The Incredible Hulk
Incredible Hulk poster
Distributor Universal Pictures
Director Louis Leterrier
Writers Zak Penn, Edward Norton
World premiere June 6, 2008
US release date June 13, 2008
DVD/Blu-ray release date October 21, 2008
Run time 1 hour 52 minutes
Feature films
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The Incredible Hulk is a 2008 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero the Hulk. It is the second main installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is not a sequel to the 2003 film, Hulk, but a reboot. It is directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Liv Tyler as Dr. Betty Ross, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination and William Hurt as General Thunderbolt Ross.


Bruce Banner recalled the events in which he was transformed into a moster and hospitalized his lover,Betty Ross.Ross's father, General Thaddeus Ross,made Banner go on the run for 5 years,as he is now a fugitive of the U.S. Army. Banner finds a home in Brazil,where works at a soft drink bottiling factory and has learned breathing techniques and martial arts. He is trying to find a cure with the help of "Mr.Blue",whom he met online. Banner has not had an "incident" for 5 months.

When Banner has a cut,his blood drips into a bottle at the factory and was drunk by ill-fated consumer in Milwaukee,Wisconsin.Ross finds out where Banner resides and sends British special-ops expert Emil Blonsky with a team to capture Banner. He transforms into the Hulk,where they fight at the factory. Banner escapes and goes to Guatemala,and then the US,where he finds the now recovered Betty Ross at Culver University,dating psychiatrist Leanard Samson. Banner's friend,Stanley(a pizzeria owner) gives him a job as a delivery boy. He uses this job to continue his research by sneaking past a security guard. Betty sees Banner at the pizzeria,and they later reunite.

Ross is informed by Blonsky that Banner escaped because of a green monster. Ross continues to explain that Banner was the monster,created by a failed experiment meant to replicate the "Super-Soldier" program. Blonsky volunteers to be given a small serum of the original Vita-Ray serum that increased his strength and agility. He led an attack on Banner at Culver University,where he and his team encounter the Hulk and are defeated. Hulk saves Betty from an exploson and he takes her to the Smoky Mountain National Forest.

Betty and Banner go to the Empire State University in New York to meet Mr.Blue,who is revealed to be Samuel Sterns . Sterns invented a potential antidote, and Banner accepts it,despite the risks. Banner is restrained and transformed into the Hulk by electricity,but was succesfully reversed. Sterns revealed that he synthesised Banner's blood into a large supply,in hopes of using in the nextr stage of human evolution.As Banner tries to covince him otherwise,one of Ross's snipers shoots him with a tranquilaizing dart.

Betty and Banner are taken into custody,while Blonsky confronts Sterns and asks him to give him a sample of Gamma radiation. Despite Sterns's warnings of the Super Soldier and Gamma radiation together could create an "abomination ",Blonsky doesn't change his mind. He is then transformed into a beast,knocks Sterns into a sample of Banner's blood,and goes on a rampage to get Banner's attention. Banner is given permision to fight Blonsky,and transforms into the Hulk to fight him. He then defeats him,but is again on the run from the U.S. Army.

31 days later, Banner is in Balla Coola,British Columbia trying to learn how to control his transformation,instead of stopping it.

General Ross is in a bar,where Tony Stark confronts and talks about a "team " being made.



  • David Duchovny was a front-runner for the film before Edward Norton's casting as Bruce Banner. Dominic Purcell was rumored for the role of Bruce Banner.
  • The film joined Toronto's Green-Screen initiative, to help cut carbon emissions and waste created during filming. Hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles were used, with low-sulphur diesel as their energy source. For constructing the sets, the production department used a sustainably-harvested locally-sourced yellow pine, instead of the commonly-used lauan, and afterwards the wood was either recycled or given to environmental organizations. Paints with no/low volatile organic compounds were used, and paint cans were handed to waste management. A contractor was on set to remove bins. Environmentally-friendly items used on the set included cloth bags, biodegradable food containers, china and silverware food utensils, recycled paper, biodegradable soap and cleaners, rechargeable batteries and stainless steel mugs (one for each production member). Producer Gale Anne Hurd hopes the film will be a symbol of the drive to encourage less pollution from film productions.
  • Louis Leterrier had been interested in directing Iron Man (2008), but when Jon Favreau took that project Avi Arad offered him a sequel to Hulk (2003).
  • William Hurt and his son are big fans of the Hulk.
  • Although director Louis Leterrier liked Hulk (2003), he concurred with Marvel Studios that to continue the franchise it would be better to deviate from Ang Lee's cerebral style from the first film and focus on a more action-filled tone. He also believed that in keeping with Hulk (2003)'s poetic feel, the VFX were mostly "a fluorescent-green guy who was simply flying around; he had no weight and was too smooth-looking," so he wished to make the film's VFX grittier and darker "and perhaps even a little scarier!"
  • The Hulk, as portrayed in this film, was created through a blend of motion capture and key frame animation (by Rhythm & Hues). Hulk (2003)'s VFX were carried out by Industrial Light & Magic, with its director Ang Lee providing motion-capture.
  • Edward Norton, who had previously rewritten films he starred in, wrote a draft of the script which Louis Leterrier and Marvel Studios found satisfactory in establishing the film as a reboot of Hulk (2003). As Norton explained, "I don't think that in great literature/films explaining the story's roots means it comes in the beginning. Audiences know the story, so we're dealing with it artfully." Norton's rewrite added the character of Doc Samson and mentioned references to other Marvel Comics characters. He also wanted to put in "revelations about what set the whole thing in motion" that would be explained in future installments.
  • The VFX artists think of Blonsky as "a guy who transforms but is not used to having these new properties; for instance, he's much heavier, so when he walks down the sidewalk, he's tripping because his weight is destroying the sidewalk."
  • Louis Leterrier directed four units with a broken foot.
  • It took the VFX artists over a year to construct a shot where Dr. Banner's gamma-irradiated blood falls through three factory stories into a bottle.
  • Two stars of "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) TV series have cameos. Bill Bixby is seen on TV in an episode of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969), and Lou Ferrigno portrays a security guard and voices the Hulk.
  • After the Hulk appears at Culver University, two students are interviewed in the news, named Jack McGee and Jim Wilson. Jack McGee was a tabloid reporter who attempted to track down the Hulk in "The Incredible Hulk" (1978), and in the comics Jim Wilson was a young orphan who befriended the Hulk.
  • The "Lonely Man" theme from the "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) TV series plays when Bruce Banner walks down the street in Mexico.
  • Betty Ross buys Bruce some purple pants. In the comics, the Hulk is almost always seen wearing purple pants.
  • The name "Nick Fury" appears on a government document, seen in the opening credits sequence.
  • Paul Soles who portrays "Stanley", the owner of the pizza shop, provided the voice for Dr. Bruce Banner in the 1960s "Hulk" (1966) animated series. The character's name may also be another tribute to Hulk co-creator Stan Lee.
  • Stan Lee has a cameo as the man who drinks the soft drink contaminated with Bruce Banner's blood.
  • There are references in the film to Marvel Comics' next film, Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Firstly, there is a portrait of Steve Rogers, the original Steve Rogers, seen in the General Ross's office. Next, a label can be seen on the storage tank reading: "Dr. Reinstein." Reinstein was the doctor who developed the Super-Soldier serum that transmogrifies Rogers into the Captain. Louis Leterrier mentions he shot a scene where Banner encounters Captain in the Arctic, but it was cut out of the final cut of the film.
  • According to screenwriter Zak Penn, this film was more similar to comic book writer Bruce Jones's Hulk concepts and "The Incredible Hulk" (1978).
    • The Military Base mentioned in the film "Fort Johnson" is named after Kenneth Johnson; the writer, director, and producer of the original "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) television series.
  • Norton wrote a part specifically for Michael K. Williams because he is a big fan of Williams' work on "The Wire" (2002).
  • The package that Banner receives in British Columbia is addressed to "David B." This is a (very sly) reference to a key element of the 1970s television series, where the character's name was changed from Robert Bruce Banner to David Bruce Banner. Specifically, in his travels throughout the series, David would always maintain "David B." (e.g. David Benton, David Bishop) despite having to use a different name in every episode.
  • Tim Roth signed on the film because he was a fan of "The Incredible Hulk" (1978), as well as to please his comic-book-fan sons. On set, he constantly asked whether this would "be a cool shot" for his kids to see him in. He thoroughly enjoyed playing Blonsky, but found it difficult since to portray Blonsky's over-the-hill state he could not work out; but he hired a personal trainer to assist him in motion-capturing the Abomination's movements.
  • The VFXperts based the Hulk and Abomination's movements on linebackers.
  • Louis Leterrier insisted Tim Roth, of whom he is a big fan, be cast as the film's main antagonist, even though Marvel Studios and Edward Norton were initially unsure of Roth as a supervillain. Leterrier later said "it's great watching a normal Cockney boy become a superhero!"
  • Edward Norton and Tim Roth filmed their Hulk-Abomination fracases on a stage, using motion capture and 37 digital cameras. Roth enjoyed using the motion capture technique because it reminded him of fringe theatre.
  • According to Tim Roth, Edward Norton rewrote scenes every day; Norton and Liv Tyler also spent hours discussing their characters' lives (especially before the Hulk appeared).
  • The Hulk's look was based on comic book artist Dale Keown's drawings, where "the Hulk, being beyond perfect, has zero grams of fat, is all chiselled, and is defined by his muscle and strength so he's like a tank."
  • In the comics, the Abomination possesses pointed ears. Louis Leterrier wanted this characteristic to appear in the film, but reasoned that the Hulk would bite them off (a la Mike Tyson on Evander Holyfield), which was considered too intense for a PG-13 film.
  • According to Louis Leterrier, the Hulk-out transformations in this film were inspired by An American Werewolf in London (1981), where the change was shown as a painful process.
  • Visual effects supervisor Kurt Williams also created special computer programs that controlled the inflation of muscles and saturation of skin color for the transformations (since Williams reasoned that skin color was influenced by emotions, like blushing for instance).
  • The film is tinted greenish as a tribute to the Hulk (who has green skin).
  • In the opening credits, the name "Richard Jones" can be seen on a list of Banner's associates. Rick Jones served as the Hulk's sidekick for many years.
  • In Germany the film was cut for a more commercial "Not under 12" rating. However, these cuts were done so clumsily that not only movie buffs but also average movie goers noticed them which resulted in lots of complaints to theater owners. To apologize for this some cinemas gave away free movie tickets to the complaining customers. Additionally many cinemas, including some of Germany's largest cinema chains, included warning messages on their websites to raise awareness of the issue.
  • A scene where a futile Bruce Banner arrives at the Arctic to commit suicide was featured in the trailer, but was deemed too sensitive for young viewers and was removed from the film.
  • William Hurt based his performance as General Ross to Captain Ahab, the obsessive captain who endlessly chased Moby Dick.
  • Edward Norton was cast as Bruce Banner on the recommendation of Lou Ferrigno, who had starred in "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) as the Hulk. Ferrigno stated that Edward Norton reminded him of the late Bill Bixby, who acted beside him as Bruce Banner. Norton, who a big fan of the series, had also portrayed a similar character in Fight Club (1999)
  • Stylistically, the filmmakers chose a darker shade of green from Hulk (2003), and decided to not make him as large. His size does not increase as he becomes further enraged, staying at a consistent height.
  • Sam Elliott wanted to reprise his role as General Ross from Hulk (2003), but it was taken by William Hurt.
  • The three-minute flashback that opens the film was created by editor Kyle Cooper.
  • Composer Craig Armstrong collaborated with Louis Leterrier to create the film's score. Marvel Studios were so pleased with the score they decided to release it as a two-disc soundtrack.
  • Betty Ross is a professor at Culver University, as the film suggests Bruce Banner had been prior to the experiment that turned him into the Hulk. In the pilot for "The Incredible Hulk" (1978), David Banner worked at The Culver Institute.
  • The opening credits use the same X-ray shots of Banner's gamma irradiated skull, from the 1978 series. The '(D)ANGER' clip was reproduced from it as well. Also, Edward Norton's greenish-white eyes close up are eerily similar to Bill Bixby's.
  • The sounds in the factory where Banner cuts himself are the same as the ones in in Carbonite chamber in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
  • The Hercules aircraft (337) at the beginning of the movie is stationed at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario Canada. It is a Canadian Air Force plane flown by Canadian Military pilots. It was painted to resemble the USAF planes.
  • There is a scene where the Hulk smashes a police car in half, then wears both halves like boxing gloves. This is an ability taken directly from the video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (2005) (VG) which was released for Gamecube, Xbox and PS2 in Summer 2005.
  • Although cut from the theatrical run, Captain America can be seen in the alternate beginning on the DVD and Blu-Ray. When the last piece of ice breaks up toward the screen, hit the pause button. There, frozen in the ice, lays Cap with his shield.
  • The computer Edward Norton is using when he is disguised as a delivery boy has the virus scanner 'Norton' installed.
  • When Bruce is in Brazil the Jiu-Jitsu instructor that is teaching him to breathe is legendary Jiu-Jitsu Master Rickson Gracie.
  • In the final scene with Gen. Ross, he is drinking an "Incredible Hulk" cocktail at the bar. It is made using equal parts Hennessy cognac and Hpnotiq liqueur.
  • The film is a "reboot" of the Hulk franchise, not a sequel to _Hulk (2003)_. Lou Ferrigno, who has made a cameo as a security guard in both, is the only actor who reprises his role from Ang Lee's film.
  • In 2003, James Schamus had written a treatment for a direct sequel to Hulk featuring the Grey Hulk with The Leader and The Abomination under consideration as the lead villain. However, Universal at that time owns the rights to making the film and by the time the rights expired at the end of 2005, Marvel's own studio bought back the rights of making the movie with Universal only distributing it.
  • Edward Norton rewrote the script substantially and in certain posters, he was credited under the pseudonym of 'Edward Harrison'. Norton's writing credit was later denied by the WGA, and Zak Penn is the only writer credited.
  • Is the only of the four films released in the summer of 2008, based on a comic book, that wasn't nominated for any Academy Awards. (The others being The Dark Knight (2008), Iron Man (2008) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).)
  • In the scene where Bruce Banner emails Mr. Blue with his data while Betty purchases the used truck, the email is tracked through the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D) database.
  • Liv Tyler takes over the role of Betty Ross from Jennifer Connelly. Tyler and Connelly appeared together as sisters in Inventing the Abbotts (1997).
  • The final fight scene between the Hulk and Abomination was filmed in Toronto, Canada. The beginning of the fight is filmed outside of the Zanzibar strip club on Yonge street.
  • William Hurt was under consideration for the role of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg (1993). Another role, that of Gen. John Buford, ended up being played by Sam Elliot, who played Gen. Ross in Hulk (2003).
  • Two years prior to taking the role of Dr. Bruce Banner, Edward Norton had the lead role in The Illusionist (2006). Three years before Bill Bixby gave his performance of Banner in The Incredible Hulk (1977) (TV), he had the lead in television series The Magician (1973) (TV).
  • In the comics, Emil Blonsky takes on a scaly reptilian appearance, becoming the Abomination. Louis Leterrier felt that while that was cool, it made no sense considering there was no reptile mix in his origin. So in this film Blonsky's appearance is redefined substantially to have his skin/muscles/bones exaggerated and sticking out all over his body. Leterrier describes Blonsky as "an uber-human, just like the Hulk, but a human who was injected with something in the wrong places and these places are growing differently." The VFX artists think of Blonsky as "a guy who transforms but is not used to having these new properties; for instance, he's much heavier, so when he walks down the sidewalk, he's tripping because his weight is destroying the sidewalk."
  • According to General Ross, the serum project that mutated Bruce Banner into the Hulk was developed during World War II. This is a reference to Marvel Comics' next film, Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), who was created with the use of a special serum. Additionally, the person who takes the serum must be treated with a unique form of radiation - any accidents or deviations from the procedure can cause horrific side effects to occur... as befalls Banner and Blonsky.
  • In the Bruce Jones Hulk comics, Betty Ross aided Bruce Banner as a shadowy contact under the alias "Mr. Blue." Mr. Blue appears in the film, but is revealed to be Samuel Sterns. The title Mr. Blue is also a reference to Tim Roth's crime film Reservoir Dogs (1992), which featured Roth as Mr. Orange, and a Mr. Blue portrayed by Edward Bunker.
  • Tim Blake Nelson's character, Samuel Sterns, gets The Hulk's blood in a wound in his head. His head starts to mutate and then he smiles. This is a foreshadowing of his role in the sequel as the main villain, The Leader.
  • The Hulk's origin in this film is a combination of the Marvel Ultimates comics (experimenting on Captain America's super-soldier serum) and "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) (over-exposure to gamma radiation in an experiment). Even the equipment seen is a close match to that used in the TV series, right down to the light sliding over Banner's face.
  • Tim Roth signed on the film because he was a fan of "The Incredible Hulk" (1978), as well as to please his comic-book-fan sons. On set, he constantly asked whether this would "be a cool shot" for his kids to see him in. He thoroughly enjoyed playing Blonsky, but found it difficult since to portray Blonsky's over-the-hill state he could not work out; but he hired a personal trainer to assist him in motion-capturing the Abomination's movements.
  • According to Louis Leterrier, the final scene (Banner grins as his eyes turn green) was a deliberately ambiguous shot: it was meant to show that Bruce finally learns to controls the Hulk (for a Hulk sequel) or will become a menace (as the villain for the film The Avengers (2012)).
  • A blueprint of the sonic cannon at Culver University appears in the opening credits sequence, bearing the tile "Stark Industries," indicating that it was Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. of Iron Man (2008)) who built the cannons for General Ross to use against the Hulk. Stark himself appears in the film's last scene.
  • Although the final scenes are set in Manhattan (Harlem to be exact), they were shot in Toronto, with the initial showdown between the Hulk and the Abomination being filmed on Yonge Street. Several Toronto icons are visible, most notably the "spinning disc" sign for Sam the Record Man, and the marquee of the Zanzibar Tavern.
  • Hulk has a total of six words: "Leave Me Alone", "Hulk Smash", and "Betty".
  • In the final scene with Gen. Ross, he is drinking an "Incredible Hulk" cocktail at the bar. It is made using equal parts Hennessy cognac and Hpnotiq liqueur.
  • The final fight scene between the Hulk and Abomination was filmed in Toronto, Canada. The beginning of the fight is filmed outside of the Zanzibar strip club on Yonge street.
  • This is the only film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that dosn't have a post credit scene.
  • This is the ony pre-2012 Marvel Studios production that was not distributed by Paramount Pictures. Instead Universal Pictures (which produced the previous Hulk film) was left in charge of distribution.

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