Edward Norton and Tim Roth in The Incredible Hulk

My Favorite Scene: The Incredible Hulk (2008) “Hulk vs. Abomination”

Next week the 17th installment of the MCU roars into theaters featuring a Thor/Hulk team-up in Thor: Ragnarok.  Hulk has been one of the most troublesome characters in the MCU’s history in and out of the movie theater.  The Incredible Hulk was the 2nd installment in the MCU, the first to feature characters crossing over between films (Tony’s post-credit scene with Gen. Ross), and the first to feature a casting change.  Edward Norton was-whatever Marvel wants to call it-fired for complaining to the press about the cut of director Louis Leterrier’s final film.  And he was absolutely right.
Tim Roth in The Incredible Hulk
The MCU was just getting underway, so when Letterier was ordered to cut roughly 25 minutes from his film, he did so and Norton went ballistic bashing Marvel and Leterrier in the press.  Norton was then replaced by Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers.  The thing is, the final cut is one of the least loved MCU films.  Some people hate it.  Because it has whopping plot holes in it.  Plot holes that were shot and removed and exist on the blu ray as special features.  I would love a “Norton’s Cut” of this film.

Since then Universal Studios has tied Marvel up in court over the right to make solo Hulk films, so expect to only see the green guy in the company of others for awhile.  Mark Ruffalo has said the Hulk has a three-film story arc that begins in Thor: Ragnarok and continues in Infinity War and ends in Avengers 4.  Will Hulk continue in the MCU after that?  We don’t know.  We have very little idea what the MCU looks like post-Avengers 4.  But no matter the film’s problems, nothing can take away from the slobberknocker at the end of The Incredible Hulk between the Green Guy and his arch-enemy The Abomination (Tim Roth).
The Incredible Hulk Poster

20 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: The Incredible Hulk (2008) “Hulk vs. Abomination””

    1. This film gets a lot of unwarranted hate. I think a lot of it is connected to the uneven cut, Norton’s public spat with everyone, and that Ruffalo has done such a wonderful job taking over, but that doesn’t diminish that this was the second film out of the gate and we’re looking back on the cup of 17 trying to remember a different age of super hero film. It’s a solid movie. Toward the bottom of the MCU, but still way better than Iron Man 3.


  1. Ruffalo is much better in the role than Norton. So I’m glad the change was made. Just not the way it happened. You turned me on to Norton’s original vision, and you were so right. A bad film would have been pretty damn good. Dammit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so want a Norton’s cut, and Marvel will never allow it. Norton would have been fine as the Hulk, but people who piss Disney off tend to disappear, and then the Universal lawsuit robbed us of solo films probably under Ruffalo’s whole tenure. I did love they brought Thunderbolt Ross back as SecDef in Civil War eight years after we last saw the character. Marvel has messed with cuts twice in the MCU: Hulk and Ultron and both films were worse for the meddling and the second drove Joss Whedon to the Distinguished Competition.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the messing with cuts is a case of a functional clock being wrong two times a day.

        From the look of Ragnerok, they could have done a lot more to give Hulk his due. I’m sure the reason they did not is that with solo films impossible, they felt the character was a financial dead end.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I mean that they did not give him his due for most of the MCU. He will be awesome in Thor.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s the thing, because of the Universal lawsuit, all the supporting cast and potential of the Hulkverse came to a grinding halt. I did love that they brought Thunderbolt Ross back eight years later as Secretary of Defense for Civil War, because William Hurt did a great job with him. I doubt we get a solo Hulk film until whomever takes over after Ruffalo.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wondered why there weren’t anymore solo Hulk films and why Bruce’s supporting cast was missing. Thanks for clearing that up. Personally, I prefer Mark Ruffalo to Ed Norton; it’s less to do with their acting capabilities and more to do with the quality of their directors, I guess. They’re equally good, but Ruffalo got the better deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the reason there are no solo Hulk films for the foreseeable future is a lawsuit from Universal claiming Marvel doesn’t have the right to make solo Hulk films. They DID use General Ross again though, so I’m not sure why Betty or Abomination weren’t ever addressed again. A lot of the cut footage sets up Samuel Sterns to be The Leader in a future solo Hulk film, and explains Sterns’ presence in the film more smoothly, but it wasn’t cut because of the lawsuit. That came after the film. I don’t care that FOX has the X-Men, but I think Fantastic Four and Spider-Man (without sharing) need to be in the MCU, especially post Avengers 4 when the future of what things are going to be like is so uncertain. It seems like films will exist together in the MCU, but there won’t be the coherent and connected 22 film story that made up the first three phases. Part of that is because there will be cast turnover (Evans and Downey Jr. have said they’re done, and I suspect we’ll lose Renner and a few others as casualties in the war). Part is because where are you going to get a threat on par with Thanos? The top 2 that spring to mind are Dr. Doom or Galactus and both of them are owned by FOX. It’ll be interesting to see where the future takes what will be before long the biggest franchise in movie history (it should pass the Bond movies for number of installments sometime in 2020 or 2021).


  3. Thank you very much for clearing that up about the Hulk. FOX has made such a mess of the X-Men that at this point I do not care if Marvel cannot get their hands on them again for a few years. It would be nice, as you say, to have the FF in MCU canon, but we will probably have to wait and see what happens .

    I have not heard about RDJ or Evans definitively stating they are done with the films. Downey Jr. has hinted several times that he will probably have to call it quits soon, and I understand that, but from what I heard Evans was just dodging questions about whether or not Cap would die in the films. Personally, I think it would be stupid of Marvel to kill him off. But then, they did give us the entire HYDRA Cap thing, so I suppose anything is possible there.

    Counting Hawkeye out at this point might be a mistake. Even with Avengers 4 under his belt, Renner will still have two films left in his contract with Marvel Studios. I do not know about Ruffalo, Johanson, Olsen, Bettany, or most of the others, though. Jackson renegotiated his contract beyond the original nine films he was supposed to appear in, and after Avengers 4, Stan will still have four movies in his contract. He’s not going anywhere, and I tend to doubt Renner will disappear this soon, too. But I could be very, very wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/788390/Avengers-4-Chris-Evans-Robert-Downey-Jr-Iron-Man-Captain-America-Infinity-War

      It’s a horribly cluttered article but there are others. Evans contract actually had expired and he extended it through Avengers 4 “so they could wrap everything up” which sounds an awful lot like “so I can be killed off”. With Falcon and Bucky both historically Caps, they can still continue that mantle, but if they do convince RDJ to come back (and I don’t think they can afford to at this point financially he’s making like $60 million a film, it’d be great for him to take Nick Fury’s role and head SHIELD and continue to be the glue, but I don’t know that’s where they’re headed. Evans, though, I think is a done deal. He’s gone so far as to say he wants to retire from acting, so I don’t know. He was fantastic in Gifted this year. All I know is that by the time Avengers 4 ends, the only casualties in all this aren’t going to be just Quicksilver and Rhodey’s legs. Also I really want this team to learn Coulson is still alive…..


      1. Thanks very much for the link. I guess we will just have to see what happens. My biggest fear is that they will mess everything up in Infinity War and Avengers 4. As long as they end those films on a proper high note, with an ending better than the most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ TV series, I will quite happily let the entire franchise go its own way after Avengers 4.

        And yes, it would be really nice if the team learned Coulson was still alive. Tony’s reaction would be the most fun of all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, I don’t think they’re going to be happy with Fury for lying to them, but I don’t think Fury is making it through these movies either. I think they’ve planned so long for this and so far ahead, that they have this. We always worry and they just get better. I’m confident the MCU will continue, and down the line, I think another mega-story will come together (perhaps when the FF is finally acquired), but if we have characters still popping up in each other’s films and it feels like the shared space that made Marvel Comics so wonderful from the inception, then I think the MCU will continue to delight. A lot is going to change, but that change will give them opportunities for new stories and fun.


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