Ask AdFreak: Why a second Hulk movie?

Hulks As a nation of disillusioned moviegoers, we've come to expect duplication from Hollywood. (Think A Bug’s Life and Antz, both released in 1998.) But the new Incredible Hulk movie is a real head-scratcher. Every time it comes up in conversation, someone inevitably asks: “What’s up with that? Didn’t they just make that movie?” As a public service, we at AdFreak have decided to get to the bottom of this strange bit of pop-culture déjà vu. Is it a sequel? Is it a remake? Will it suck? We bring you the in-depth Q&A with ourselves after the jump.

—Posted by David Griner

  Q. Didn’t they just make a Hulk movie?
  A. Yes, Ang Lee’s Hulk came out in 2003. That one also had a typically convoluted Hollywood development, starting in 1994 and spanning multiple scripts and directors.

  Q. Didn’t people hate Hulk?
  A. Kinda. First, there was an infamous Super Bowl trailer that used unfinished footage of the Hulk himself. The result looked pretty cartoony and didn’t bode well for a movie that was supposed to be the next Spider-Man, which had been a $400 million megahit in 2002.
  Hulk had a great opening weekend, pulling in $62 million, thanks largely to a huge publicity effort. But then word got around that … well, let’s not split hairs, it stunk. Ticket sales plummeted in subsequent weekends. It ended up making $132 million in North America, which gave it the dubious distinction of being the biggest first-weekend hit that never earned $150 million.

  Q. So Hulk was a bomb?
  A. Not really. I mean, $132 million domestic and $114 million international isn’t shabby. But it has become a case study of the effects of bad word-of-mouth.

  Q. So, if it wasn’t a big hit, why is there a new one coming out?
  A. There was probably already a sequel in the works when Hulk premiered. Notably, Marvel had reacquired the movie rights to their character, and they saw the next installment as a chance to be more true to the comic.
  That said, this is still the million-dollar question. Especially in light of other questions, like…

  Q. Is The Incredible Hulk a remake or a do-over of Hulk?
  A. The official answer is no, because the writers didn’t want to bother focusing on the whole origin story again. And while the characters are mostly the same, there’s a new main bad guy.

  Q. So, it’s a sequel?
  A. No. Or maybe I should say, maybe not. There’s no clear answer. Screenwriter Zak Penn has said that The Incredible Hulk is to Hulk as Aliens is to Alien. Same story line, totally different tone. That might be a fair comparison, if the original Alien hadn’t been awesome and Sigourney Weaver hadn’t been in both flicks.

  Q. So, why would anyone want to see The Incredible Hulk?
  A. Edward Norton.

  Q. Is it going to suck?
  A. Well, Norton stars and rewrote the script to his liking, which can’t be a bad thing. But let me say this: Director Louis Leterrier says the movie’s final epic clash between Hulk and The Abomination is going to be 26 minutes long. Your reaction to that fact is probably an indication of whether you’ll like The Incredible Hulk.

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