The Hulk

leader

Remember when Tim Blake Nelson‘s noggin started looking all funky in The Incredible Hulk? Well, if you don’t, it happened around the point where the Hulk and the Abomination starting ripping each other apart. While those two worked out their problems, Dr. Samuel Sterns was having a makeover. Before the finale, we saw Sterns crack a smile while making his transformation into The Leader, the brilliant green-skinned Marvel baddie. He’s a villain favorite for some, possibly even the makers of The Amazing Spider-Man, who used one of his more famous schemes for The Lizard’s grand plan. The Leader is a very comic book-y type of villain, one that could have been too much for Marvel’s Phase I, but now that the studio has pushed the boundaries of its scientific status, bringing back actor Tim Blake Nelson to terrorize The Hulk or The Avengers is a solid idea. Louis Leterrier would seem to agree. Speaking with him recently, I asked whether there was ever serious talk over using The Leader in future films.

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Hulk in The Avengers

After conquering the summer, millions of people want to know what Marvel has planned for its next phase and how they’ll manage to pull it off. Iron Man 3 is coming this year alongside Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits in 2014, so we’re firmly set for broody post-Avengers insight. Plus, Ant-Man still looms alongside Guardians of the Galaxy and a host of other conceptual character projects — so the comic book brand is looking ahead to its next crop of heroes. But where does that leave The Hulk? That’s the question El Mayimbe was asking over at Latino Review, but instead of talking to himself, he set out to find some answers (which could prove incredibly spoilery). According to his inside source, Marvel isn’t just interested in another attempt at a stand-alone Hulk movie; they’re intent on building their next universes around the character.

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All in all, this was a decent summer. There were plenty of highs and lows, with zero grand achievements for either sides of that scale. We could argue endlessly about what movies lived up to the hype or which ones totally blew it, but where’s the fun in having that conversation for the thousandth time over twitter? What we all should be discussing is the important stuff, like, how sad Damon Lindelof‘s Twitter feed could get this summer or how many ounces of man sweat we think Matthew McConaughey shed in Magic Mike? These are the real topics worthy of discussion, ’cause who cares why Vickers didn’t run a few feet to the right to easily save her life in Prometheus? Or how on earth Batman survived that nuclear blast when we clearly saw him in The Bat before the blast? These are details we all need to let go of. What you all really need to know is who came out as the winners and losers of this summer season, and I’m here to tell you who.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This week, it is like the idiotic parents’ suburban Pasadena home in Project X. The responsible party is taking some time off, so he has handed the keys to some of us on staff, and we are having the Movie News After Dark House Party of the century. We’re doing our best to remain somewhat respectable and deliver some entertainment news you may have missed this week, but at some point we all know we’ll put a dwarf in the oven. On with the show. The first story is one you’ve likely seen already this weekend, but it’s worth repeating for the sheer joy it brings. This weekend, Movies.com published the story of George Lucas doing something we can all get behind. After decades of trying to develop land in Marin County to make the biggest movie studio in the galaxy, and with his snooty neighbors blocking the $300m a year initiative for fear of causing problems, he has decided to develop low-income housing. Finally, people can pat him on the back and forget about Jar Jar, Han shooting first and a certain crystal skull.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? The Avengers parodies were inevitable, but animator Junaid Chundrigar just won with a fantastic exploration of The Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and other Marvel heroes on their bad days. Instead of a story, Chundrigar relies on quick, slap-stick style comic moments. Venom struggles with an ice cream cone, Spidey meets a helicopter head on, and a city burns when a meatball gets dropped. It’s funny, and the animation has an adorable Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe that makes this short even more agreeable. No surprise that the fine folks at Short of the Week sent it along – they know quality when they see it. I can’t help but think Joss Whedon would love this. What will it cost? Only 2 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve got Time For More Short Films

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Culture Warrior

Crowding a movie with talent often seems like a good idea only in the abstract sense. In practice, such films can easily feel overstuffed. For example, the basic conceits for both The Expendables and Grown Ups sound like products of wishful thinking held during a drunk conversation between a group of 19-year-olds at 3am. Yes, in theory a movie featuring all of the action stars of the 80s or the most successful SNL cast since the late-70s would be great – however, a bunch of famous people do not a seminal action film or great comedy make. What’s most surprising about Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is that the whole somehow proved greater than its parts. A movie with this quantity of iconic superheroes runs the incredible risk of being overstuffed and only half-cooked. The standards created by previous Hollywood films indicate that studios would be happy enough allowing the conflagration of bankable characters stand in for (or, more accurately, distract from the lack of) actual entertainment value; mammoth opening weekends, after all, are always more a sign of effective marketing than good filmmaking. But The Avengers not only stands as an equal to some of the stronger entries in Marvel’s 4-year, 5-film multiverse-building, but is arguably superior. Some of these characters came across more fully-fleshed and three-dimensional as part of an ensemble than in their respective standalone films.

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The Avengers the film needs no introduction, and that’s mainly because The Avengers themselves need no introduction. A dream team of superheroes and superallies, The Avengers first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1963, so for fans of the mighty band of heroes, a big screen cinematic adaptation that would do justice to the justice-doers has been a long-held wish. With Marvel Studios churning out blockbusters for eventual Avengers like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk in recent years, it was only a matter of time before that wish was granted and the heroes united for one massive film outing. It goes without saying that Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers is already a big hit here at FSR (our own Cole Abaius called it “Marvel’s mightiest movie” in his review), and we’re all anxious to see what movie-going audiences think of it. To whet your palate for the inevitable Avengers bonanza, here are 12 things that we learned at The Avengers press conference (spoiler-free if you’ve seen a trailer or two!). The event featured a massive gathering of Avengers and pals, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemwsorth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk/Bruce Banner), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Kevin Feige (Marvel President), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton),Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Joss Whedon (writer and director). Check it out after the break!

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In a New York living room, sometime in the early 1970s, a young boy is sitting in front of his television (possibly watching an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and playing with plastic toy figures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He smashes The Hulk into Thor, zooms Iron Man around at incredible speed and makes Captain America leap over an H.R. Pufnstuf doll. Because, you know, he’s got one of those too. Forty some odd years later, that same little boy named Joss Whedon got a chance to slam those toys together again, and he achieved something that’s made up equally of the magic of childhood and the craftsmanship of a seasoned filmmaker. It was an impossible dream, a crazy call-out to the far left field bleachers, but The Avengers is the best movie that Marvel has made.

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It’s been a rocky road for The Hulk on the way to next summer’s The Avengers. He started out being portrayed by Eric Bana in an art-film-in-disguise that Ang Lee made called Hulk. That was weird, and boring, and it didn’t go over so well. Then he showed back up looking a lot like Edward Norton in the Louis Leterrier directed The Incredible Hulk. Well, when he was in his human form he looked like Ed Norton. When he was The Hulk he still just looked like The Hulk. Leterrier’s film was more action oriented and in the wheelhouse of what comic book fans were expecting, but something must have gone wrong because now the green goliath suddenly looks a lot like Mark Ruffalo. And this time, he looks a lot like Mark Ruffalo both when he’s a normal guy and when he gets big and green.

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Announcing cameos in movies seems pretty pointless, especially if the announcement has the ability to ruin a great (zombified) surprise. However, the news that Lou Ferrigno will be involved in The Avengers seems 1) obvious considering his track record with past Hulk films and 2) completely surprising for some reason. Whether he’ll be rocking a cameo like in the last Hulk or if he’ll be hilariously playing Dum Dum Dugan remains to be seen, but Ferrigno himself told an interviewer for Nuke The Fridge that he was involved. Judging by Marvel’s love of self-referencing, it seems like they have the perfect opportunity to shove Lou Ferrigno and Stan Lee into the same cameo shot. Perhaps as two sparring wrestlers at a gym or two cranky baristas at a local coffee shop. Either way, it’ll be nice to see the original Hulk hanging out while new Hulk (and crystal clear Hulk) steps into the spotlight.

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Boiling Point

Oh remakes. Certainly tons and tons have already been written about them. My hat’s in that ring too. I’ve said a few things here and there, though often I’ve gone against the grain. I don’t hate remakes. Some movies can be done better. When that’s the case, why not give it a shot? Did anyone think Mother’s Day was untouchable? Of course not. Then again, certain films can’t be made better. John Carpenter’s The Thing, itself a remake, is practically a perfect film. For now, classics like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind remain untouched, and that’s good. The odds of anyone making those particular stories better are low. Then there are the foreign films. Despite Rob Hunter’s best efforts, wide audiences aren’t really that interested in reading subtitles. Some films do quite well for themselves with subtitles, but whether it’s the audience or just the studios, subtitles don’t sell. So foreign films generally get short theatrical runs and DVD releases. If you want to see that story on the big screen, generally someone has to remake it. Or hey, there are plenty of completely unknown foreign films that are dug up and the stories remade, without many people even knowing that film already existed somewhere else. The point is this: sometimes remakes make sense. Sometimes they’re good. But in the modern age, with that series of tubes called the internet and a massive selection of titles available on DVD, domestic and imported, the speed at which films are being […]

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There’s been a ton of talk today about who came off looking like a jackass in the great public debate between Marvel and Edward Norton. However, the one key thing that Marvel is counting on is if you’ll head to the theaters even without Norton coming back for Avengers. As a business decision, all of the talk so far means nothing if butts are still in seats. Will yours be there? And are you more interested to be there if Joaquin Phoenix is Hulking out?

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KevinSmith

On the 16th anniversary of the first public screening of Clerks, we get personal with the man, the myth, the lunchbox as he rips his heart off his sleeve and slams it down on the table.

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stellanskarsgardthor

Since I would really like to see Stellan Skarsgard play God of War Tyr for Thor, I wanted to title this headline “Could Stellan Skarsgard Play Tyr, God of War for Thor?” But I resisted. You’re welcome.

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JackKirby

Sarcastic hyperbole aside, the heirs to Jack Kirby have finally realized that there’s some money to be made in this here comic book adaptation business, and they are looking for their piece of the pie.

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Normally, it would be pretty ridiculous to be excited about a film not due out until 2011, but since it’s still in the planning stage, we have some things we’d like to see make it into the script.

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Ten Superhero Movie Mistakes

The biggest superhero mistakes that Hollywood seems to finally be avoiding this Summer. Don’t worry – we mention the rubber nipples.

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Hulk says pick up The Incredible Hulk: Seasons 3 and 4

Some of the issues tackled (or smashed, rather) in these two seasons include a drugged-out rock star contemplating suicide (with Mackenzie Phillips playing right to type) and – believe it or not – midget wrestling.

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Iron Man and Batman Begins

Robert Fure is fed up with crappy comic adaptations. Can Iron Man lead the way to a new age of awesome?

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Incredible Hulk Logo

wasn’t exactly sure how a few speed bumps in the creative process over at Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk turned into an all-out, shotgun wielding feud between star Edward Norton and the studio heads when I first read about it. Turns out, it was the media’s fault.

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