Updates on the Upcoming Hulk TV Series

Back in October 2010, I reported on ABC and Disney/Marvel developing a new live-action Hulk television series.  The original TV show starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno was one of my favorites, but I've been disappointed with the recent movie versions, wondering if Hollywood could ever get it right.  The good news is that brilliant filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is producing the new show. Recent news has raised my hopes that the series will actually happen and that it has the potential to be great, no matter how lackluster the big screen versions might be.

At the Television Critics Association press tour, The Fire Wire blog wrote that ABC President Paul Lee confirmed that the new Hulk series was a key component in the network's future plans.  He said they were developing the series "aggressively" and were "extremely excited" in the project.  He also implied that it was virtually guaranteed that a pilot for the comicbook adaptation would be greenlit (no greenskinned pun intended) with the hope of having the show debut in Fall 2012.  Both ABC and Marvel Entertainment are owned by Disney.

Of course, we learned from the Wonder Woman fiasco that high hopes don't always equal positive results when David E. Kelly's adaptation of the Amazon superheroine ended up being a dud as NBC rejected the pilot and never turned it into a full series.

Yet, with Guillermo del Toro at the creative helm of the new Hulk TV show, alongside fellow producer David Eick, who gave us the critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot, my confidence is high, but so are my expectations.

The greatest bit of news (as conveyed by MTV's Splash Page and other news sources) to give us hope that this project might do justice to the original source material is that the TV showrunners seem to have Marvel, ABC, and Disney's blessing to be imaginative and not be tied to the movies, especially the upcoming The Avengers, which will feature the Hulk (with actor Mark Ruffalo playing Dr. Banner) teaming up with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and other Marvel heroes. The producers seem free to do their own thing.

As other sites have mentioned, like Attack of the Blog, it is doubtful that the television series will stray too far into unfamiliar territory, but it should be a nice blend of what fans have come to love about the character and what new thrills del Toro and Eick can deliver. 

Let's hope they get the green giant right.

Comments

Gilberto Edwards said…
They Need an Actor that's Able not only Acting part but he should look related to the charcter alot and looks suitable for the role and they should first cast Edward Norton and if he not able to do it then cast a fourth actor name Danile Radcilff.
Anonymous said…
Edward Norton will take the role as Bruce Banner in New Hulk Tv Show coming fall 2012 if Guillermo Del Toro cast him.
Michael McDonnell said…
Following the Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno TV series would be trying to pay a homage without any care of trying to do anything new or creative.
Michael McDonnell said…
There're alot of young actors and actresses on the way up they could end up getting the parts of Bruce and Betty in the new series.
Nick said…
I trust Guillermo del Toro. And you're right, there are a lot of good actors out there who can do justice to the roles. I just hope they rely on HUMAN actors rather than computer generated characters.
Michael McDonnell said…
Have the Hulk fight gamma mutanted enemies in the series prehaps unleached by the same accident that created the Hulk.
Nick said…
A bunch of mutant creatures sounds like something right up Guillermo del Toro's alley -- and he can do it in a believable fashion too, with a great story and awesome characters. I have high hopes.
The Could have the same cast like they did in the 2008 film like Edward Norton Liv Tyler and William Hurt.
There might be two reasons why they doing a live action TV Series because the of marvel studio boss told them to make a New Hulk TV Show when they screw up last seen with banner gain control of the Hulk that made Ed Norton angry because marvel CEO kevin fegie didn't listen to Norton.
Michael McDonnell said…
Del Toro has turned in the pilot screenplay to the network and waiting for a greenlight.
Michael McDonnell said…
Del Toro has said he wants to give his own personal spin on the story.
Michael McDonnell said…
Del Toro doing his own take on the Hulk will keep things new and fresh.
Michael McDonnell said…
From Del Toro.

“We delivered the screenplay to the network. I have a very specific idea of how to do it, and we’re waiting for the green light. We know all the iterations of the Hulk pretty good. We’ve read all the essential stories, and we’re then riffing on that. There are so many incarnations and ideas. Jeph Loeb — who did a good run [on Hulk: Grey] — is involved, and I love Peter David’s Hulk. But there’s really no part in that mythos that we don’t know, so we are trying put our own personal spin on it”.
Nick said…
Thanks for the updates. I'm very excited about this project.
Michael McDonnell said…
The new series has to be a new take on the Hulk then the old series which was just the Hulk fighting criminals otherwise people are just going think “oh I’ve seen this before, they’ve been there and done that”.
Michael McDonnell said…
I think it’s likely they’ll cast television actors so that the producers don’t have to pay movie star salaries, thats why they didn’t have Kurt Russell or James Spader for Stargate SG1.
Michael McDonnell said…
Having a new cast is more likely because Del Toro and Eick would want to do their own creative blueprint and would be separating themselves from previous live action Hulk TV and movie adaptations.
Nick said…
I agree -- I think a completely new cast will help keep it separate from the movie versions. I hope it's successful.
Michael McDonnell said…
The point is the old series was great for it’s time it’s well made, it’s well done most fans still hail it as the definitive version but it is necessary to move forward and make a live action version of the Hulk that is distinctive by coming up with a different way to present the character.
Michael McDonnell said…
Having the same cast from the 2008 film would be hurting the project by staying put instead of moving forward.
Michael McDonnell said…
Doesn't matter if that actor looks like Bill Bixby thats just casting for appearance over quailty just because that actor looks like the Bixby Banner doesn't mean he can act it or have the acting chops to deliver it.

Just fucking cast a good actor who looks the character not some Bixby lookalike.
Michael McDonnell said…
What about making Betty a military officer in the new TV series like in the upcoming Hulk: Season One graphic novel coming out in September 2012?
Nick said…
I think the original comic book storyline is the best and most epic -- Banner becomes the Hulk while saving reckless teenager Rick Jones during a test explosion of a gamma bomb that Banner invented, then the Hulk/Banner gets chased by the military. But that might require too big a budget for television. I hope Guillermo del Toro uses some of that in his story, but he'll probably re-imagine it and make it something fresh and original and more contemporary.
Michael McDonnell said…
What about having the Ultimate Hulk’s origin where Banner injects himself with a experimental Super Soldier Serum that turns him into the Hulk and then being hunted by the Hulkbusters led by General Ross and Major Glenn Talbot, Have Betty throughout the series trying save Banner by helping him find a cure.
Michael McDonnell said…
It would be a missed opportunity following the old series, it would wasting so much potential on what of stuff you can do like the Hulk fighting other gamma mutants week to week, storylines adapted from the comics.

They haven’t said yet if it’s going to be a man on the run, fugitive type series but still have him hunted by military forces but they can’t afford tanks and helicopters they’ll just have soldiers and humvs which are cheaper.
Nick said…
I would definitely like to see Dr. Banner and the Hulk interacting with characters from the comics -- General "Thunderbolt" Ross and Betty Ross are the two obvious must-haves. I would also like to see Rick Jones, Doc Samson, Jennifer Walters (Banner's cousin who eventually becomes the She-Hulk), etc.

As for villains, the comics had some good ones besides the military (although I hope they find a way to make the military and the government big threats for the Hulk throughout the series). I hope Guillermo del Toro gives us some updated versions of the Leader, Abomination, maybe Rhino. Hulk, I think, is best when he's fighting both humans with their weapons of mass destruction (very symbolic if one of those waepons, the Gamma Bomb, created him) and creatures who can go toe-to-toe with him and give him a challenge.
Michael McDonnell said…
What about having both the super soldier serum and gamma radiation in the origin, the reason why Banner didn’t die of radiation poisoning because he had the serum in his system which made him immune to disease and radiation and the gamma exposure amplified the effects of the serum.
Nick said…
Great idea, Michael. I do hope it's something that Banner invented himself though. I like the fact that Banner inflicts it on himself, and it's something he created, like the Gamma Bomb or his gamma ray research, or if he invented the serum. The supersoldier serum, though, might be too connected with Captain America -- it worked as part of an Avengers story but I wonder if they'll go there in a standalone TV show that's just about the Hulk.
Michael McDonnell said…
If they go with the Hulk serum have it be green. Problem with the Gamma bomb it had to do with the cold war, you could do a lab accident with Banner getting trap in a chamber and gets zapped by gamma rays like Dr Manhattan
Nick said…
A bomb might still be believable. Banner could create a bomb for the government, it could be stolen by terrorists or foreign agents or traitors, and it could explode as Banner foolishly tries to be a hero and save civilians lives (like Rick Jones).
Michael McDonnell said…
What about a gamma powered reactor in the desert that explodes not only turns Banner into the Hulk but unleaches gamma mutants into the world.

You could have each season reflect a different era of the Hulk mythology.

Have season one ending with him on the run after everyone finding out that he's the Hulk which was the way he was portrayed in the 1960's.
Michael McDonnell said…
They said last year they were going to do the Hulk using prosthetics and puppetry with a mix of CG now they say they're reusing the CG Hulk from the Avengers to cut costs.

A similar thing happened with the 2008 hulk film were they planned to have prosthetics and puppetry with a mix of CG but went with full CG Hulk.
Nick said…
I'm disappointed to hear that -- I think a completely-CGI Hulk is a big mistake. But I'll have to wait and see what he looks like in the Avengers movie.

Also, I hope they pay a little homage to the original comic and make the first transformation of the Hulk (if they show the origin) GRAY, even if it's just for a brief moment.
Michael McDonnell said…
Would've been cool to have an animatronic Hulk torso.

We've seen the Hulk in the Avengers trailer.
Nick said…
The glimpse I saw of the Hulk in the Avengers trailer was all-too-brief. I'm looking forward to see him in action and interaction in longer scenes. There was a big improvement in how he was shown from Ang Lee's first movie to Louis Letterrier's reboot, although in my opinion there were still flaws with the CGI. I'm hoping the Avengers have even more improvements and then the TV show finally gets it right.
Michael McDonnell said…
David Eick is probably going do the Hulk the same he did Battlestar Galactica, the 2004 Battlestar was completely different from the original because he had a different conception on how he wanted to presented it,updating it for a new generation by putting on a different style.
Nick said…
David Eick also executive produced the lame Bionic Woman remake -- let's hope the new Hulk doesn't follow that model!
Michael McDonnell said…
Unlike Bionic Woman and Battlestar Galactica Hulk is based on a comic so you can do all sorts of stories with him.

The new Hulk series is based on a different premise than the old series which was just the Hulk fighting criminals and being chased by a reporter,it's going to focus more on the Bruce Banner and Betty Ross relationship and they might focus also on the enmity between the Hulk and General Ross.
Michael McDonnell said…
The issue is that the Bill Bixby/ Lou Ferrigno TV series is so deeply loved by everyone, my concern was if the new series is made would it be a homage to the old series? would it go the Superman Returns route? I was disappointed with Superman Returns I thought it tried way too much to be like the Christopher Reeve films, so if theres ever going be a Incredible Hulk nostalgia in the near future I think we're in trouble.
Michael McDonnell said…
Fighting crooks was the same thing every episode in the old series, it was fine for it’s time but it wouldn’t work today.

Monster of the week seems to be up Del Toro’s alley.
Michael McDonnell said…
Season One should be like Hulk:Gray because that dealt with the early days of the Hulk before the world knew about Bruce Banner’s power and his secret and a focus on the love story between Bruce and Betty Ross.
Michael McDonnell said…
There was a rumor that Red Hulk was going to be a main villain, we all know that Red Hulk is Thunderbolt Ross.
Michael McDonnell said…
Have Rick Jones be in the series because he was never used in either of the Hulk movies.
Nick said…
I agree -- I definitely think Rick Jones would be an excellent character to finally explore in the Hulk story.
Michael McDonnell said…
Rick Jones could be like John Connor, a rebellious teen on a motorcycle who helps out with Banner on his search for a cure and the guilt that he fucked up his life by going out on a testing range only to be saved by Bruce and get zapped by gamma rays.
Michael McDonnell said…
It would be a real missed opportunity following the Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno TV series, it would just be wasting so much potenial on what interesting stuff you can do just for the sake of a homage.
Michael McDonnell said…
Have third actress to play Betty be blonde this time like in the 96 cartoon.
Michael McDonnell said…
Glenn Talbot be a main villain in the series, he'll relentlessly hunt the Hulk and have a romantic interest in Betty.
Michael McDonnell said…
Imagine the mistake in casting someone who looks like Bill Bixby in the role of Bruce Banner it would casting for appearance over quality, just because they look like Bixby doesn't mean they can act it or have the acting chops to deliver it.
Michael McDonnell said…
They can't have Edward Norton or Mark Ruffalo in the series because Del Toro and Eick would want to separate themselves from previous Hulk adaptations and television doesn't have the time or money to pay any movie star salaries.
Michael McDonnell said…
How different will Del Toro's Bruce Banner and Betty Ross be from previous movie and TV adaptations?.
Michael McDonnell said…
Stephen Lang would be great as General Ross after seeing him as the bad guy in Avatar.
Michael McDonnell said…
Lets hope the Hulk doesn't suffer the same fate as the Wonder Woman pilot.
Nick said…
I'm eagerly waiting for the news that they've picked it up and will turn it into a series. Fingers crossed! Heck, if they're doing a Green Arrow TV show, they definitely should do a Hulk show!
Michael McDonnell said…
Del Toro’s plans for the series sound like a more original, modern retelling of the Hulk’s origins.
Michael McDonnell said…
The pilot is said to be airing soon after The Avengers in the pilot season and first season in the Autumn.
Michael McDonnell said…
oth Del Toro and Eick have a creative responsibility, if they want to establish their own Hulk community on television Marvel would’ve gone along with it.
Michael McDonnell said…
Hulk pilot will be in the pilot season which is in the summer.
Michael McDonnell said…
This would be the time to hear news about a new hulk cast and plot details, of course they don't tell the public everything because if anything gets out the whole thing ruined.
Michael McDonnell said…
They are sort of waiting for the Avengers to come out in May to start casting and production on the Hulk series.
Michael McDonnell said…
I think having it more like the old series would just prevent it from establishing it's own identity, no matter how good or how loved the old series is it is necessary to moveforward like Chris Nolan's Batman was completely different from Tim Burton's films because he had a different conception on how he wanted to tell Batman's story and how he wanted to present the character.
Michael McDonnell said…
Del Toro said back in November that he delivered the pilot script to the network and now waiting for a greenlight, perhaps in the next few months we should be hearing news about a new hulk cast and plot details.
Michael McDonnell said…
If you were to ask me who should play Bruce Banner on TV ideally if you wanted a television actor, Michael Shanks.
Michael McDonnell said…
It's been 3 months since we had a update on the series and no 2012 updates yet.
Nick said…
Del Toro is busy with his new version of The Munsters calling Mockingbird Lane. I too wish they would give us an update on the Hulk, but I have a feeling we won't see it until 2013 the earliest. I just hope it happens.
Nick said…
FINALLY, A NEW UPDATE ON THE POSSIBLE NEW HULK TV SHOW (courtesy of The Wrap)

The Hulk is getting awfully popular.

With a third "Hulk" film increasingly likely given the success of "The Avengers," ABC is also pursuing its long-gestating plans for a "Hulk" TV series, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee said Tuesday.

Disney's ownership of Marvel opens up many opportunities for ABC to pursue series based on Marvel comics characters. Lee said a "Hulk" series didn't come together in time for the 2012-13 season, but could be a possibility the season after that.

Asked if ABC has other Marvel projects in the works, he said: "We've got some in development, but none that I can talk about at this point."

Lee said ABC has passed, meanwhile, on the Marvel-based series "A.K.A. Jessica Jones."

"Avengers" star Mark Ruffalo is the third actor to play The Hulk's alter-ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, on the big screen in the last decade. He has signed a multi-picture deal to play the role, previously filled by Eric Bana and Ed Norton.

"Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo Del Toro and Marvel executive Jeph Loeb have been collaborating on a new "Hulk" series.

The original "The Incredible Hulk" TV series (pictured), spawned from two 1977 TV movies, aired on CBS from 1978 to 1982 and starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. The character returned in three NBC made-for-television movies that aired from 1988 to 1990. One paired him with the Marvel hero Thor, and another with Daredevil.
Stop being negative it does matter who they should cast as Bruce Banner don't be stupid macdonnell. It should like Bill Bixby or Edward Norton in between.
I believe jeph leob will cast a much younger Bruce Banner than what we seen in the movies. That means It will be like Bill Bixby and Edward Norton.