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.
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).