In 2003 Hulk was released to theatres with very unfavorable reviews and the director even calling it a financial failure.

Due in part to this failure they rebooted the franchise only 5 years later in 2008's The Incredible Hulk Which would go on to receive much praise and be a part of The Avengers universe.

My question is this. While it says on Wikipedia that this new Hulk is meant to be standalone, did the production team have any intention of becoming a sequel to the 2003 film in an capacity? Whether it be in writing, story elements, plot, etc? Or was a decision made quickly to try to have as little to do with the 2003 version as possible?

  • 1
    I liked original movie more than Norton's.
    – Alexander
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 2:24
  • Gale Anne Hurd stated that she have every intention to make The Incredible Hulk 2 that will include Edward Norton sign on to play the role of Bruce Banner again.
    – user1838
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 2:05

4 Answers 4


I remember reading that Edward Norton did a major rewrite of the original script that was presented to him. On digging a bit, I found this interesting article, this is an interesting snippet from the article:

Leterrier told Collider that 70 minutes of deleted footage is set to be released on the inevitable Bluray release. (Leterrier describes the out-takes: “It’s like the back story. It’s more the sequel to the Ang Lee movie.”)

Basically, Norton had written a lot of dialogue, conversations, etc. to give the character more depth - but Marvel wanted to make a short, action packed film - so about 70 mins of footage was dropped from the final cut (I believe a lot of which was written by Norton).

Norton was understandably pissed. He was brought onto the project under the premise that he would have considerable creative control. But the final cut was, of course, not his. Norton and Leterrier lobbied for a more nuanced cut of the film that ran about two hours and 15-20 minutes, but Marvel stuck to their guns.

I am not sure if this answers your question exactly - but I hope it throws some more light on your query.

  • 4
    It does bring some insight as I remember Norton being a main focus of this movie, which made me so excited for it to begin with. I guess this tossing of his script probably influenced his decision to return for Avengers, as amazing that would have been.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 13:31

I remember getting the feeling at the time of watching The Incredible Hulk that it felt like a sequel. I think the reason being is that in The Incredible Hulk (if my memory serves correctly) Bruce Banner has already gotten his powers and is in hiding and attempting to learn control. The lack of an origin story makes it feel like a sequel, whether this was intentional or not.

  • Yeah the beginning, to me, alluded it to be this way as well. And if you recall at the end of the 2003 version, he is in some South American country (it escapes me at the moment)
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 13:32
  • Although they totally changed the origin story for Incredible Hulk, making it more in line with the TV show than Lee's version.
    – Nobby
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 2:36

I definitely see it as a sequel because it basically continues from the first and was (at least initially) intended as a sequel. Word is that the studio intended it to be a sequel and Norton intended it to be a remake.

I also see that supposed 'origin' story at the beginning of The Incredible Hulk to be Bruce returning to fix the Hulk with Betty but it goes wrong, hurting Betty, and he flees once again.


It's definitely a spiritual sequel. After a rewatch, Ross mentions that "he made it 5 years alone", with the original set in 2003 and this film in 2008.

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