I don’t want to demand integrity from a business that doesn’t gain benefit from, such, but I am beyond tired of the P.R. approach of bashing films which don’t meet fiscal goals in order to:
A. Promote the follow-up effort.
B. Cater to perceived public perception.
C. Create a bed of positive vibe regardless of the quality of the new project.
Recently, we saw the Warner Bros. publicity machine run roughshod over the vastly underappreciated Ocean’s Twelve to promote the new flick (which is good but not AS good) and now the makers of the new Hulk film are already spinning their wheels in making Ang Lee’s emotionless but arresting first film seem like a tragedy in an effort to shine a brand new light on their Edward Norton revamp/reboot/releaunch/reimagining.
His quote, from IGN:
"The Hulk movie will be different from this one because this one will
be good (laughs). It was a dream getting Edward Norton," Feige said. "We’re
joking about it, but there were certain elements in the first one that I’m very
proud of, and there are other ones that I’m not. The cast of the first film was
spectacular, a great cast – you couldn’t ask for a better cast coming together
than you did in the first movie. Eric Bana was great, and frankly they were all
great, but in looking to sort of reboot and start the franchise fresh and new,
we wanted to start with a clean slate and it wasn’t Eric Bana that I was looking
at and saying we need to improve upon. It was Bill Bixby, because Bill Bixby is
really what I believe most of the fans and most of the audience members look to
when they think of Bruce Banner, and they think of that Hulk storyline. I was
thinking, who is that today – who can get that empathy across and who is a great
actor in any medium. We started talking about someone like Ed Norton, and it’s
your dream in movies like this when you go, "Boy, it would be great to have
someone like this," and end up actually getting them.".
That is so stupid of an approach to take. The initial response we always see while a film still has money to make in the box office, DVD, and on ancillary markets is the suits supporting the project to the end. Then, when the money has been wrung out and it’s time to address the next one, all of a sudden it’s perfectly fine to bash the preceding effort when it suits their needs. The bottom line is that whether you like Ang Lee’s Hulk or not (I love it), it came out and did well enough to entertain thoughts of a continuation whether it be theatrical, on DVD, or as a series of Lite Brite screens. Why adopt a revisionist stance that’s so trite and disrespectful towards the massive effort that went in making the first film?
It is very hard to make a good big budget movie. There are so many things that can go wrong, some things that make sense and others that have no rhyme or reason to them. Adapting a comic book that’s fifty years old and questionably not really deserving of the big screen [I mean, it’s a fucking big green man smashing shit up] is even tougher. It’s really tough to make those movies. My experience with MEG is a very good immersion into the fucked up and illogical world of blockbustering and I still find new stuff to blow my mind three years on. I cannot imagine the hurdles they faced making the Hulk movie. I have no doubt someone with pull at one point suggested they find a color for the character that resonated more with middle America.
So, they basically shit on the first film to create a symbolic but utterly bogus clean slate for the new movie. You ask the regular Joe’s out there who saw and either didn’t get, didn’t like, or didn’t see the first film and dollars to doughnuts I bet you they’ll be dismissive of this regardless of whether the filmmakers defend or bash the original.
Stay your guns people. You made and released the film, be proud of that or get the fuck out of that business. We have enough pussies out here in reality.