More Bixby, Less Bana in Hulk 2

by | June 21, 2007 | Comments

Marvel Studios is happy to be relaunching the "Hulk" franchise with all new actors and a new vision for the film. They’re not even above slamming their own work, as Marvel president Kevin Feige addressed questions about how "The Incredible Hulk" will differ from Hulk.

"The Hulk will be different from the first one because this one will be good," said Feige. He quickly added, no offense. "Frankly we’re joking about it but there are certain elements in the first one that I’m very proud of. There are other elements that I’m not and the cast of the first film was spectacular. It was a great cast. You couldn’t ask for a better cast coming together than you did in that first movie. And Eric Bana was great and frankly they were all great."

That said, casting Edward Norton was a way to bring back a more classical approach to Bruce Banner than Eric Bana delivered. "In looking to sort of reboot and looking to start the franchise fresh and new, we wanted to start with a clean slate. And it wasn’t frankly Eric Bana that I was looking at and saying that we needed to improve upon, it was Bill Bixby because Bill Bixby is really what I believe most of the fans and most of the audience look to when they think of Bruce Banner, when they think of that sort of classic Hulk storyline."

When Norton came to mind, Feige never dreamed he would land the actor. "I was thinking who is that today? Who can get that empathy across and who is just a great actor in any medium? And we started talking about someone like Ed Norton. It’s your dream in movies like this when you go, ‘Oh boy, it would be great to have somebody like this’ and end up actually getting that person that you were basing everything on."