Friday, June 13, 2008

Which Hulk?

Most comic book characters are fairly straightforward when moving to live action. The specific treatment may change as the various Batman movies have shown, but he has always been a masked crime-fighter.

The Hulk is a different case. I've written before about how many times Marvel has reinvented the character. During his comic's original run he was reinvented every issue or two.

Which one should be brought to the screen? And how?

The TV show followed THE FORMULA for high concept TV shows. In this the high concept appears twice. The first appearance is a teaser. The second appearance is longer and wraps up the plotline. The high concept never gets more than 15 minutes screentime, total, often much less. This formula has been applied to everything from the fights in Kung Fu to aerial combat in Airwolf. It was the rule for the Hulk TV series. That meant that Bruce Banner was the real star.

The original Hulk movie and the current reboot followed this formula but that isn't the only way they could have made the movies. They could have had Banner in Hulk mode the whole time. This would have been in keeping with the comic where Banner has gone for years without making an appearance.

The Lord of the Rings proved that a realistic CGI character can have an important part with major screentime.

Then there is the guy in a rubber suit. It worked for both the Thing in the Fantastic Four and for Hellboy. This would have been a less impressive Hulk but he would have been more believable. The quality of the CGI was one of the complaints people had about the first movie and early reviews have indicated that it still isn't as good as it needs to be.

One option that was rightly abandoned was painting a body builder green which is what the TV show did.

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