The Official Guide to The Hulk

After seeing The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton made quite an impression on me as Dr. Bruce Banner. His performance was everything I could have hoped for, and more. Norton, and this new Hulk film should successfully help eradicate any memory of Bruce Bana, Crazy ole’ Nick Nolte and Ang Lee’s gamma poodles. So I began to think to myself, ‘If not Edward Norton, who else could possibly fill Hulk’s huge purple pants?’ , and thus I came up with this fun list for Hulk couldabeens.

Edward Norton as The HulkThe problem with a list like this is that you need someone that has depth enough to look like a nerdy scientist with the power of a beast lurking within his subconscious. Basically, this is not an ordinary role. The reason that Eric Bana did not work and Ed Norton does, could possibly be because of their contrast of the appearance of strength versus their ability to project strength.

Eric Bana just looks like he could take you in a fight. If you give him glowing green eyes, I know I would not want to mess with him. Needless to say, I think it was hard to see him as the brainy scientist type. Edward Norton though, he has always looked like he would be paying for someone’s lunch in high school. However, Norton can and will kick some ass. He doesn’t need to be big and ominous, because he can make you think he is.

So what I tried to come up with was a list of actors that may actually be intimidating, but have played less than intimidating roles. Conversely, I also tried to pick some actors that appear to be mild mannered, but could have something dark and angry inside of them. Feel free to flame, I’m prepared.

Russell Crowe as Bruce Banner

Russell Crowe

Much like Bana, Crowe has played some hardcore badasses. Crowe though has played a schizophrenic bookworm. His role in A Beautiful Mind convinces me that Crowe could pull off the reserved intellectual type. I don’t think anyone will fight me on Crowe’s ability to Hulk out and break some faces. Hell, Crowe breaks faces even when he isn’t being paid.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bruce Banner

Jonathon Rhys Meyers

Meyers resume is full of many different types of roles. From playing a king to playing The King, anyone that can play both Elvis and a murderer has got some talent. He may just look like a pretty boy but if you have ever seen Match Point, I wouldn’t exactly turn my back to him. Much like Norton, this is a guy who can project more strength than you would probably ever suspect him to have.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Bruce BannerLeonardo DiCaprio

If there were one name on this list that I’d be unsure of, it would be Leo. I have always doubted Leo, always. I have never doubted his acting ability, just his ability to apply his skills to make himself appear to be right for a role I would have never expected him to play. So what could be more perfect? With roles that express inner turmoil, such as The Basketball Diaries and The Aviator, and roles that show inner strength, Gangs of New York and The Departed, DiCaprio could actually pull this off. He is the king of the world.

Cillian Murphy as Bruce BannerCillian Murphy

Here is another one of those weak looking guys who just might hit you with a hook if you take your eyes off of him. Scrawny and harmless looking in 28 Days Later, he wiped out an entire platoon of horny soldiers. Believe you me, nothing is scarier than horny soldiers seeing women for the first time since the eve of an apocalyptic plague…long story. Murphy also appeared to be a powerless scientist in Sunshine, only to kick some ass in space. Did I mention he plays The Scarecrow?

Christian Bale as Bruce BannerChristian Bale

The only thing that would legitimately take Bale off this list, would be that fact that he is Batman. Everyone knows that you can’t portray two superheroes at once, it might cause Fran Drescher to become president or something and end the world. Performing in films like Newsies and Swing Kids, we know the guy can act…but we also know he can kick some ass as Batman and/or Bateman. The man is a chameleon, leading me to believe he can literally play any role. If he weren’t already portraying my favorite superhero, I’d love to see him as Bruce Banner.

Talking point: Who do you think would make the best Incredible Hulk besides Edward Norton?


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