19th Jul2010

Hey Star Trek! donchoo WANNA HULK OUT!?

by jerad.formby

Comic-Com comes upon us all this week and even though we at Hey Star Trek! will not be in attendance, we are looking forward to one piece of particularly nerdy news.

Nothing is expected in the Star Trek realm of things, but there is plenty happening in the world of Marvel Movies. If you haven’t heard, Joss Whedon’s making the avengers. If you haven’t heard, the Avengers will have Iron Man in it, Thor in it, and Captain America in it.

All these guys will be played by the folks who portrayed them in their original movies. That means Robert Downey Jr. That means Kirk’s dad (who plays Thor). And the guy who played the human torch (who is also Captain America).

Of course in current Marveldom, the Incredible Hulk is played by Edward Norton. But he won’t be along for the ride…

For one long great week, this meant that the role of Bruce Banner was up for speculation and grabs. For one great week we at the Hey Star Trek! offices got to contemplate just who might be the Hulk this time around.

Adrien Brody was a rumor.

David Tennant was a rumor that got Hey Star Trek! all happy and nerdy… but that name fell away quickly and it seems our favorite monster/hero/villain/whatsit will most likely be played by Mark Ruffalo.

Of course, we’ve heard that the actual announcement won’t be made until comic-con, but we’re still just a little bit sad that one name wasn’t even considered.

If you follow us on twitter, you know what we’re about to say.

Eric Bana.

We’re certain some of you just jumped away from your computer like it was gonna bite you like a snake. We’re pretty sure a number of you have an adamant hatred for the words Bana and Hulk in the same sentence.

That’s because hating Ang Lee’s Hulk is just about as popular as hating the Star Wars prequels, Indiana Jones IV, and Spiderman 3. It’s become very, very fun and acceptable for nerds world-wide to hate that film and naturally despise the players who worked out Hulk back in 2003.

Please stay with us.

The Hulk is actually our very favorite of the marvel heroes. It’s been that way since we were very tiny and wished we had Hulk underoos.

Our love for Hulk and all things Hulk begins with the cartoon show Spiderman and His Amazing Friends. This childhood series, which we’ve never re-watched, ingrained the rage of the green man and his awesome “hopping abilities” into the part of the brain reserved for necessary functions.

Eat. Play. Sleep. Hulk. Eat. Play. Indiana Jones. Han Solo. Hulk. Captain Kirk. Hulk. Hulk. Hulk. Hulk.

We also loved the television show that came on at night so we could watch it with our parents. We loved it when Banner got angry and his shoes would rip apart because he was just so mad that very bad stuff was going to happen.

This was a youngster who had an incredible fascination with this guy and it was only ever eclipsed by the ever famous Howard the Duck! If you’re just tuning into Hey Star Trek! we are not kidding. Find out why Howard’s cool and killed your Star Wars prequels here!

Carrying our love for Hulk into his main-medium (the Comic Book) was never really easy for our six-year-old love.

The six-year-old became a sixteen-year-old and the sixteen-year-old became a twenty-six-year-old and by then, the distance between adulthood and childhood was littered with all kinds of opinions on art, writing, and obviously film.

When we studied film, we fell in love with the theory of what made good filmmaking separate from bad filmmaking. There is a critical theory out there and in existence that is summed up with the words form and content.

Content is obviously everything in front of the camera. This will be your actors, your sets, your locations, and your story.

Form is how that content will be framed by the camera, lit by the crew, and edited in the, uhm, editing suite. In the very best scenarios, form supports content 1000 percent. What we mean is that once the film is made, the form perfectly demonstrated the story and it went from movie to art in a heartbeat.

This stuff was knocking around in our adult head when our childhood favorite came to screen in 2003. The film was made by Ang Lee –who is a celebrated, very serious filmmaker. We loved that he was in charge of our childhood and those were the days when we’d never even heard of Eric Bana.

We watched the actor’s most famous movie as soon as we could. And he blew us away!

With a director and casting that excited us, we read every published article we could on the film. We scoured the internet for rumors. We shuddered at the very first teaser trailer –where we heard Bana say something so spooky it actually made us read current Hulk comics.

He said: “When it starts to come over me, and I start to lose control. I like it.”

The film came out in June of 2003 and we were there for the opening, midnight, who is your daddy, oh hell yeah, showing at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas. The “now” typical Marvel crawler went up and it was Green!

The first notes of music were aboriginal and it very well might be the last Danny Elfman movie music we’ll ever just totally love (because, obviously). And we were then treated to what will most likely be the most ambitious comic book film ever made.

Ang Lee’s Hulk was the first time that the film theorist in us and the little kid in us got to shake hands. The glee of Hulk’s destruction was there and his story was told through a thinker’s lens.

It could be possible that Ang Lee only made the film for the blogger of this site.

It is most often criticized for being “too intellectual.” There are also mad complaints about Hulk fighting “mutant dogs.” Some also think the movie’s too long. It is also cited for having “half-baked ideas” that never really “come together.”

And Bana’s performance is amongst the complaints too.

Forgive us, but the Bruce Banner in the film (as suggested by the script, as directed by Ang Lee, and as perfectly performed by Eric Bana) is an emotional recluse. He plays his scenes with a quiet distance that perfectly counterpoints Jennifer Connelly as the only person who will ever care for him.

We’re not saying the film is flawless.

There is the Nick Nolte thing!

So the movie came out was growled about, kicked, and stabbed by nerds and movie-goers alike. The efforts Ang Lee went through to make the movie play like one was reading a comic book were laughed at. The movie elicited sneers and the sort of proud nerd thumping that is usually reserved for really crappy stuff.

The movie was so poorly received that Marvel decided a few years later that it was time to “reboot” the Hulk with a new cast and a new director. From 2003 to 2008, there were only five years –which makes Hulk the fasted reboot in history.

Of course we went… favorite character and all that crap.

Edward Norton played the Hulk in that edition. He was a good performer. He did a good job. I’ve heard many a nerd explain to me that Norton makes much more sense than Bana for Bruce Banner.

They’re proud to point out his nerdy look and his awkward mannerisms.

All of that noise is just fine with us, but a quick click over to Rotten Tomatoes tells an interesting story. It appears that Ang Lee’s movie is only 61 percent fresh. That means it scores an average of 61 out of 100 with most critics and online reviewers.

Glad Marvel was quick to make an apology, because the Norton one scores a whopping 66 percent as of Hey Star Trek! press time. That is a whole 5 percent improvement, ladies and gents!

Whew-wee! Apology accepted!

It seems taking away all of the ambition of Ang Lee’s (embarrassing) version and making it more accessible not only brought in five additional points, but almost 2.5 million more in box-office revenue!

It was a sad day for the Hey Star Trek! offices when Edward Norton was said to be filling in the shoes of Eric Bana. We were excited to see what Bana’s new Banner would be –since he’d reached a near equilibrium with his daddy issues.

We wanted to see the fugitive aspect of Banner explored with an actor who got his emotional bonds untied in the first film. We also wanted to see Jennifer Connelly return.

It just wasn’t meant to be, even though the Apology Hulk’s writer and director wanted to hire Eric Bana back. Even though they had started building a sequel. It was Marvel who wanted the stigma of Ang Lee gone and they hired Edward Norton to hit the point home.

And then they found themselves stuck with an actor who was not content giving a performance. He felt the need to write and re-write scenes. He felt the need to make choices for the director in the editing room.

He chose to be the biggest ego in the world and now everyone’s shocked that he’s not allowed to be in the “team movie” with everyone else.

Since the role is up in the air (possibly) for just a few more days… we want to fantacize that Marvel might somehow stand by their most artful film. That they might stop sniveling and acknowledge they got a pretty cool movie in 2003.

For a few more days, we’ll fantacize that comic-con will see Eric Bana on stage with Joss Whedon, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and the great Jeremy Renner.

The intro might go something… like this:


“Like” Hey Star Trek! on Facebook. It’s not the end of the world. Or is it!?



  • http://apizzagirl.blogspot.com PizzaGirl

    All I can think of is Mark Ruffalo in “13 Going on 30”. Can’t imagine that guy sploding into the Hulk.

  • MrsRayStantz

    As usual Jerad I agree with you. I definitely don’t see Ruffalo as Banner. I’ve never really been into the Hulk comics (I’m a X-Men kinda girl) so I can’t really choose who I’d like to see play Banner. It would be nice to see Bana again.

  • http://www.eyelidsurgeryfaq.com Eyelid Surgery

    Jen connelly is the actress that i have a huge crush. here eyes are really very pretty “:`

  • Pingback: Star Trek Podcast » Hey Star Trek! gotchoo BACK ISSUES!?()