Could the Success of ‘The Avengers’ Force Another Incredible Hulk Film?
Apparently seeing green has Marvel Studios seeing green. Previously averse to the idea of yet another solo-Hulk movie after the awful Ang Lee helmed Hulk and the underrated Incredible Hulk, Marvel is pondering a deeper exploration of the rage monster and his angsty alter-ego thanks to the early overseas box office of The Avengers and the strong critical buzz surrounding Mark Ruffalo‘s performance as Bruce Banner in the film, according to a new article on Forbes.com.
Here’s an excerpt from the article where Larissa Faw talks to Marvel merchandising head Paul Gitter about Marvel’s battle plan in the lead up to The Avengers and the studio’s plans going forward:
“If Hulk’s successful turnaround continues, Gitter says Marvel “will spin him off to a stand-alone program next year,” supported by a big budget franchise movie in 2015. The entertainment studio is also exploring ways to promote Hulk as a “corporate icon,” similar to MetLife’s usage of Peanuts’ Snoopy, where The Hulk’s image conveys a message about channeling strength to overcome workplace challenges.”
Now, I threw-up in my mouth a little over Marvel’s possible plans to sell The Hulk as a corporate mascot that “conveys a message about channeling strength to overcome workplace challenges” rather than, you know, a disgruntled mass of smash and destruction that will lose it over copier jams and delayed bonuses, but Gitter is in marketing, and it is his job to make me sick and also make me buy things. Mission accomplished on the latter point by the way, because I am totally writing this while wearing a pair of foam Hulk hands, and that is a challenge.
Another challenge: understanding why another Hulk movie makes sense. Sure, it’ll make money, and Ruffalo is reportedly under contract, so we won’t have to deal with yet another casting change in the Marvel-verse (I miss you Ed Norton and Terrence Howard!), but I’d like movies to be at least half motivated by a desire to advance a story or even re-tell it in an interesting way. Clearly, that won’t be the primary motive behind another Hulk, because honestly, there isn’t much to say about the character after three movies (counting The Avengers) that hasn’t already been said unless, of course, Marvel has the guts to introduce The Illuminati and send The Hulk to Sakaar.
With that said, and despite the fact that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has only offered a tepid “we’ll see” regarding the future of The Hulk, money talks and fanboys cry – that doesn’t rhyme, but it is just so damn accurate.