My favourite subplot in The Avengers, if I can call it that, is the arc that Bruce Banner goes through. He’s such a problematic character for me, generally, but Joss Whedon seems to have nailed his insecurities rather brilliantly.
And of course, when he does Hulk out, he gets at least two show-stealing moments. Much better than previous incarnations, who flip-flopped between big drip and fairly uninteresting SMASH monster.
I’m not alone in my liking of this particular portrayal of the Hulk – many have praised Mark Ruffalo, and been genuinely excited about his tole in the film. So much so that the tide of public opinion seems to have swept up Marvel’s plans and turned them around.
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.
It’s the bit in the middle about a movie that I particularly liked… and the reminder that Snoopy is now a corporate icon that I particularly disliked. It could almost turn me green.
So, despite Kevin Feige’s repeated previous comments that a standalone Hulk wouldn’t be worth the risk, Marvel are now talking about “a big budget franchise movie in 2015.” They’ve got Mark Ruffalo contracted, which is a relief, so next up, I’d like to hear that they’re getting suitable talent behind the camera.
I wonder if Joss would fancy it?
Guillermo Del Toro and David Eick were working on an ABC show that would bring The Hulk back to primetime. Whether or not this sudden upswing in vocal public support for Big Green will actually help or, perhaps by means of the movie, kill these plans remains to be seen.