Hulk, Batman, and my morning nerd-out

9191__hulk_lWhat’s the best thing about comic-book movies? The effects? The anticipation? Predicting the next fanboy dustup/wankfest? Let’s go with the latter and look into some potentially controversial developments.

Hulk: You didn’t like him when he was angry. Will you like him when he’s… persistent? We’ve been told for some time now that a Hulk sequel (or “do over,” as Marvel honcho Avi Arad has called it) is in the works. Somehow, I didn’t really believe it until now. There’s a date, June 27, 2008. There’s a director, Louis Leterrier (Unleashed) and a screenwriter, Zak Penn (one of the large team of scribes who built the X-Men franchise). Marvel says this one will hew closer to the comic, with more action, more Hulk heroism and roughly 100% less Nolte. Let the cheering, sniping, and hulking out begin.

After the jump: More casting buzz on the next Batman

Batman: In his next big-screen adventure, Batman fill fight Hawkman.Wait… read that wrong: Batman will fight Ethan “The Hawkman” Hawke.Maybe. There’s a rumor going around that Hawke’s being considered forthe role of “a lawyer” in The Dark Knight, Chris Nolan’s follow-up to Batman Begins. Might that “lawyer” be Harvey Dent, the debonair District Attorney fated to become Two-Face?

Not sure how I feel about this one. There’s a part of me that’sstill young and foolish, and wants oh-so-very much for Billy DeeWilliams to return to the Batman franchise. He’s too old? Ha! Thanks toa diet of nutritious sausage, Billy Dee Williams is ageless. And he was the Dent to end all Dents.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’ve been reevaluating my dismissiveopinion of Ethan Hawke ever since he more than held his own in MichaelAlmereyda’s sleek fin de siecle Hamlet.But with Heath Ledger as young Joker, Christian Bale as young Bats,Hawke as young Two Face… I dunno, is this starting to feel a littlelike Muppet Babies Batman? So many pretty boys, so few… dents.

Ah, but I quibble. I quibble because it’s my job. And I’m enormously heartened by this news: Dark Knight co-composer Hans Zimmer says he and collaborator James Newton Howard wrote an additional leitmoif for Begins,which they intentionally held back. Bats has to earn that theme, saysZimmer. This is an excellent development: If I had one problem with Begins’atmosphere, it was the lack of a clean, unified musical theme. Irealize the original Danny Elfman march wasn’t a good match for Nolan’snaturalistic approach, but I wanted something equally bewitching toreplace it. That didn’t happen, and now I see why: Batman’s stillbecoming Batman. His theme is waiting for him. So are we. With batedBat-breath! And here endeth my morning nerd-out. Please pick up where Ileft off.


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  • Ed

    What really irritated and disappointed me about this version of the Hulk was that it felt like I was being prepped to buy a video game called Hulk. A CGI version of the Hulk – COME ON – do something real this time!

  • Josh

    I’m a huge Ethan Hawke fan, but do admit this casting news makes me a little nervous. I have faith in Hawke’s acting and in Nolan though

  • Christopher

    The plan, as I understand it, is to make a Hulk movie that can use the licensed depiction of the Hulk in an later Iron Man movie, along with Captain America, the Iron Man Jon Favreau is doing… etc.
    That’s a brilliant plan. That’s one that DC, who is owned by Warner Brothers, should have done a long time ago.

  • Joel

    I’m ready for a new Hulk movie. More of the desert-fight scene stuff and less of the Nick Nolte.

  • Dave

    I can’t wait for The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale did a phenomenal job with Batman Begins. The additions of Heath Ledger and Ethan Hawke (as the Joker and, presumably, Harvey Dent/Two-Face) will definitely work, given what Nolan has been able to do with the franchise thus far. Not to mention a Hans Zimmer score and potential new Batman theme? Given his track record (Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Crimson Tide, etc.), he’s easily up to the task. I dare say I am giddy with anticipation!

  • marykate

    Ethan Hawke as a young Harvey Dent!!?
    OMG THIS IS SO, SO… ZZZZZZZZ

  • Funky

    I think it’s an insult to Ang Lee that Avi Arad considers the new Hulk movie a “do-over”. Okay, so Lee’s version of the Hulk was more cerebral than what most people wanted or expected. That doesn’t mean the Marvel execs need to insult him.

  • T.L.

    Ang Lee’s HULK had one of the most thrilling action sequences I’ve ever seen — the desert rampage — surrounded by the most painfully boring Freudian BS storyline of any superhero movie. Plus, Jennifer Connelly is a snore (why is she so acclaimed?!). I, for one, am psyched they’re giving the HULK franchise a do-over.
    As for Ethan Hawke as Harvey Dent… see my above comment about Jennifer Connelly.

  • Todd

    Are you guys on drugs? Lee’s HULK was boring, over-the-top, and the HULK looked like a mound of JELL-O. I remember seeing it in the theater and laughing at how bad it was and I wasn’t alone.

  • Dre

    I get irritated everytime someones complains about a CGI hulk. Honestly, is there a real person with the sheer physical immensity to play the role of the hulk? No. No there isn’t. We don’t want the cheesy 1970s t.v. hulk, we want the one we always wished we would see when David Banner would turn into the hulk. The new movie could be good, but I must admit I was way more excited when I found out Ang Lee was directing the first one. This new director? I don’t know if he’s any good so that taints my excitement. Can’t be worse than Daredevil, The Punisher, Fantastic Four or X3, can it?

  • Ellipsian

    Exciting news all around! I think the casting for Batman is inspired; it’s already been proven that, on the “young” front, Bale and Cillian Murphy worked. Why not Oscar nominee Ledger (which is a choice that’s more and more inspired the more and more I think about it) and Hawk? It’s not like either is a callow, fledgling actor, or even that young, really.
    As for Hulk…God bless you Ang, but let’s put that movie waaaay behind you, okay? I’m just happy that you didn’t kill the franchise (though by all rights, if your contribution is a foreshadowing of things to come, it should’ve been put out of its misery). Now, let’s see what Hulk can REALLY be.

  • Aron

    I dont know why people didnt like the Hulk. I thought it was great. As for Batman, sure would be tough to mess that one up.

  • sambo

    bring back Billy Dee!!

  • carlos dominguez

    Hulk sequel, who cares! The Dark Knight….wont even stress on this one. As long as Christian Bale and more importantly Christopher Nolan are on board it’s all good. I seriously doubt Mr. Nolan would or could screw this up. I will even go out on a limb and predict that it will be better than Batman Begins. Comic book-movie tallies 1. Superman (1978) 2. Batman Begins 3. The Dark Knight…..we shall see.

  • ihateukfans

    The problem with the first one was the gay director. He prefers directing gay cowboys than action.

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