The Hulk panel revived my interest and hope in a movie I was slowly losing faith in.
So there's all kind of rumors circulating the internet about THE INCREDIBLE HULK and how Edward Norton is in a dispute with the producers due to his disappointment with the film. Combine that with an internet trailer that fans say felt rushed and gave away too much and many might suggest this new 're-imagining' (aren't you starting to hate that word?) might be headed for disaster.
Despite all that I still looked forward to the HULK panel. And if the New York COMICON crowd is any indication as to how audiences will respond to the movie then THE INCREDIBLE HULK has nothing to fear when it's released on June 13.
Guests panelists included director Louis Leterrier, producers Gale Ann Hurd and Kevin Feige, and - surprise surprise - Tim Roth! Even Lou Ferrigno made a quick appearance.
As if they knew audiences were becoming skepticle after seeing that latest internet trailer, the panel brought two clips and a new trailer and reassured the fans that this latest Hulk movie would indeed kick ass.
The first clip shows Tim Roth as soldier Emil Bronsky and Willaim Hurt as Gen. Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross. Gen. Ross ushers Bronsky into a doctors office, where he is to be injected with a super soldier serum (possibly the same serum used to create Captain America) that will aide him in capturing the Hulk. What follows are shots of needles being painfully inserted into Blonsky's spine.
Okay, that's cool, but come on. We all came here to see the Green, and in the next clip that's exactly what we got. Open with Dr. Bruce Banner (Norton) being sealed off in a glass overpass by the military. Tear gas grenades are launched in by soldiers and from there we know the drill - they piss the guy off, turning him into a raging green giant wearing gay cut off jeans.
For a couple of minutes we get what we expect. Hulk turns over a jeep. Hulk deflects bullets. Hulk picks up a jeep and trashes it like a toddler beating a toy truck against a rock. It's not until Blonsky squares off against the creature that the crowd's enthusiasm began to show. The room erupted in cheers as Blonsky, powered by the super soldier serum that later transforms him into freakish Abomination, dodges the Hulk's massive blows with super human agility.
The scene ends when Blonsky refuses an order to pull out, instead taking off his ear piece and confronting the Hulk face to chest. "is that all you got?" he scoffs. Right as you're saying to yourself "Come on Hulk, man. You gonna take that shit off of him?", we see the hulk bring bring up his gargantuan foot with a kick straight to the center of Blonsky's body. The screen goes black right before the Hulk makes impact.
And the audience goes insane.
Of course we're talking about a crowd where half the people are dressed in costume and the other half is crazy from sugar, caffeine, and lack of sleep. Nevertheless, it was a fun scene, and it was effective enough for people to overlook the fact that some of the effects were incomplete.
Afterwards, everyone was treated to the official trailer, which contained a lot of footage from the clip we were just shown and ended with a throwback to the theme from the old TV show that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. The real surprise, however, came right afterwards as everyone was told to be quiet and pay attention, as something was about to happen that would help answer a few rumors.
STOP HERE IF YOU DON"T WANT TO READ A MAJOR SPOILER!
On the two huge auditorium monitors another clip pops up, taking place in what looks like a bar. Sitting alone and having a drink is Gen. Ross. He looks drunk but he's clearly waiting on someone.
And who walks in?
None other than Robert Downey Jr.! The words 'Tony Stark' are are never uttered, but it's clearly Iron Man himself. It was hard to hear the dialogue over the cheers of delight roaring from the crowd, but we do hear Gen. Ross say something to the effect of 'You always wear those nice suits." The rest of their brief discussion hints that Gen. Ross has a big problem and that maybe Iron Man just might be his answer, setting up a Hulk/Iron Man crossover.
It's still unclear if this will be in theatrical release of The Incredible Hulk, but rest assured the scene is shot and does exist.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK hits the theaters on June 13, 2008.