"Clash of the Titans" director Louis Leterrier is probably best known to comics fans for his 2008 take on Marvel's green goliath, "The Incredible Hulk." Starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, the film was well-received by fans and critics alike — due in no small part to the presence of several shout-outs to the wider Marvel movie continuity.
So the question now becomes, will Hulk find his way into the "Avengers" movie? And if so, will he be a villain, as "Iron Man" writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby hinted to MTV News way back in October 2008?
We posed that very question to Leterrier himself during our recent "10 For 2010" interview, which named him one of the filmmakers to watch this year.
"He's not really a villain," said the filmmaker. "If Hulk is a villain, that's too simplistic."
"What's great about Marvel is that it's never good guy and bad guy, hero and villain — it's more complex than that," he explained. "Hulk could be in trouble and chased by Iron Man, no problem. But I don't think he would end up the villain, killing people and being villainous of his own free will."
Of course, as most comics are well aware, Hulk was indeed the destructive force that originally prompted Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers to unite. (Captain America didn't join until "Avengers" #4.)
"In the Avengers stories when he was the villain, he was always controlled by Loki or someone else, and it was never of his own doing," said Leterrier.
However, as the filmmaker pointed out, the challenge of bringing together all of Marvel's various heroes and villains is not only likely to find answers to the Hulk-as-villain question, but it should also provide one of the greatest melting pots in movie history.
"That's what fantastic," he said of the looming superhero team-up. "The next step in superhero movies is the clash of cultures. That's what's going to be so fun. 'Iron Man' was great, but you don't remember 'Iron Man' for the fantastic action sequences — though they were great — it's the human interaction and how great the human actors were."
"When you put Thor in Tony Stark's universe, it's fantastic," he continued. "Then you add the anti-superhero that is Hulk, who's like, 'Leave me alone, I don't want to be a superhero,' and you tell him, 'You have to come with us or you have to fight us,' and then on top of all this you have Captain America, a gung-ho super-soldier who starts doubting himself and his system... and that's fantastic. You have all these interactions, and that's just the beginning. Then you have the villains and the enormous potential of these action pieces."
"I'm first in line to see that stuff," he laughed.
Keep it locked to Splash Page for more "Avengers" movie news as it develops!
Check out our full "Clash of the Titans" interview with Louis Leterrier in our "10 For 2010" series at Movies.MTV.com.