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‘Good’ Hulk Solo Movie Would Be ‘Tricky,’ Joss Whedon Concedes


Marvel was so surprised by the “phenomenal response” to the Hulk in The Avengers that one executive revealed last spring that the studio is considering a third solo movie for the character. That was seemingly reinforced earlier this month by a rumor that an adaptation of the “Planet Hulk” storyline could spin out of the 2015 Avengers sequel.

However, ComicBookMovie reports that Joss Whedon admitted recently at the Dublin International Film Festival that another Green Goliath feature would be a difficult proposition. Asked whether it would be possible to make “a good Hulk film,” the writer/director replied, “Yes. But it would be very, very hard.”

“Hulk is a tricky son of a bitch. He’s the Claudio of superheroes,” Whedon continued. “Because the problem is it’s a very popular character, but it’s not a superhero. Half of it’s a superhero, half of it’s a werewolf. And you can’t structure it like a superhero movie, you can’t light it like a superhero movie. How do you develop that? It would be extremely difficult. The one thing you would have in your favor would be Mark Ruffalo. But right now I don’t know if they have plans to do that or not, because he works so well as part of a greater whole, but by himself, it’s tough. I don’t envy the guys who went before.”

Of course, some might argue the question is flawed, as 2008’s The Incredible Hulk certainly qualifies as “a good Hulk film.” Maybe not great, but certainly good.


  • Saint Reeves the warrior

    I didn’t think the Edward Norton one was bad at all. In fact I really liked it.

  • Melis523

    Both Hulk movies were good for different reasons.

  • Peterhohman42

    Well, I think the first step in making a “good” Hulk movie would be to not hire Zak Penn to write the script… and hey, didn’t Peter David have a pretty good run on the actual comic?  Maybe they should try to draw inspiration from THAT instead of Bruce Jones’s work.

  • Osmosis Oaks

    “Werewolf” is exactly right. Check out that first transformation scene in the Avengers. Classic monster movie stuff.

  • Lewis4510

    What made the first Hulk movie such a mess was the “comic panels” which made some scenes confusing and hard to follow. Ang Lee might be a great director but he was clueless on how to make a comic book movie. Just because it’s based on a comic does not mean that it has to look like one.

  • Aaron Daniel

    THANK YOU for saying Incredible Hulk was good! I thought I was alone.

  • Chad

    Well I think the main thing that holds back the Hulk from having a “great” movie is the fact that the Hulk is better is small doses, which the Avengers proved. Having Banner turn into the Hulk should be a “holy crap” moment. Whenever Hulk showed up in the Avengers big things happened which made you excited. It’s hard to stay excited about the Hulk showing up when you are constantly seeing it happen over and over again during the course of a solo movie. The trick is how do you make the non-hulk part of the movie just as good as when he does inevitably show up?

  • matt

    Hulk only works when he’s either fighting other heroes or he’s used in a bomb fashion against other bad guys (as we saw in Avengers). Even Planet Hulk worries me because you NEED the Hulk to talk in order for the story to progress. I think people aren’t taking time to think about what they want, they see the hulk punching a space whale in Avengers and think AWESOME GIVE HIM A MOVIE without actually thinking about how difficult it is to tell a compelling story about this giant green ogre man who just punches lots of stuff.

  • RNKR2005

    I would prefer a Maestro type movie to a Planet Hulk (too alien for me). Or a movie that would separate Banner from Hulk just to show how important Bruce is to control the unstoppable savage Hulk before they reunite to defeate the Leader.

  • RNKR2005

    The first movie was mostly good for me. Just take out the comic book panel like effects, put better background sounds/music, lighten up the mood with a couple of Easter eggs here and there, and take out the horrible end fight with the senior Banner.

  • Sam Robards, Comic Fan

    I thought what made Ang Lee’s Hulk a mess was the horrific screenplay.

    I actually loved the comic panel-styled editing. It was unique, vibrant and made the movie stand out. I didn’t have any trouble following it at all.

  • Sam Robards, Comic Fan

    I’d agree that Incredible Hulk was a good, but not great, film. The plot was a little bare and mainly existed to link the great smashing scenes.

    In terms of the potential Planet/World War Hulk films, that is a tricky proposition.
    Unless you change the details of the original story, Banner/Ruffalo would have a very small role to play in both features. And you don’t really want to keep the best on-screen Banner behind the curtain, so to speak.

    The Hulk would also have to speak: a lot. We’d also have to nail down what exactly the Hulk is in relation to Banner (in the movieverse): is he Banner’s Id fully realized, a separate personality, what? How do Banner and Hulk interact, if at all? We would need a few more of those details in order to get a more fleshed out and substantial Hulk movie, especially one as pivotal as Planet Hulk.

    It can be done, but they’d have to get the right team on it.

  • Sam Robards, Comic Fan

    To expound on my own comment a little bit, I actually think incorporating Banner more into Planet Hulk would be a good idea.

    How does an extremely hostile and violent environment like that affect someone as intellectual and high-minded as Bruce Banner? And how does a person like Banner deal with the fact that his friends sent him there? In essence, we’d be exploring Banner as a man wrongfully (or not) locked in the worst kind of prison.

    We’d also get to see the Hulk revel in this new environment, how the relationship with Caiera affects them both and how her ultimate passing causes them to finally come together for a common purpose.
    Put like that, I think it could be pretty great, but that’s just me.

  • Orphan

    Why duplicate a storyline we’ve already seen in comic form and in animation?The real problem with Ang Lee’s version is the cheesy CGI of the Hulk itself.The problem with Incredible Hulk is the ridiculous extended fight scenes with Abomnation.Let’s reboot this to TV and move on to a better character.

  • Joseph Murphy

    I saw “Hulk” as a kid, and was bored and confused. I saw “The Incredible Hulk” and loved it. I have rewatched it and my opinion hasn’t changed much. I loved the arc of Banner trying to learn to control his anger, but the characterization of the Hulk was mindless.

    In “The Avengers” they gave the Hulk some personality which people really liked. I also enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s awkward nerdy scientist who contrasts with the loud, obnoxious, monster. I think Ruffalo and Norton did good, but Ruffalo wins because of the connection between the two characters he brings.

    World War Hulk as a story has almost no Banner, so Ruffalo’s six picture deal doesn’t make much sense. I think Hulk is best used when working off of others- like the “Hulk Vs” animated movies were great- but they were more about Thor and Wolverine than they were about the Hulk.

    Of those six movies he has signed for, let’s assume half of them are Avengers movies, making a trilogy. The other three could either be stand-alone Hulk films, or have him co-star in movies with Cap, Thor, Ant-Man, or anyone else. Make a live-action “Hulk Vs Thor” and see what happens…

  • Matthew Morris

    I agree with others that it is Banner that should lead the film, not Hulk.  I think part of the problem is Banner being overlooked.  The Iron Man franchise isn’t 6 hours of smashing bad guys, Thor didn’t smash giants every 30 seconds for 90 min, and Cap, well Steve is still Steve in or out of costume.

    Likewise, seeing Bruce, dealing with his condition, trying to understand it, and master it, then the Hulk gets out when the fighting starts.  Or since he’s already mellow post Avengers, let the bad guys get involved in breaking him. 

    Of course I’d like the movie to end with more of an Avengers:EMH hulk than the mindless one.

  • Eric Erickson

    Here is the GREATEST HULK MOVIE idea ever!!!!! I am only going to say this once.Do #181 that’s right the big one HULK VS WOLVERINE !!!!! This way you can please HULK fans and WOLVERINE fans everywhere. Now you just need someone to play a good Banner character and HUGH JACKMAN and some awesome special affects and let the 2 rip into each other for two hours!!! And KEEP IT TRUE to the comic story line nobody really wins but they kick the crap out of each other and a lot of destruction to where ever they are fighting!!!!!

  • Wyatt Samuel K

     Unfortunately, this cannot happen presently.  The problem isn’t your idea, and I make no judgment on whether said plot is good or bad, but rather legalities.  Disney holds the rights to Hulk, and 20th Century Fox holds the rights to the ‘X’ characters.  It would be next to impossible to get the two houses to agree on how to split the revenue.