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'The Incredible Hulk' Budget, Facts, and Trivia

Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth Star in 'The Incredible Hulk'


'The Incredible Hulk' Budget, Facts, and Trivia

A scene from 'The Incredible Hulk.'

© Universal Pictures
Budget: $150 million (estimate)

Shooting Dates: July 21, 2007 – November 2007

Shooting Locations: Toronto, Rio De Janeiro, and New York

Theatrical Release Date: June 13, 2008

The Incredible Hulk Facts

-The Hulk character, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, debuted in May 1962. The Hulk’s debut was anything but ostentatious, with the comic book series only putting out six issues before being canceled by Marvel. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of the big green guy as he appeared in Fantastic Four #12 and then became one of the first members of The Avengers. He then showed up in Tales to Astonish opposite Giant-Man. Comic book fans finally embraced the character and The Incredible Hulk series has become one of Marvel’s most popular to date.

-Stan Lee was inspired by two famous ‘monsters.’ “I combined Jekyll and Hyde with Frankenstein and I got myself the monster I wanted, who was really good, but nobody knew it. He was also somebody who could change from a normal man into a monster, and lo, a legend was born,” said Lee.

-The television series The Incredible Hulk debuted in March 1978 and ran for five years. Bill Bixby played David Banner and Lou Ferrigno, a bodybuilder, took on the role of The Hulk.

-Why is the Hulk green? Stan Lee says it was a fairly simple decision. “My first impulse was to make him gray, because as far as I knew, there were no Super Heroes or villains running around with gray skin,” explained Lee. “When the first issue came out, the printer had trouble with the gray color. So I talked to the technical people and they said, ‘Well, most of the other colors are easier to do; you won’t have to worry.’ I had to pick out another color, and I realized nobody had a green hero I knew of. And I said, ‘Okay, let’s make him green.’ It was as casual as that.”

-The 2008 film is not a sequel to the 2003 Hulk movie directed by Ang Lee and starring Eric Bana. Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures were determined to make this one more in line with the comic books and TV series, rather than Lee’s version. Lee’s explored the darker side; The Incredible Hulk takes the ‘Hulk is hero’ approach.

-Ang Lee’s Hulk had a similar budget to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and although the film made $62 million its opening weekend, that initial momentum petered out. Hulk wound up with a very disappointing $132 million domestic box office total.

-Reports swirled over tension between The Incredible Hulk's star Edward Norton and Marvel Studios while the film was in post-production. Nikki Finke reported Norton was not happy with the editing of The Incredible Hulk and was upset because he’d been assured he’d be involved in the decision-making process. After the rumors of trouble brewing behind the scenes broke on the internet, Norton refuted the claims, saying disagreements are part of the filmmaking process.

-Prior to and throughout filming, Norton worked on the script. However, the Writers Guild of America awarded sole screenwriting credit to Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand).

-Liv Tyler (‘Betty Ross’) is close friends with Gwyneth Paltrow who also happens to play a superhero’s girlfriend in a 2008 summer release (Paltrow is Pepper Potts in Iron Man).

-Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr appears in a cameo as Tony Stark.

-The Hulk in The incredible Hulk is a 100% CGI character standing 9’ tall. The Hulk’s foe, The Abomination, is 11’ tall and can move up to 30 miles per hour.

-Movement coach Terry Notary donned a motion capture suit in order to help the visual effects wizards bring the characters of The Hulk and The Abomination to life on the screen. For two months Notary walked, ran, hit, and kicked like the two characters.

-Because The Hulk and The Abomination weren’t actually present for their scenes, the actors had to use their imaginations in order to play opposite the CGI characters. Director Louis Leterrier (Transporter) tried to help by providing stand-ins for The Hulk so that his actors and his cinematographer, Peter Menzies, would know where The Hulk would ultimately be inserted by the effects company. In some scenes, Terry Notary would wear stilts to help the actors know where to look. Tennis balls on telescoping poles were also used, along with cutouts of The Hulk’s face with LED lights in it.

-The Incredible Hulk production took the ‘green’ theme to heart. Hybrid and fuel efficient cars were used to transport the cast and crew, zero- or low-VOC paints were used whenever possible, and the wood from the set was recycled or donated to Habitat for Humanity.

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