache.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:12:43] For William Hurt, yeah.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:12:45] It’s not the same ‘stache, and you know that.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:12:46] Same ‘stache.
Pete: You don’t make that joke.
Alex: Same ‘stache. They grew William Hurt out of it.
Pete: No, didn’t work.
Justin: Didn’t work. Yeah, little known fact, he’s just a misshapen clone of Sam Elliott.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:12:57] Now the other thing that they cut out of here out of the beginning… Oh, yes. What were you going to, Justin?
Justin: [crosstalk 00:13:02] No, Pete has like 45 more minutes on Sam Elliott.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:13:04] Yeah, I was going to-
Justin: He wants to break down the beef, it’s what’s for dinner commercials as Thunderbolt Ross.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:13:09] The other thing that’s really interesting I think about the beginning, there’s a whole slew of deleted scenes that were on the DVD, you can find them on YouTube of course. Somebody very helpfully put them in an entire half-hour chunk. This is not the origin stuff, and we’ll get to some of the other things, I think later on, but one that is most interesting is there is an alternate opening scene that they cut because it was too dark.
Alex: It was actually Bruce Banner going to the arctic, going all the way onto a glacier, pulling out a gun and he’s going to commit suicide, and as he’s about to shoot himself, the Hulk stops him. He turns into the Hulk and it smashes the gun, and then the Hulk smashes the ice and it crashes, and the wave comes over, and that’s when they would do crash to title. And everyone said, “Ew, that is too dark, do not do that.” And instead, they started the way that they started.
Justin: This is a kid’s movie, you psychopaths. [crosstalk 00:14:04] suicide attempt.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:14:05] That would be interesting. It would be really cool if Hulk smashed the ice and Captain America came up and Hulk went down, that would’ve been cool.
Alex: That is exactly what happened, Pete.
Alex: No, no, no. I’m not even joking. There was 100%. It’s nearly impossible to find unless you have somebody who has already done a still frame, but he smashes the ice, the ice rushes, and there was one frame where they had a very shady Captain American who was in the ice there with the shield, and frozen, and everything.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:14:35] Oh, wow. That is hilarious.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:14:35] The other thing that’s a little interesting about this scene is Mark Ruffalo actually refers to it in Avengers and talks about it as the darkest point that he got to. So even though it doesn’t actually exist in this movie, it still weirdly ties into the MCU anyway.
Justin: The fact that the MCU is able to tie deleted scenes into their main storyline, baller.
Pete: And it does seem like this movie did benefit from learning from the mistakes of the Ang Lee. Like they don’t fight a smoke monster at the end, they make jokes about the boxer shorts that somehow stayed on Hulk during the… So there were things that they were like, “Oh, okay. We can learn from this.”
Justin: Because you’re a big believer in the Hulk should be fully nude all the time, because he would blow out of those clothes.
Pete: Well, I mean, the fact that they cut to the Hulk in the Ang Lee one, the socks were still on, I was like, “The socks don’t grow.” I won’t want him to be fully nude, but I do appreciate [crosstalk 00:15:33] the making jokes of it.
Justin: Pete, is your 1000th tweet thread on Twitter still there were you really get into this and shout about it? The appropriate amount that it needs to be shouted about.
Alex: So this was another big thing that they did with the movie that you can see throughout to the point that Pete is making where they’re trying to make it diametrically opposite from the Ang Lee version, is they wanted to lean a little more into the action, they wanted to lean more into the horror like you were saying, Justin. And I think this is actually the biggest thing to its detriment is they were holding it back to the Bill Bixby version, which is a great version of the Hulk, it’s a great TV show, but it [crosstalk 00:16:09] stylistically it makes this movie in my mind feel like one iteration back of superhero movies. It’s of the mode of the Spider-Man movies, X-Man movies, versus this quantum leap forward that Iron Man was for the MCU.
Justin: Yeah. I agree with you, and I think that’s why this movie sticks out so much. It’s that adaptation that doesn’t quite nail it, and it’s just amazing they were able to do it with the next iteration of the Hulk so quickly. And it also shows why there just hasn’t been another Hulk movie, which I think we all desperately want. It feels like he’s gotten short shrift.
Alex: Well, there’s a bunch of reasons for that, the reason that they haven’t done a Hulk movie. The biggest thing is the rights, which are complicated and not public at all, so it’s very hard to talk about them other than in speculative rumors. But at the time, and you guys probably noticed this and anybody who rewatched it probably noticed this, but it was made by Marvel Studios, but it was released by Universal. Also, we didn’t really talk about this with Iron Man, but the Disney Marvel sale didn’t go through until 2009, so those first couple of movies were all released by Paramount. They didn’t have a movie studio to release with until Disney bought them.
Alex: And I think it’s Avengers the first one that has both the Disney and Paramount logos if I remember correctly, but I guess when we get to Avengers we’ll revisit that. And then going forward it’s just Disney. Universal holds all the distribution rights to Hulk, and they have for years. So Marvel is able to use the character, they’re able to put the character in things, but in terms of actually releasing the movie, that’s up to Universal to do. There were rumors recently that the rights reverted. Nobody has said publicly anything about that.
Alex: But the thing that also makes it tricky, not to get too deep into the weeds, but Marvel made these massive, super messy, super terrible deals, decades earlier to sell off all the rights of almost all their characters to absolutely everybody, including the Hulk. They made a, I would say, terrible deal with Universal for theme parks where they said, “Yeah, you could use all of our superhero characters in your theme parks. Go for it.” So you go to Universal Islands of Adventure, all of those superhero characters there, Disney can’t actually use the Marvel name at Walt Disney World or anywhere that’s in a certain mile radius of a Universal park.
Alex: Which is why when you go to Disney World or Disney Land or anything like that, it’s called Avengers Campus versus Marvel World or anything like that. So all of those rights as far as I’m aware are all weirdly tied together. And that, beyond anything is, is probably the biggest reason they haven’t done a Hulk thing, because they don’t want to give Universal any of the money. Sony made deals for Spider-Man, Fox got bought by Disney, but Universal is still this outlier. And really, as far as I know, all they have is weirdly Hulk and Namor the Submariner, and that’s it.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:18:58] Woof, those cash cows.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:19:00] Great stash, great stash. Everyone’s going to have wings on their ankles in the next couple summers once the Namor movie hits.
Alex: So that was our big business section. Let’s move on and instead talk about the movie. Let’s talk about, since we’ve talked about a bit of the backstory, talk about some of the things you like, sequences you thought were interesting or fun watching this again. Pete, for this version, not the Ang Lee version.
Pete: Yeah. Oh, thank you.
Alex: No problem.
Pete: But since you [crosstalk 00:19:25]-
Alex: I mean, you say it like I’m crazy to specify, but-
Pete: No, well since you’re going to be a dick about it I’m going to go against your wishes. [crosstalk 00:19:34] There were some-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:19:37] Hot dogs.
Pete: There were some really beautiful shots in the Ang Lee version of Paul doing the jump-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:19:41] Jesus.
Pete: … that I really appreciated.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:19:43] Desert.
Pete: But in this, I was looking forward to the Harlem fight. That to me was what, the build up to that fight and having a Hulk versus Abomination was fun. And the CGI is so much better now, but it wasn’t awful. I mean, there was some weird moments where the actor, they used a fake body. Tim Roth, they kind of beefed him up, that was a weird part. But overall, the double jump at once, I still when I see that get very excited.
Alex: Yeah. What about you, Justin?
Justin: I mean, I think Tim Roth is great in this movie, I love the use of The Leader, building up that stuff I thought was very cool, and that’s the kind of Hulk world that I want to get into. And Pete, you mentioned it, the comics right now is such a horror model. If they could, when they eventually get Hulk his own if we get through the business stuff that Alex just mentioned, a Hulk movie that really leans into that side of it, I think with The Leader would be just awesome.
Pete: Also, the Hulk looks a little bit like that. Because it’s like when we see him he’s more veiny and more grotesque. So [crosstalk 00:20:53]-
Alex: I mean, a couple of little notes about that. One, the look was specifically taken from Dale Keown, the comic book artist, where they were trying, I don’t know this is a very weird quote I read from Louis Letterier, where I think he called the Ang Lee Hulk a little too chunky, where I was like, “Okay, that’s fine.” He seems sharp.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:21:12] Wow. Shaming.
Alex: He’s in better shape than I am, so I’m not going to make any criticism. But this one they wanted to make it all muscle like a tank, like a body builder, that’s what they were looking for. So they looked to Dale Keown for that. And oh gosh, what was the other thing that I was going to say. I don’t even remember. Sorry. I’ll remember [crosstalk 00:21:29] it later.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:21:29] Was it about The Leader?
Alex: Oh, it was about The Leader, actually.
Pete: Nice, Justin.
Alex: Specifically about the Mr. Blue stuff-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:21:34] I’m in his head. Yes.
Alex: … which I thought was really interesting.
Justin: Love that.
Alex: So The Leader, Sam Sterns, is Mr. Blue, and the Bruce Banner is Mr. Green. This is taken right from the Bruce Jones run on the Hulk, which is awesome and underrated, and I honestly completely forgot about until I watched the movie again this time. And I’m really glad I did remember, because so good, so interesting. But the thing that I thought was so interesting about this in particular is versus Iron Man, this actually really set up a pattern of the MCU movies pulling on very recent story lines, because the Bruce Jones run came out I think early 2000s, and then they pretty much turned it around, put it here in Incredible Hulk. And that’s another model that they’ve done going forward. It’s not just these old story lines. It’s things like Winter Soldier down the road, that was very recent before that. Or a lot of the stuff they’re doing in the Thor series.
Justin: I agree. I love that, too, the way they’re able to in this movie and others, look at every thing and be like, “How do all of these big runs or interesting runs fit together?” And to pull on, I mean, this movie also has almost a Borne Identity vibe to it, especially from the beginning of the movie, and then bringing in the film noir-y side of the Bruce Jones run, I think makes for a, again, tonally weird movie when it comes to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it stands alone by itself as an interesting little weird notch of it.
Pete: I also really liked how the, “You won’t like me when I’m hungry,” line that made fun of a little bit of the Ang Lee thing was great, but also just hangry is a real thing, and I’m glad that this movie was talking about it, you know what I mean?
Alex: Well, speaking of eating things, what do you think about the important plot point where Stan Lee drinks blood.
Alex: That was interesting.
Justin: And this was one, I mean, we talk a lot about Stan Lee’s cameo, this was actually just a documentary. A camera caught him doing that, because he subsisted exclusively on blood for a lot of his life, ever since the 70s.
Pete: And speaking of cameos we did, like Ang Lee’s, get both Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno. So it was nice that they kept that as well.
Alex: Yeah. That Stan Lee scene, not to harp on it too much, that is the weirdest thing. Maybe not the weirdest thing in the MCU, but I had completely eradicated that from my memory, and [crosstalk 00:24:00] watching this again I was like, “Oh, now I remember why. That’s upsetting.” That Edward Norton bleeds into a soda bottle, it goes to the United States, and then Stan Lee drinks it. That’s weird. That’s a weird choice.
Justin: I mean, to put Stan Lee there, I think that’s a fun… I don’t know, I’m here for it.
Alex: It’s mostly the drinking the blood in the soda, because that makes me very worried about soda going forward. How much of our soda has human blood in it?
Justin: Alex, if you start to do research on this, you will not want to eat almost anything, because there’s a certain amount, what is it rat hair in chocolate? There’s some crazy high amount that is allowed.
Alex: I mean, I asked for it by name. Can I get the dark chocolate rat hair, please.
Justin: Ratse’s Pieces is what you eat.
Pete: Oh, man.
Alex: We’ve talked about some of the characters. We didn’t really talk about Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination. What do you think about him as a villain in the movie?
Pete: I did like the matchup that we had of little quick guy versus big Hulk. In that first fight sequence, I thought that was a cool start. But overall, the fact that it’s just how awful the character got, it fell off for me and I was like, “I really don’t like this guy at all.”
Justin: I did think it was interesting, like you’re saying Pete, that we had multiple iterations of the Abomination. Only at the end we get the Abomination we expect.
Justin: And that’s a fun choice. I feel later Marvel movies wouldn’t have done that. They would have been like, “Make him the guy, and then have him fight a couple times or at the end, but not before.”
Alex: Yeah. The look of it also, while we’re talking about that of the Abomination, so in the comic books he has scales, he’s like a lizard skin, snake skin kind of thing going on. They decided not to do that because the origin of Abomination had nothing to do with reptile DNA, so they felt like they could make it a little more fleshy, and boney, and gross like that. The other thing which is another crazy quote from Louis Letterier is they decided to not give the Abomination ears. One of the biggest features of the Abomination in the comics is he has these fin-like ears coming out of his head. And Louis Letterier didn’t want to give Abomination ears, because he said, “Oh, Hulk’s go-to move would be biting those ears like-
Pete: [crosstalk 00:26:23] He’d grab them.
Alex: … Mike Tyson did.” Not grabbing them, biting them. Which mind you, Mike Tyson did I think once with Evander Holyfield?
Alex: Twice? He did it twice?
Pete: Yep. He bit twice.
Alex: It’s his go-to move?
Pete: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alex: All right.
Pete: It’s not his go-to, but he did it twice.
Alex: I apologize to Louis Letterier. He was right, Hulk would have done that right off.
Justin: No. I don’t think you have to go that far, just because you got the number wrong.
Alex: I’m really sorry, man.
Justin: It is weird for him to be like, “The person on earth most like Hulk? Mike Tyson.”
Alex: Just the ear biting thing. I mean, maybe he was making a joke about it. I don’t know. It was a couple of years ago at this point. But it’s a weird way of making that choice, I think.
Justin: Yes. Hulk famous for keeping pigeons on the roof of his Hulk apartment building.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:27:06] clap some pigeons.
Alex: But like you were saying Pete, those first two action sequences with Tim Roth really popped a lot more for me this time. The one in the soda factory that’s played like a horror movie, the Hulk just popping out and grabbing people I thought was really well staged and good.
Pete: Also, the creepy leave me alone voice through the smoke was cool.
Alex: And then the… Wait. Quick question. Pete, did you have a probably with the fact that he didn’t say, “Leave Hulk alone,” instead of he said, “Leave me alone.”
Pete: Yeah, that is [crosstalk 00:27:34]-
Alex: That’s weird, right?
Pete: [crosstalk 00:27:34] Well, it’s weird now that you say it, but at the time it didn’t bother me.
Alex: And like you were saying, the next sequence on the college campus after Emil Blonksy has been super soldiered up a little bit, he’s really good as well and super fun.
Pete: Also, the CGI in the daylight didn’t look too bad, so that was nice.
Alex: Yeah. Let’s turn and talk about Liv Tyler as Betty Ross. How did you feel about her performance?
Pete: I felt good about it, especially with the [crosstalk 00:28:02]-
Alex: Were you crazy about it, or was it amazing? Wow.
Pete: Well, I just think that Edward Norton and her won me over, but overall I remember when I heard about the casting choice, I was disappointed because I thought Jennifer Connolly did an amazing job in the Ang Lee Hulk. So it was just like, “Hey, we’re recasting everybody,” so I was like okay.
Alex: They wanted her back, too, apparently, and she also said no. So there you go.
Justin: I think, I like Liv Tyler. I think Betty needs to be a little more fun or a little more… The Betty from the comics, that is. And I feel like it’s been wrong a lot. I want someone who’s a little bit more, “Who can stand up to the Hulk?” I feel like Betty in the Peter David run, and those runs earlier before we get into the film Noir and all the horror stuff that has come later, Betty is sort of a firebrand, and that makes sense to me. That’s someone who would go toe-to-toe with the Hulk in a relationship and feel like she has some agency.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:29:10] It was-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:29:11] If that’s… Go ahead, Pete.
Pete: I did like the depiction of Hulk, like when him and Betty were hanging out in a big rainstorm, and when the thunder would happen Hulk would get angry and throw rocks at the sky, that was awesome. And it was also very interesting that you saw a purple or grayish Hulk because of the different lighting, so that got me a little nerdy excited like, “Oh my god, turn into fucking gray Hulk, that would be sick.”
Alex: Well that scene, I agree, I really like that scene as well. That is well shot, it’s well acted. That is not exactly, but pretty much directly from Hulk Gray by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. There’s the same scene where he shouts at the lightning there. And that really does feel like old school Hulk in the right way, so I agree, that’s good. It’s also a bummer, regardless of what I think about Liv Tyler, that they haven’t brought Betty back in any way throughout the MCU. It’s a very silly thing to say, but everybody’s gotten their girlfriends to come back in different movies. Not the Hulk. He doesn’t get one. Very sad.
Justin: Well, and we get the Black Widow/Hulk sort of relationship, that never really gets to where it feels like a thing, it’s just in the-
Pete: But maybe in the Black Widow movie we’ll get something, though.
Justin: That feels even weirder-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:30:26] I don’t think so.
Justin: … to go back to retrofit that.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:30:29] I liked it.
Alex: Yeah. We’ll see what happens. Other notes, I have a bunch of Easter egg and things I’ve written down here, but anything in particular you guys want to talk about before I start rattling through those?
Pete: Well, we were talking about the campus fight scene, and I did really like the way that they showed those sound waves going against Hulk. That was a real badass shot. And then, also in the Harlem fight sequence, which great to see the Apollo Theater there and Hulk didn’t trash it or the Abomination, so I was very happy about that, but the using the car as Hulk hands, seeing the Hulk use Hulk hands was just, oh, [crosstalk 00:31:06] that was really a lot of fun.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:31:07] He’s just like us.
Justin: Yeah. Didn’t the Hulk hands come out of this movie?
Alex: Yeah. They did. Yeah.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:31:16].
Alex: [crosstalk 00:31:16] Which it was Jesse Falcon, right?
Justin: [crosstalk 00:31:16] Now that’s a cultural… Yes. Our guy, Jesse Falcon, UCB improvisor and Marvel toy, I don’t know, impresario? [crosstalk 00:31:27] He somehow manages that line. The Hulk hands came out of this movie and were truly the biggest cultural impact of this movie, I think.
Alex: That is 100% true. It’s funny that you call out the Harlem fight and getting to see the Apollo there, because even though they shot in New York City, the Harlem fight was one of the only things they did not shoot in New York City.
Pete: I could tell because of the way they showed the street. It went Apollo, and then a bunch of places that weren’t next to where the Apollo is.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:31:51] A bunch of places that are very specifically in Toronto. Like there’s-
Pete: [crosstalk 00:31:55] Yeah. Exactly.
Alex: … [crosstalk 00:31:54] a place called Zanzibar that’s a Toronto landmark and you’re like, “What are you doing here? You’re not fooling anybody. Come on.”
Justin: Exactly. Weird choices.
Pete: The fake New York stuff, it was like when they wanted to go down into the subway and they just had a subway map, not what station it is or what street you’re on, just a subway map you had. But I loved the joke of you want the Hulk, me, to go under the stress tube with all these crazy New Yorkers? That’s a fun bit.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:32:23] That’s one thing I-
Alex: [crosstalk 00:32:23] If I remember correctly, that played very well with the New York crowd at the Marvel screening. They loved it.
Justin: That’s one thing that I think Marvel has gotten right since this movie, is let’s be authentic about things. Don’t fake it, because people will know. That’s internet culture though, and it’s changed.
Alex: Yeah. So I’ll start running through some stuff, and you guys interrupt me if there’s anything you want to talk more about.
Justin: Never. I would never.
Alex: Oh, thank you. Other than writing, Norton apparently also directed some scenes including a lot of the college campus scenes, while Louis Letterier was off directing the second unit, which is very weird.
Justin: Very weird. Doesn’t happy, ever, I would argue. Let me just step into the director’s chair. I’m also the star.
Alex: Yes. In terms of the casting thing, we touched on this a little bit earlier, but Norton was actually recommended by Lou Ferrigno, who thought he would be a really good Bruce Banner, so that’s how they [crosstalk 00:33:15] tapped into him. But there were a bunch of other-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:33:18] Famous casting director, Lou Ferrigno.
Alex: Everybody was all mixed around on this show.
Justin: Yeah. This movie was all over the place, revolving door.
Alex: But apparently Louis Letterier’s first choice before they convinced him to take Edward Norton was Mark Ruffalo. He wanted him as Bruce Banner, which is how eventually he ended up getting the part. Other actors that they considered for Banner, Matthew McConaughey apparently came in and read at one point, Dominic Purcell, who pretty probably know from Legends of Tomorrow would’ve been wildly wrong, Jeff Goldblum, and David Duchovney-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:33:52] Woo what a random group of people.
Alex: Very weird.
Justin: Future Texas governor Matthew McConaughey would have done a great job.
Alex: The movie is chock full of so many different Easter eggs, and this is another thing I think you were touching on this earlier, Justin, but I think Marvel has gotten much better at the Easter eggs. This is more old school in terms of we’re winking at the camera, what’s going on. The two students who take the footage of the Hulk fighting on the college campus are Jack McGee and Jim Wilson. Jack McGee was a reporter who tracks down the Hulk in the TV show. Jim Wilson is Sam Wilson’s nephew from the comics who becomes one of the classic Hulk buddies, friend of the hulk. Also, we didn’t really talk about Ty Burrell at all, who’s this weird element [crosstalk 00:34:38].
Justin: Right. Who plays Leonard Samson, though.
Alex: Leonard Samson, yeah.
Pete: Are you talking about Phil?
Pete: Phil Dunphy?
Alex: Is that-
Justin: It’s another character he plays, but yes.
Alex: Sure. He eventually becomes Doc Samson. Part of the plan that Norton had when he was rejiggering the script was apparently to set up things like The Leader, like Doc Samson, like all of these things, they had all three films planned that obviously never happened. But even more than that, if you look at the deleted scenes, there are literally a solid 15 to 20 minutes of them were Ty Burrell’s plot line that got completely excised from the film entirely. It’s a real bummer, but there’s so many other things going on with him that didn’t end up in the final cut.
Justin: Yeah. I remember seeing when I first saw this movie I was like, “Leonard Samson.” I was like, “Oh, not much to say or do.”
Alex: I wrote down a couple of notes as well. One, the start of the movie with the genetics thing going on, feels very old school Marvel. That’s also in like with what they were doing with Spider-Man and the X-Men movies, so that’s interesting. While Edward Norton, while Bruce Banner is looking at the TV, he flips past The Courtship of Eddie’s Father with Bill Bixby. So that’s his cameo in the movie. In Ross’ office, there’s a portrait of Steve Rogers as Captain America. And there’s also a label reading, “Dr. Reinstein,” which is the character from the comics who turns him into a super solider, turns Captain America into a super solider. From the movies obviously it changed into Abraham Erskine, so it’s a little bit different.
Alex: You mentioned this earlier, Pete, but the eyes like the Bixby show, that green eye effect is right from there. This is another cameo of Stan Lee’s pizza. So we have this pizza parlor character named after Stan Lee, but also it’s played by Paul Soles, who’s done dozens of voice acting jobs. He was Rick Jones on the Captain America animated series, he was Bruce Banner and Rick Jones in the Hulk animated series, and he was actually Spider-Man and Peter Parker on the original animated series, so he’s the first person ever to play Spider-Man, which is kind of neat.
Pete: That’s awesome.
Justin: That is cool. Stan Lee getting all these extra cameos. He’s just banking [crosstalk 00:36:50] on them.
Alex: Yeah. I hope he got money for it. I hope he got an extra bottle of blood soda, something that he loved to drink.
Justin: Really bothering you.
Alex: It’s really upsetting.
Pete: Some fun Hulk stuff that I really enjoyed was we got a Hulk thunderclap in this one. We also got to hear Hulk say Hulk smash. I mean, that was just a magical moment there.
Alex: Yeah. Apparently the original plan was just to have Lou Ferrigno who did the voice of Hulk in the movie say Betty at the end and that was it, but then they added the Hulk smash and the leave me alone just throughout the movie. That’s all, just a little bit of a fun fact. Did you guys notice Martin Starr eating pizza in the computer lab?
Justin: [crosstalk 00:37:35] loves pizza.
Alex: He loves pizza, famously. But also, Martin Starr plays Spider-Man’s teacher in the Spider-Man movies in the MCU-
Pete: We got to watch him bumble around with the camera, which was really worth a lot of the extra time they spent on that moment, so thank you.
Alex: But retroactively Kevin Feige has confirmed, it is the same character, even though of course they didn’t mean that in any way whatsoever. But he went to college there, then he graduated and he started teaching Spider-Man. [crosstalk 00:38:04] There you go. And the reason he ended up there, this is one of two insane cameos in this movie, I’m curious to see, Pete, if you noticed the other one, but the reason this one happened is because Edward Norton’s wife worked on Knocked Up, and the role was originally offered to Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogan, and they all said, “No, thanks,” until Martin Starr took it. Do you know the other cameo? It’s in the Harlem fight scene, Pete.
Pete: No. You’re not talking about the Tony Stark thing [crosstalk 00:38:32] that came later?
Alex: No. I’m talking about Michael K. Williams shows up, and the reason [crosstalk 00:38:36] Michael Kenneth Williams shows up as classic character, Harlem bystander, is because Edward Norton was a big fan of The Wire and wrote a part for him, and the part is literally Michael K. Williams running out, looking at the Abomination, and then running away and that’s it. Just like he did on the wire.
Justin: When you have friends in Hollywood, they step up for you. That’s just what happens.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:38:55] That’s nice.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:38:56] That’s nice.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:38:56] There are so many other things, but I know we’re going to have to move on and talk about some future stuff. Let me just do a quick scan here and see if there’s anything else that’s important to mention. Oh, Mike Deodato, the comic book artist, created the Hulk face because they hadn’t actually cast Edward Norton yet, which is cool. And oh, the last thing that I wanted to mention. We should talk about this last scene where Tony Stark walks in. This is the only movie where there is no mid-credit or end-credit scene. It actually happens before the credits here. Pete, what did you want to say about this scene?
Pete: Well, first off, I just thought it was cool that this set up a give you a little something at the end of the movie. I mean, later they moved it past the credits, but it was cool. But also, the line where it was like, “Tony Stark, you always have a lot of great suits,” and then they just kind of looked at each other there, and I was like, “Oh, I see what you did there. Okay. Cool.”
Alex: I love that scene because it makes no sense.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:39:52] Yep. It’s a weird… but do you think it’s weird because [crosstalk 00:39:56]-
Pete: [crosstalk 00:39:56] Look right at the camera, look at each other going… Iron Man wears suits.
Justin: … it’s very winky, to the point you were saying earlier, Alex, it was just a different vibe all around.
Alex: And I think there’s either on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or somewhere else, they contradict it later on and they’re like, “Yeah, he shouldn’t have said that. Tony Stark shouldn’t have done that. He had no right to do that.” So they retconned the whole thing. But the funniest detail, which I never knew about before, is General Ross is sitting there drinking, right? He’s drinking an Incredible Hulk cocktail which is half Hennessy Cognac, and half Hypnotic, which sounds like exactly the sort of thing-
Pete: Hypnotic, bro, come on.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:40:32] Hypnotic, not Hypnotic?
Pete: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:40:34] matter, come on, dude. Jesus.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:40:36] THat’s how they say it in the high class-
Pete: Have you ever had an Incredible Hulk?
Justin: No. Hypnotic is gross.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:40:42].
Alex: [crosstalk 00:40:42] Yes. Definitely seems like the sort of thing a four-star general would go into a bar and order. Why don’t we move to the next portion of our podcast which is our vision board, where we’re going to look forward at the future of the Hulk. We touched on this a little bit with the rights. Obviously it’s a little sketchy in terms of the movie. What were you going to say, Pete?
Pete: I just wanted to say one thing that I appreciated about Ed Norton is he felt a little bit more like a nerdy scientist. Having Eric Bana be this ripped dude who’s like, “I do science,” I was like… So I appreciate that one [crosstalk 00:41:12].
Alex: And I mean, I’ll say [crosstalk 00:41:13] I like Edward Norton better as Bruce Banner than Mark Ruffalo. I’m sorry.
Pete: What the fuck did you just say out loud?
Pete: What? No. You can’t say that. That’s not-
Alex: I just think he’s better at it.
Justin: But let me throw this out. Let me throw this out. I’ll take a middle course here, because I like Mark Ruffalo a lot, but I think the place that the Hulk is now, it’s like Mark Ruffalo is making fun of the idea of the Hulk. So I do think it’s gotten a little too post-modern or whatever [crosstalk 00:41:41]-
Pete: You watch your mouth.
Justin: … where he’s like, “This is stupid, but I’m still here doing it.” At least when Mark Ruffalo first started, he was playing the role. And Edward Norton here is definitely playing the role.
Alex: Yeah. Well, [crosstalk 00:41:54] and to that point, I don’t think it’s going to get better any time soon, necessarily, because the first item on our vision board is She Hulk, the TV show that’s actually already shooting. It started shooting mid-April and it’s going reportedly until about August. Stars Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, Ginger Gonzaga is Jessica’s best friend, Renée Elise Goldsberry who people probably know from Hamilton is playing the part of Amelia.
Alex: That’s really all we know about it except for the fact that Mark Ruffalo is returning as Bruce Banner/the Hulk, and Tim Roth is going to be back, either as Emil Blonsky or the Abomination, we’re not 100% sure. But this is a half-hour comedy. There’s going to be 10 episodes, and for those who don’t know the origin, she is Bruce Banner’s cousin. She gets in an accident, she has a blood transfusion from him, and turns into a more controllable Hulk. So she’s a lawyer by day and a green strong person by night is I guess the way to put it. Yes, Pete, did you watch the Ang Lee version of the She Hulk show?
Pete: Yes, I did. Of course I did, because I do a lot of great research. Do you think it’ll be word for word Charles Soule’s run on She Hulk?
Alex: I mean-
Alex: … no.
Pete: I mean, that was a great run.
Justin: It does feel like it is in that world, but no way they’re going to do a lift.
Alex: Well, John Byrne kind of set the mold for funny, self-referential She Hulk. And then that led into Dan Slott’s run on She Hulk, which is also great.
Pete: I knew you were going to bring up fucking Dan Slott’s run.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:43:23] It’s a good run of She Hulk.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:43:24] You can never not talk about She Hulk-
Alex: It’s relevant.
Pete: … [crosstalk 00:43:26] without talking about Dan Slott’s run.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:43:27] They’re both good.
Alex: They’re both good. They’re all good. They’re all-
Pete: Yeah. No, I know, but-
Alex: They’re probably pulling on all of them, the same way that they pull on all of the runs of everything.
Pete: It would be smart if they did it.
Alex: Yes. Absolutely. But I’m really looking forward to that.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:43:40] So very excited.
Alex: Wandavision was great. I loved them going full comedy. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun. Who else, do you want to see Tim Blake Nelson back as The Leader on this show as well?
Justin: I want to see The Leader. I don’t know if Tim Blake Nelson, again, a little bit odd in the way… It’s not what I anticipated The Leader being in the long term, so I could do a recast on that.
Pete: I did like the Tim off that we got in this movie. It was a fun Tim versus Tim moment.
Alex: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Great. Took me a second to process what you were saying, but I get it now.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:44:14].
Alex: So that’s She Hulk is coming up. Obviously we don’t know if there’s going to be any sequels, or where Mark Ruffalo Hulk is necessarily going to turn up past Avengers Endgame other that the show, but the promise is that She Hulk the character will be in more movies, so probably Mark Ruffalo will be in the movies, and Hulk as well. And maybe there’ll be another movie.
Alex: The last one we should probably talk about, just because we touched on this with Falcon and the Winter Soldier, is we certainly heard rumors that there might be Thunderbolts in development in some way. Though in the comics they take their name from Justice like Lightning, hence Thunderbolts, I guess, in the MCU it’s assumed they’ll probably take their name from General Thunderbolt Ross. So do you think that’s a likely possibility we’re going to see William Hurt leading a team of anti-hero/villains.
Justin: I do think so. And I think, my prediction on this very podcast, was that it’s going to be the sequel season, the second season of Captain America and the Winter Soldier. If they’re smart, you bring back the real ‘stache, you go with Sam Elliott.
Alex: Just hold Sam Elliott down, shave him, attach all that hair [crosstalk 00:45:21] to William Hurt.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:45:21] Don’t you dare do that to Sam Elliott. Come on.
Alex: You got to get the ‘stache.
Justin: What, are you going to let him shave it? [crosstalk 00:45:27] Once he shaves it, it’s going to run around free.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:45:28] NO, it’s a package deal, you assholes.
Alex: Wherever my mustache goes, I go.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:45:34] Oh, don’t try that. Don’t disrespect-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:45:37] And let me say, beef. Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.
Pete: You can’t disrespect that man.
Justin: Vegetables, you should try to eat those more, now.
Pete: Hey, that’s a good point, Justin. You should eat vegetables.
Justin: That’s right. I agree. [crosstalk 00:45:50] I’m Sam Elliott.
Alex: Well, I think we’ve covered everything that needs to be said about The Incredible Hulk. Thank you for tuning in as always. We’ll be back next week with an episode breaking down Thor, the next movie in the MCU.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:46:01] Yes.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:46:01] Which one? Which Thor are we talking about? I want to just make sure.
Alex: The old episode of the Incredible Hulk [crosstalk 00:46:06] TV show, with Thor. That’s the one that we’re talking about.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:46:08] Yeah. I’ll watch it.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:46:09] We want you to read a book of Norse mythology, Pete, and that’s what we’ll be discussing.
Alex: So we’re going to be talking about that, so definitely check that out. Also, hang out towards the end few here, our interview with Tim Roth [crosstalk 00:46:21]-
Justin: [crosstalk 00:46:21] Yes. Keep watching.
Alex: … Louis Letterier, Kevin Feige, and Gale Anne Hurd.
Pete: Just remember while you’re watching these two assholes up in the cozy seats, I’m down there on the floor doing the real work.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:46:30] The real work.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:46:31] Sucking on a cheese steak, that’s what you’re doing. You’re waiting for a rib eye sandwich or something at the disgusting concession stand. [crosstalk 00:46:38] Beep.
Pete: [crosstalk 00:46:38] Hey, man. Eat it when you can.
Alex: If you’d like to support this podcast, patreon.com/comicbookclub, also we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM to Crowdcast and YouTube. Come hang out, we would love to chat with you about Marvel stuff. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice to subscribe and listen to the show, MarvelVisionPod on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and more. Until next time, stay Marvelous.
Alex: Let’s talk a little bit about your role in the movie. How close is it to the character in the comics, and how does it defer?
Tim Roth: Well, we’ve moved on from the Cold War, so he’s set in a different world. Of course, he’s special ops, military [crosstalk 00:47:26] guy. You kind of drop into situations [crosstalk 00:47:31].
Kevin Feige: He’s a badass, you can say that.
Tim Roth: Yeah. I like to chase scientists around.
Kevin Feige: He’s quite good at it.
Tim Roth: Get vicious.
Alex: Is this the character or you?
Tim Roth: [crosstalk 00:47:42] Yeah, this is all me personally.
Gale Anne Hurd: Emil Blonsky.
Justin: Yeah. Oh, wow.
Tim Roth: And so he’s very tough, but he’s come to the end of his physical prowess, he’s fading out with his age and so on.
Kevin Feige: It’s okay.
Tim Roth: My wife will testify. And then he gets a glimpse of something that’s beyond, something that is magnificent and completely, [crosstalk 00:48:09] truly incredible. And he wants it, and he wants it, and he goes after it. That’s my side of the story.
Alex: Now, you have a very specific take I think on the Abomination’s different than how he is in the comic books. How did that come about?
Louis Letterier: Well, I told these guys, I love really I love the Abomination’s design, but I couldn’t really justify some of the reptilian creature from black lagoon on steroid look. So I asked them, “Is it okay to tweak it a little bit?” And they said, “Yeah, I think we can for the movies.” So we decided to make it really an uber human, somebody that gets injected. And there’s a scene that explains precisely what’s happening in the process, how they inject him, and the transformation in the final look is a product of that.
Alex: Rumor has it there’s a short little fight scene at the end [crosstalk 00:49:11]-
Gale Anne Hurd: Very short. Very short.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:49:12] Yeah. Very minuscule.
Gale Anne Hurd: [crosstalk 00:49:15] I mean, over in a split second.
Justin: You blink and you miss it.
Alex: Because it’s a drama. This is deep. But it’s a 26 minute-
Louis Letterier: Well [crosstalk 00:49:24]-
Kevin Feige: Can we clarify that?
Louis Letterier: I would love to clarify it. I was drunk the day I said that. No, I was misquoted. I said there was 26 minutes final for that, the fight is pretty long, but it’s not 26 minutes. I mean, 26 minutes of fight, I would actually get tremendously bored watching 26 minutes of two monsters fighting [crosstalk 00:49:46]. But there’s like what? What do you think? Like 10, 15? It’s-
Kevin Feige: It’s a big brawl. It’s a solid brawl.
Louis Letterier: It’s a solid, solid brawl. But it’s not like some of these movies that hold it, hold it, hold it, and give it all up at the end for the final fight. We just minute what? One, two, three, [crosstalk 00:50:04] of our movie, you’ll get to see the Hulk. So you don’t wait 40 minutes to see the Hulk.
Alex: So there’s going to be a lot of Hulk and a lot of action in the movie.
Gale Anne Hurd: That’s why it’s incredible.
Kevin Feige: [crosstalk 00:50:14] Safe to say.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:50:15] There it is.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:50:15] I mean, you’re probably getting this a lot, but just there’s been a lot of buzz about Ed Norton not being happy with how the movie’s going. There’s recently a statement from him saying he’s totally happy with the movie’s going, so I was curious to hear from you guys which side of the story it is.
Kevin Feige: Well the statement, I mean, is the most recent thing, and he did put that together himself, and I think showed his support for the movie. Did a great job in the movie, he did a great rewrite of the script, which is the movie that we’re all going to see. So I think it spoke to itself, that statement.
Louis Letterier: You know what it is? You have girlfriends, right?
Kevin Feige: [crosstalk 00:50:52] You’re going to make him mad. You’re going to make him mad.
Louis Letterier: [crosstalk 00:51:00] Well, you know when you get into a fight with your girlfriend, small things like, “Where did you put the frying pan?”
Louis Letterier: “Here.” And then you fight for a little bit, and then afterwords you’re like, “I’m angry at you. I’m angry at you,” but you don’t remember what started the thing, that’s pretty much what [crosstalk 00:51:13] and we’re like, “Eh.” But the press, a certain kind of press-
Kevin Feige: The frying pan argument with your girlfriend doesn’t end up in-
Louis Letterier: [crosstalk 00:51:20] Yeah, no. Exactly. It doesn’t end up-
Kevin Feige: In the news. But does it?
Louis Letterier: … in the news. [crosstalk 00:51:22] but they love that. No. They actually love that. It makes for a good story, but it really is not a good story.
Kevin Feige: He did a great job. He’s a great Bruce Banner, and ultimately that’s all that matters. And that’s what’s great about this crowd, we’re going to show some stuff very soon actually, and I think they’re going to go crazy for it. Because that’s all that matters, is what’s up there on that screen.
Alex: So the lesson is, you wouldn’t like Ed Norton when he’s angry?
Louis Letterier: No.
Kevin Feige: Or when you put the frying pan in the wrong place.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:51:47] Don’t put Ed Norton in a frying pan.