The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Complete Annotations


He runs home through the streets. Most likely Tavares Bastos.

Banner has been given a flower. The piece of score we hear is called The Flower.

Then he communicates with the mysterious Mr Blue by chat. On the worse resolution computer possible for 2007. He chooses Mr Green as his own, extremely unsubtle username, especially when he’s supposed to be in hiding. Banner has used the alias Mr Green in the comics.

Mr Blue is a reference to a comic. This mysterious persona appeared in The Incredible Hulk #34. It turned out to be Betsy in the comics.

Banner then sciences the shit out of the flower.

There’s a deleted scene featuring Banner putting together his makeshift lab.

His cells turn from green to red and back to green. His experiment to find a cure has failed.

Sending blood in the post. It’s actually legal.

Then we’re at Arlington, Virginia – the Pentagon. The interior, we assume it’s a set.

It’s the office of Thunderbolt Ross. We see him in the current time, not in flashback, for the first time.

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He’s given information about a gamma poisoning by Major Kathleen Sparr, who works for Ross. She is played by Christina Cabot.

In the comics, Kathleen Spar (one ‘r’) is a scientist and a member of the Hulkbusters.

Cabot appeared in many great films, such as Fight Club (also starring Norton) and Man On The Moon.

It’s Stan Lee (in Milwaukee), in his required cameo.

Stan Lee in The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Stan Lee in The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Ross assembles his team. He goes to the fictional Fort Johnson in the Everglades in the story. It’s actually Canadian Forces Base Trenton, 142 Northstar Drive, Quinte West, near Toronto.

The fort is possibly named after Kenneth Johnson, the creator of the Incredible Hulk TV series, and the creator behind the sci fi series V.

Ross is with General Joe Greller, played by Peter Menash. Monash appeared in Avatar, 300 and more.

The score we hear is Ross’ Team.

We see the commandos briefly. They are Greg Bryk, Chris Owens, Al Vrkljan, Adrian Hein and John MacDonald.

One of Ross’ team will be Emil Blonsky, aka Abomination. He is played by Tim Roth.

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Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_90 Abomination is one the Hulk’s longstanding foes. In the comics, he is a Russian spy who is also affected by Gamma radiation.

He first appeared in Tales To Astonish #90 in April 1967, and was created by Gil Kane and Stan Lee.

tim_rothRoth was an acclaimed arthouse actor, known for roles in Reservoir Dogs and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. This was one of the first big blockbusters for him. Blonsky’s ‘raised in England’ bit is probably a concession to Roth’s upbringing and accent. Roth told Aintitcool:

“When we were talking and Louis pitched it to me a million years ago was that it’s like the graphic novels, which is what I like, to be honest with you and what my kids like, but it also gives a real nod to the comic books and the idea of the comic books is chase and that was what the TV series was always about, every week.”

Also considered for the role was Ray Stevenson. He would eventually join the MCU as Volstagg in Thor.

And we head to Brazil.


Banner gets an alert from Mr Blue.

The score we hear as Banner types is Mr Blue.

A shot of Rocinha at night, and then back to the streets.

The commandos attack.

Did the dog die? We assume it’s been tranquillised.

Banner runs, with help of Martina.

The score we hear is Favela Escape.

He runs into a Coca-Cola truck.


Banner runs into Ross, and sees who is after him.

Ross is being driven in a Agrale Dynamic.

Then the Tough Guys again. As well as the leader, the others are Julio Cesar Torres Dantas, Raimundo Camargo Nascimento and Nick Alachiotis.

He runs into the factory. The exterior is a former Behrig Chocolate factory in Rio’s Santo Cristo neighbourhood.

And something bad does happen, as Banner Hulks out. Although it takes a while before we get a good look at him.


Hulk takes out several soldiers. We assume they die. We don’t see them again.

And we finally get to see the Hulk’s face. 26 minutes in or so. One of the contentious issues in the production was the length of time it took before we get to see the Hulk.

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Hulk’s voice is Lou Ferrigno. We will see him later.

Hulk escapes, but the army grab his bag. In it is a picture of Betty, which Ross pockets. It’s worth noting that at this point, nothing in the film has connected the two characters as father and daughter explicitly.

One last stunning shot of Rocinha as we leave the scene.

Banner finds himself by a river. He’s near the Taunay Waterfall in the Tijuca Forest near Rio.

He flags down a Volkswagen Kombi. He discovers from the man in the truck he’s in Guatemala.

Which means he’s travelled 6500 kilometres or so.

The truck driver Javier Lambert. He was also the head stunt co-ordinator in the Rio De Janeiro scenes.


They drive over the wooden bridge with Taunay Waterfall behind them.

There is a deleted scene here, with Ross having to explain the aftermath of the disastrous Brazil mission. There is a reference here to the Hulk being grey. He was grey in his first appearance in the comics.

Back at the airforce base. Blonsky can’t let the mission go.

Banner finds himself in Chiapas, Mexico. That’s another 400 kms or so that he has travelled.

The location, however, is still Rio De Janeiro.

The music we hear is Bruce Goes Home.

He’s reduced to begging. He does manage to buy baggy pants.

The music we hear here is The Lonely Man, from The Incredible Hulk TV series. It’s not on the soundtrack. Composed by Joe Harnell.

He then walks through a hill. Note the camera is on a crane. That is one of Letterier’s most favoured tricks on this film – lots of crane shots.

Ross takes Blonsky through some sort of hangar bay. Location unknown, likely the Canadian Air Force Base again.

The music is Ross and Blonksy.

Blonsky mentions the super soldier. This is the program that created Captain America in the comics (and the film which we will see later).

Ross explains more of Banner’s origin. Banner thought he was working on radiation resistance, and tried the super soldier serum himself.

An extended version of this scene exists.

Blonsky is 39, but tim Roth is 47 when the film came out (maybe 46 during production).

And the off to Culver University. The aerial shot is Drew University – 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey

Once on the ground, it’s actually the University of Toronto, on 27 King’s College Circus, Toronto.

The music we hear is Return to Culver University.

Banner reads the fake newspaper.

Over two weeks has passed since Rio De Janeiro, according to the onscreen text.

Banner struggles to get into the University College building, with its security.

He walks past a green then back to the Med-Sci building.

5 thoughts on “The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Complete Annotations

  1. And THAT’s the thing about cheesy pizza!

    You get down and dirty, then you seize the meats-a!

  2. My reading of that final moment isn’t that Banner “hulks out for no kind of reason,” but rather that he has managed to tap into Hulk power without having to hulk out completely. He’s meditating, he gets the green eyes, he smiles. In other words, after the attempted cure there has in fact been some sort of progress.

    1. I was being flippant and it would actually be a pretty nice ending if the Ruffalo Hulk didn’t just pick up as if this film barely happened as well. It’s not like that amount of control paid off.

      1. I dunno. I feel like it pays off very nicely in The Avengers, with “that’s my secret, Captain: I’m always angry.” He gains control in Norton’s last scene, and except for times when he’s injured/ attacked/ whammied by the Mind Gem, he shows every sign of still having it when Ruffalo takes over as Banner.

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