Marvel's Kevin Feige Discusses the Changes for the Hulk in The Avengers
07.27.11 by Ryan
Marvel Studios' upcoming adaptation of The Avengers will be the third appearance of the character of the Hulk, and will have the third actor playing the Hulk's alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner. When Mark Ruffalo was cast in the role after Marvel decided not to use Edward Norton again, Ruffalo referred to the role as "my generation's Hamlet" while also revealing that he would be the first actor to also play the Hulk in motion capture. But that may not be the only change the Hulk sees in The Avengers.
While attending the 2011 Comic-Con, Marvel president of production (and producer of the Marvel Avengers movies) Kevin Feige told The LA Times that the Hulk "will be as different as The Incredible Hulk was from Ang Lee’s Hulk in terms of its look and design."
[B]ut it is Hulk. The image we released on the last day of Comic-Con — which got a tremendous amount of attention and I was very pleased about — is a very good representation of what he’s going to look like. Hulk is Hulk. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel.
It's an unusual comment for Feige to make, since he then revealed that they would, in fact, "reinvent the wheel" of Hulk by changing the look of the CGI character.
He’ll be about the same size he was in The Incredible Hulk [which was about 9 feet tall] or maybe a little bit smaller. His muscles won’t be quite as cut. We figure he’s been the Hulk now for a few years and [his physique is changing]. He’s not as cut or as ripped as he was in The Incredible Hulk. The most important thing is that face. As you can already see in that concept painting, it is — more than any Hulk that’s ever been done in live action — a Hulk that let’s you see the actor in there. You will be able to see Ruffalo in there. That was a big revelation for us. It’s just a concept painting, but in that you can see the [influence of Marvel Comics pioneer and original Hulk artist Jack] Kirby, as people have already pointed out, but also, and equally important in this case, Ruffalo’s eyes and his cheek structure. It is him.
Feige revealed the face of the Hulk was something Marvel "actively avoided before" thinking that "Hulk was Hulk" and wasn't like "any one actor" (guess that explains the constant re-casting). All that has changed, Feige admitted.
But we’ve taken a different approach because Hulk is Banner and, frankly, we came to question our approach. Why are we not doing it this way? So we did a few designs that put Ruffalo into it, and we immediately saw how much more you feel for the creature. When you keep that connection going between Banner and the Hulk and you have characters around him trying to reach Banner inside — "Bruce, calm down," and all of that classic Hulk stuff — it means more if you see the same actor throughout. I think before it was something we thought might look silly. We were nervous about getting it good enough [via visual effects] to work. Frankly, it was the same way we were nervous early on about making Steve Rogers skinny for Captain America. Is this going to look disturbing? Is this going to look silly? In the end, we got that one right. We’re going to get this one right.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers will unite Hulk with his other teammates: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).