Although Dr. Bruce Banner was played by a different actor than the one who stars in later movies, The Incredible Hulk is still considered canon, and part of Phase 1. Edward Norton (Fight Club) played Banner, the scientist who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “go green” when he gets angry.
Although The Incredible Hulk wasn’t a huge success, the movie turned out better than fans had expected. We were all a bit wary after Ang Lee’s ponderous version came out in 2003. The Incredible Hulk, directed by Louis Leterrier, got mixed reviews that were mostly positive. However, it only took in $134 million in domestic gross. That may seem like a lot, but compare it to Iron Man, which was released the same year, and took in $318 million.
The Incredible Hulk is the Hulk’s origin story. Dr. Banner is exposed to gamma radiation, which turns him into a rage monster when he gets angry. While he’s trying to create a cure, the military is pursuing him, hoping to turn him into their own weapon.
The Incredible Hulk is part of the overall cannon of the Marvel movie timeline, meaning, its storyline is continued in later movies. For instance, in The Avengers, Dr. Banner (now played by Mark Ruffalo) mentions that the last time he turned into the Hulk he “broke Harlem,” referring to the story of The Incredible Hulk.
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