Director Joss Whedon Confirms the Hulk as a Member of THE AVENGERS Team
Published: September 4, 2010 - 11:22am
In a recent interview, the ensemble film's director has inadvertently let slip the Green Goliath's place as one of the members on the Avengers team roster; garnering the question whether the character will have a villainous role in the movie as well.
In the summer of 2012, Marvel Studios will release a film that is both a great gamble and crowning achievement. The Avengers, the largest ensemble superhero film produced by a major motion picture in cinematic history. The movie will feature characters who have previously been showcased in their own, respective ventures (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Widow and the Hulk) and ones newly introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Hawkeye and a plethora of yet to be revealed names). Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly cult fame, will direct the film, and is already deeply immersed in pre-production happenings.
Fans of the Marvel Comics team are anxiously awaiting word of who the central antagonists will be in The Avengers; given th 40-odd years of comics story lines allows for many opportunities. Loki, the Asgardian god of mischief, the Masters of Evil (originally comprised of Baron Zemo, Melter, Radioactive Man, and Black Knight), the sentient robot Ultron, Captain America's nemesis the Red Skull and the shape-shifting alien race the Skulls have all been rumored to appear in the film. According to mainstream Marvel comics mythology, the Avengers were formed to quell unrest caused by Loki, who captured the Hulk and through mind control, unleashed the creature to defeat his brother Thor. Another, alternate reality story (titled The Ultimates) shows Nick Fury, the director of the clandestine government agency S.H.I.E.L.D., assembling the team to fight an alien invasion force who have caused distress in global affairs since World War II.
Based on the events which have already been established in the Marvel movie world, characters and plot points from both "universes" are being combined for the films; while still presenting fans and general audiences with original story lines and subplots not drawn directly from the comics. In Marvel Studios' first film, Iron Man, we learned of the existence of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers Initiative; a government run program to bring together powerful heroes in an effort to combat a yet to be revealed threat. Over the course of the next two films Marvel has set for release, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, audiences will learn more about the need for these heroes to assemble.
In a recent interview with Ed Gross of EarthsMightiest.com, director Joss Whedon spoke about what presenting these fantastical characters to a movie going audience, and what his initial interest to them was:
“Getting people to buy into that world…is a job. You have to separate tone, you have to explain things without spending half your movie explaining things. There’s a lot of work to be done. I love these guys. There all really, really messed up people. These are damaged people.”
When asked how he is planning on combining such a diverse team (costumes and color scheme especially) on film and while making it cohesive, Whedon had this to say:
“We’ve had a lot of the same discussions and they’ve revolved around color and costumes...
You have to hit this in the face. You have to say 'one of these guys is enormous and green, one of these guys has a cape, one of these guys wears the flag, this one’s metal, that guy has a bow and arrow!'
There are ways in which we’re gonna be able to tie them together in the color pallet as it seems. And there are ways in which I simply don’t want to. The Avengers are in some way a slightly ridiculous concept and without getting ever (he really emphasizes ever) campy or losing the integrity of this thing you gotta let their freak flag proudly fly. This is a motley crew. They do not belong together. That’s the point of the whole movie is them discovering in what way they do belong together because they really don’t to the casual observer.”
Even though Kevin Fiege, the head of production for Marvel Studio, has repeatedly stated the Hulk will have a major presence in the film, and actor Mark Ruffulo has taken up the role of the Hulk's human counterpart Bruce Banner (which was recently portrayed by Edward Norton), where the Green Goliath will fit into The Avengers story line had not been addressed. The film's director has now let slip that the Hulk will, at some point in the film, side with the team in their plight. Another interesting point Whedon made, which should appease many Marvel fans, is the inclusion of a bow and arrow into Hawkeye's weapons arsenal.
It is now left for fans to wonder whether the Hulk will first be presented as the team's initial cinematic threat, before joining their ranks; and if so, who with be the final antagonist in the film?
The Avengers stars Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner, and has a scheduled theatrical release date of May 4th, 2012.