In 2008 Marvel Studios set out to do something that had never been done before on film, which was create one seamless world that several different film franchises would exist in ... essentially creating the "Marvel Film Universe." It began with the box office hit Iron Man, which featured an after the credits cameo by S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson and continued with The Incredible Hulk later that year, which featured an appearance by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, linking the two films together. That strategy continues with the new movie Iron Man 2, opening on May 7th and the upcoming Marvel film's Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, which are currently in various stages of production. The hope is that all of this will lead up to The Avengers in 2012, which will feature characters from all of those films. With the mixed reaction to The Incredible Hulk, it still remains to be seen how that character will be used going forward.
The future of The Incredible Hulk
Yesterday, we had a chance to sit down with Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Fiege, while he was out promoting Iron Man 2. We began by asking Fiege if there were plans on making a sequel from The Incredible Hulk at this time?
We continued by asking Fiege if at this point the plan is just to wait and reintroduce the character into the Marvel Universe with The Avengers?
"We certainly plan on it. He was there in "The Avengers" #1 and in "The Ultimates" #1 so certainly the Hulk is a key part of these films leading up to The Avengers
. Iron Man 2
has some clues to where these timelines take place as they relate to each other. So I certainly think Hulk will be a player on that team."
Finally, we pressed Fiege to find out if there was a chance that actor Edward Norton would return for The Avengers and reprise his role from The Incredible Hulk?
"A lot of it depends on the story, a lot of it depends on the schedule and a lot of it depends on the lofty ideas that we have. You also have to work with the realties of people's schedules as to when they are available and stuff like that. So we reserve the right to say Hulk will be in it for sure, we'll see about Banner."
The Incredible Hulk was released June 13th, 2008 and stars Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, Christina Cabot, Peter Mensah. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier.
Sources: Jami Philbrick