In the opinion of The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier, the more ‘goofy’ incarnation of the hero currently being featured across the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “very far” from his original plans for the Jade Giant.
Leterrier shared his opinion on Bruce Banner’s cinematic character assassination during an interview given to ComicBook.com centered on his most recent film, Fast X.
Pressed on the topic of his brief time working in the MCU by the outlet’s Chris Kilian, the director revealed that he had actually intended to follow up his solo Hulk film with “a whole sequel.”
“There was like Grey Hulk, Red Hulks – there was a lot of good stuff that we were planning,” he proceeded to reveal.
Turning to his vision of the character, Leterrier asserted, “Hulk is a complex character within the Marvel Universe.”
“You want the primeval Hulk… the rage Hulk,” he continued. “And then when you go Grey Hulk and Smart Hulk you lose that a little bit and you get a little bit more kiddish with it.”
Drawing his thoughts on the topic to a close, Leterrier ultimately explained to Kilian that his vision for the Hulk’s future was nowhere near as disappointingly unserious as the one Marvel and Mark Ruffalo have chosen to insist upon audiences.
“But that was the fun of where I was in my movie, with the access to consciousness and all that stuff,” said the filmmaker. “That was really fun. And that’s what I was aiming to do. But take my time with it. Because there’s so many characters they want it all fast [laughs]. I like She-Hulk, but then you know, yoga between Hulk and… I was like ‘Okay! yeah, we’re very far from my Hulk.'”
And “very far” the Hulk has come indeed.
In Leterrier’s film, Edward Norton portrayed a version of the Green Goliath that was more in line with the character’s original comic book depictions.
Brooding, haunted, and somewhat timid, Norton’s Bruce Banner was a troubled figure who viewed his powers as more of a destructive curse that he must constantly work to control rather than any sort of outright gift.
However, following Disney’s purchase of Marvel in 2009, save a decent outing in the first Avengers film, the Hulk has slowly been transformed from a walking metaphor for humanity’s struggles with their innermost emotions to an incompetent punchline whose years-long struggle to control his powers is completely undercut by his cousin’s ability to control her powers to an ever greater degree after having them for just a few days.
In the end, it seems Leterrier’s psychological exploration of the Hulk’s inner demons was ultimately yet another casualty of Disney’s incompetent handling of the MCU.