You know Edward Norton has a new film out, because we are all of a sudden getting a wave of new information regarding his time playing Bruce Banner/Hulk in The Incredible Hulk.
In an interview with the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Norton revealed how he looked at the Greek myth of Prometheus when mapping out his vision for The Incredible Hulk:
Hulk is Prometheus, right? The guy who steals fire from the gods for people but gets burned doing it and is cursed. He’s trying to take the power of nature back out to people and he gets burned. That’s how I thought about it, if we could do something like that, that leans into this guy who thinks he’s going through something good that’s going to help humanity, and he cracks open the back side of God and takes something out that’s not meant to be taken out, and now he’s cursed. That’s what’s amazing, even if the show was silly on so many levels, Bill Bixby was cursed. And there’s something pretty heavy in that, pretty cool in that. I think it was really worth a crack.
Norton mentioned the Prometheus myth a month ago, when he told the New York Times about his original two-film Hulk pitch, but its nice to see him flesh out what he meant. I particularly like how he brings up the Bill Bixby series and how that version of the character was cursed.
Mark Ruffalo’s version of Hulk does have some narrative ties to Norton’s take, but Ruffalo’s Banner quickly jumped on the I’m always angry train and never got off. I think what I appreciate about The Incredible Hulk is that it was very much Bruce Banner on the run from both the authorities and the Hulk. I sort of wish that plot thread hadn’t been completely dropped.
Now that Ruffalo is portraying Smart Hulk there’s less than one per cent of a chance that we will ever get more of Banner on the run. Unless, Thunderbolt Ross successfully separates the two of them, but that seems like backwards character development. My hope now is for the MCU to begin to acknowledge The Incredible Hulk again. I want to see Abomination and Betty Ross in Phase 4 or 5!
You can catch Norton in Motherless Brooklyn which is currently in theaters. What do you think are some of the biggest missed opportunities with the Hulk franchise in the MCU?