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Incredible Hulk

by Ryan Rigley

Joss Whedon's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." may be the latest live-action Marvel TV series to sweep the nation, but it is by no means the first. In the late '70's, families would gather around their televisions every Friday night at 9 P.M. to watch a show featuring everyone's favorite not-so-jolly green giant. Starring the likes of Bill Bixby (as Dr. David Banner) and Lou Ferrigno (as the Hulk), "The Incredible Hulk" has garnered a loyal following of fans throughout the years.

In fact, "The Incredible Hulk" was so successful that recently there has been talk of a re-imagined take on the series, helmed by the great Guillermo del Toro. However, with promotion for "Pacific Rim" now underway and huge films such as "Pinocchio" and "Justice League Dark" currently on his plate, it doesn't seem like del Toro will be getting to this passion project anytime soon. Still,"The Incredible Hulk" remains Marvel's most successful live-action series to date. And rightfully so!

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Avengers

If you're not one of the five zillion people who assembled for "The Avengers" this past weekend, well, we're not sure why you're here. You should be at the movies watching Iron Man and Hulk kick some serious alien ass with Loki cackling all the while. It's one of the most fun superhero experiences we've ever had at the movies, and we have the fine folks at Marvel Studios to thank for that.

Of course, while Marvel chief Kevin Feige and the filmmakers he brought on over the years delivered some amazing movies in addition to "Avengers," a few entries in the Marvel cinematic universe have been… less than stellar. With the crowning jewel now officially out in the world, now's as good a time as any to look back on all of the films Marvel Studios put out on the road to "The Avengers," and rank them from worst to best. Keep reading for our picks!

6. "Iron Man 2"
I do not like this movie. There are a few redeeming qualities: a reliably wonderful but underused Sam Rockwell, an admittedly sweet War Machine design, and Robert Downey Jr.'s continued ownage as Tony Stark… to a point. Iron Man was too much of an ass, even for him, and became fairly unlikable by the end of the film. The final battle was a mess. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, with the exception of the awesome hallway fight scene, was more or less useless. All told, "Iron Man 2" felt like a hollow two-hour commercial for "The Avengers." Not an awesome time at the movies. Thankfully, this is by far the low point of the Marvel Studios flicks.

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It’s been a four-year road to "The Avengers," so you’ll be forgiven for not remembering a few details: the color of Pepper Potts’ hair, the number of eye patches Nick Fury has, the actor playing Bruce Banner, etc. There’s a lot to catch up on.

In order to capitalize on the film’s May 4 premiere, AMC Theaters will be holding an all-day Marvel marathon on May 3 with the five movies that have gotten us this far: "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "Thor," and "Captain America," capped off by a midnight showing of "The Avengers." It’ll cost you just $40, a whale of a deal for moviegoers with nothing better to do.

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Hulk

Zen Studios and Marvel have collaborated previously on successful pinball titles, adding superhero-themed tables to existing products like "Pinball FX 2" for Xbox 360, or "Marvel Pinball" for PlayStation Network. The Marvel tables are really great – and they're addictive, so addictive – so it's nice to hear that the two companies are interested in continuing their work together.

Sometime later this year, we'll see a new "Incredible Hulk" table. Well, at least we know he's going to be involved in a table -- it's still not immediately clear whether or not that table is actually an "Avengers" tie-in.

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Edward Norton Fans may recall a tension in the air last year right before San Diego Comic Con, when it was revealed that Edward Norton—by no choice of his own, it seemed—would not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner" for "The Avengers" movie. In fact, there would be a new Hulk actor and yet another “Hulk” film—the third in less than 10 years.

The discomfort was palpable and its source multi-dimensional. Critical reception of Norton’s take on The Hulk was positive, but no sooner did rumors rise of the actor’s participation in future Hulk endeavors (including “The Avengers”), than Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige released a statement saying they had made the decision not to bring Norton back.

It’s been almost a year since the actor’s agent and Norton himself released outraged, and more measured, fan-reverent reactions (respectively) regarding the surprising turn. And as it turns out, Norton now has more to say about the whole ordeal. Read More...

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Incredible HulkWhen Marvel Studios announced back in July that "Incredible Hulk" star Edward Norton would not be returning as Bruce Banner, the subsequent public back-and-forth between Marvel, Norton's agent, and even Norton himself made the news one of this year's most discussed stories in the comic book movie world.

While Norton had long played coy about the possibility of reprising the role of Marvel's green-skinned behemoth, the way in which we got our answer came as a surprise to just about everyone — including Norton's director on "Incredible Hulk," Louis Leterrier.

I chatted with the "Clash Of The Titans" filmmaker before his appearance at Long Beach Comic Con a few weekends ago, and asked him for his take on the very public parting of Norton and Marvel's movie machine. Read More...

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Tim Blake NelsonEdward Norton is long gone from the "Hulk" franchise, replaced by actor Mark Ruffalo in "The Avengers" and potential future solo outings as the Jade Giant. But does that mean that every player previously seen in "The Incredible Hulk" is out at Marvel Studios?

Tim Blake Nelson certainly hopes not. The actor, who previously teamed up with Norton on "Hulk" and "Leaves of Grass," wants to make it known that he's still signed up for further "Hulk" films, and he very much wants a crack at becoming the headstrong Leader.

"I am [contracted for more Marvel films]," Nelson told The Playlist about his status within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adding, "but it’s a question as to whether they’ll make more movies, which was the [original] intention, or whether they’ll take a fresh start with the villains, since they switched Bruce Banner to Mark Ruffalo." Read More...

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Louis LeterrierBack when "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier was bringing "Clash of the Titans" back to the big screen, his name was one of several that came up as potential directors for "The Avengers," Marvel's upcoming superhero team-up extravaganza. While Leterrier himself confirmed that he'd discussed the gig with Marvel, the job ultimately went to another geek-friendly filmmaker, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon.

I spoke to Leterrier recently ahead of his appearance at Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday, October 30, for an afternoon panel alongside fellow French filmmaker Pitof, who directed 2004's "Catwoman" and served as the visual effects supervisor on "Alien: Resurrection."

Along with sharing his thoughts on French filmmakers' attraction to comic book movies, Leterrier offered up some details about his "Avengers" pitch to Marvel Studios, and why he just wouldn't be the right director for certain superheroes' big-screen adventures. Read More...

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HulkThe Hulk is headed back to the big screen courtesy of Mark Ruffalo in "The Avengers," but the big green meanie is planning a return to the small screen as well.

According to Heat Vision, Marvel and ABC are developing a live-action television revival of "The Incredible Hulk," a property that's considered a top priority at Marvel Television. The division is headed up by comic book scribe and former "Heroes" writer Jeph Loeb, who just recently concluded a lengthy "Hulk" arc for Marvel Comics.

Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno famously starred in the previous "Hulk" adaptation that aired on CBS from 1978 through 1982. Indeed, this version was so popular that Ruffalo himself recently said that he's channeling Bixby's performance for his own upcoming portrayal of tragic scientist Bruce Banner. Read More...

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On Friday, we brought you an interview with "Incredible Hulk" star Edward Norton in which he addressed some of the "disingenuous" aspects of his recent, very public exit from the Marvel movie franchise and subsequent replacement by actor Mark Ruffalo.

MTV News caught up with Norton at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he premiered his new film "Stone." In addition to offering his own opinion on the events that transpired back in July, Norton shared some thoughts on the actor replacing him as Bruce Banner in Marvel's upcoming films.

"Mark's one of my favorite actors and a very good pal of mine," said Norton. "We've already been laughing about it." Read More...

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