The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Complete Annotations


Betty and Banner buy an old Ford F Series. And they hit the road.

They talk about what being the Hulk feels like.

Blonsky wants another serve of Super Soldier.

Betty and Banner arrive at a police stop. They are on Lakeshore Boulevard, under the Gardiner Expressway, Port Lands, Toronto.

The pair walk over the Cherry Street Bridge, where they reunited earlier in the film. Of course, all this stuff is not supposed to be Toronto, or the same town – it’s supposed to be generic.

Then into Toronto’s port to get a boat.

Then suddenly, we are in a boat on the way to Manhattan. Liberty Island on the left.

Looking at a subway map on the corner of Chambers Street and West Broadway. But it’s actually Toronto.

They get a cab, driven by Maxwell McCabe-Lokos.

The music here is called NYC Cab Ride.

They get out of the cab. I guess it’s supposed to be midtown Manhattan somewhere, but it’s again Toronto. Yonge St, corner of Melinda St.

An aerial shot of Manhattan.

Dr Samuel Sterns, played by Tim Blake Nelson. Note he’s wearing blue.

Tim Blake Nelson and Dr Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Tim Blake Nelson and Dr Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_62 Sterns in the comics is the person who will become The Leader, one of the Hulk’s greatest foes. Another victim of Gamma radiation, Sterns was given extraordinary intelligence and took to a life of crime.

He first appeared in Tales To Astonish #62, in December 1964. He was created by Steve Dikto and Stan Lee.

TimNelson had had many film roles leading up to this, in films such as Minority Report and memorably in O Brother Where Art Thou?. He would star as another potential (and ultimately unrealised) Marvel villain in 2015’s Fantastic Four. He told AV Club:

“I got that role when Eddie [Norton] and I were planning to do Leaves Of Grass. I thought of it as something that I hoped, and still hope, will inspire sequels, since I had a great time on that movie and I felt particularly lucky to be around Edward on a set, knowing that I’d be acting and directing Edward on Leaves Of Grass within a year. I felt blessed. I always love being in these technically demanding movies because that process is so mystifying to me in that I still go to movies and marvel at how stuff is achieved. How do you make it creditable onscreen that a 12-story high creature is storming through Harlem smashing cars?”

He’s coming out of Grayburn College, but it’s actually still the University of Toronto.

Sterns, Banner and Betty agree to try and cure Banner.


Meanwhile, Blonsky, in a military facility, is adjusting to more power. This bathroom location is unknown.

The music behind him is called The Mirror.

Helicopters take the army to New York. There was more to this sequence that was cut.

Sterns’ experiment begins. The music is called Sterns’ lab.

Banner Hulks out. Sterns, after some hesitation, injects the cure. Betty is working to calm Hulk down. It looks as though the process has worked.

Meanwhile, copters are still coming.


Sterns is very excited about the experiment. He lets slip about test subjects.

Military and police arrive. It’s still University of Toronto. The round building is Convocation Hall.

The military targets the building.

Sterns has created a lab dedicated to Banner and his blood. Great looking set, it’s likely built for the film on a soundstage.

Sterns and Banner argue as Blonsky engages. The army moves in.

Soldiers run up a big staircase with books behind it. The location here is the University of Toronto Bookstore, 214 College Street.

Banner is taken out by a dart. Blonsky knocks Banner out.

The music here is Banner Darted.

After Banner is carted away was a deleted scene.

Sparr interrogates Sterns. But she is taken out by Blonsky.

Blonsky wants more power and threatens Sterns to get it. He mentions an he could create an Abomination, which is what Blonsky will become.

The music here is I Want It, I Need It.


Betty and Banner share a moment on the helicopter.

Sterns creates the Abomination.

The music here is Blonsky Transforms.

Sterns is then knocked to the ground with a head wound, and some of Banner’s blood gets into his blood stream. His brain seems to pulse and he smiles.

The Leader emerges in The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The Leader emerges in The Incredible Hulk (2008)

All this is an allusion to The Leader, Sterns villainous persona from the comics. It was a clear set up for potential sequels. Nelson told the Playlist in 2010:

“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. I certainly very much want to return as the Leader and I hope they’ll have me. The intention was that I would come back, which is why my head starts to, um, bubble, at the end.”

The Abomination cuts loose on the army.

The army believes that it’s the Hulk and he’s on the streets. The soldiers claim they are on 112th Street, north Broadway. That street is actually Yonge Street in Toronto’s downtown.

Note the Apollo Theatre. This famous theatre is in Harlem, north of Manhattan. It’s the filmmaker’s concession to make it look like the real New York.

A man runs out of a shop and is nearly hit by a thrown car. He is Michael Kenneth Williams, best known for roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire.

He was supposed to have a scene, but it was cut down to just these few seconds. He told CinemaBlend:

“It was actually a scene that got cut out. It was a scene where I got caught between the Abomination and the Hulk, and I was trying to stop them from tearing up the streets of Harlem. But then when I saw the Abomination was just so irate I told the Hulk to go kick his ass.”

And we get our first good look at Abomination. He looks different from the comics, where he is more reptilian. The look they were going for was a primitive man.

The Abomination inThe Incredible Hulk (2008)
The Abomination inThe Incredible Hulk (2008)

Abomination just tears into people. They had to have died right?

Military brings out a bazooka. It does nothing.

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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