Humanizing the Hulk

1/29/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


After writing previously about The Incredible Hulk and how he's been played by 3 actors in under a decade, it seems amazing that the character was so well accepted in The Avengers team up movie.

My last post about the Hulk dealt with how he even fits into The Avengers, since he was originally played by Eric Bana and that entire continuity was scrapped and he was replaced by Edward Norton, who's version they connected to The Avengers via a Marvel one shot to smooth the gap over, but very little about the Hulk character was actually relevant in Mark Ruffalo's version.  He was basically recreated from scratch, yet he was a fan favorite in the Avengers movie.

How did Joss Whedon do that?  Three words: Harry Dean Stanton.  Stanton's cameo as the security guard after Hulk falls from the helecarrier was super short, yet one of the most poignant parts of the movie.  Stanton was the perfect choice for this brief interaction and Badass Digest had the opportunity to hear Whedon's explanation for the scene.
"I needed to get Banner from the horror of what he had done and almost killing Scarlett - or Natasha, I should say - in to, you know, a place where he was prepared to go back into that [Hulk] state. He needs somebody who will just accept him.I sort of got him stuck in my head and I was like who is more accepting than Harry Dean Stanton? And, so I got to write this weird little scene - which when I wrote it was not little, it was about 12 pages long. I was like oh, this is great, Banner falls into a Coen Brothers movie! The fact that they even let me keep that concept and that we actually landed Harry Dean to play it was very exciting."
Part of that scene ended up in the deleted scenes and—although the theatrical version does work—I wish they had left it in. 


So there you have it.  Joss Whedon accomplished Harry Dean Stanton and about 30 seconds what Ang Lee and Louis Leterrier couldn't in with Eric Bana, Edward Norton, and over 4 hours.

Still not having his own solo film anounced, many fans are excited to see Mark Ruffalo again in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but his history with Marvel after that isn't spelled out yet, but I'd personally like to see a Plant Hulk and World War Hulk movie in the mix somewhere.



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