The History of the MCU; Chapter 2 : 2008: A Marvel Oddesy

The History of the MCU; Chapter 2 : 2008: A Marvel Oddesy

In 2008, Marvel threw their champions into the CBM ring and in 2015, I made crappy title puns.

Editorial Opinion
By Quick1029 - Nov 14, 2015 08:11 PM EST
Filed Under: Marvel Comics



As mentioned in the last chapter, an Iron Man film has been trying to get off the ground since the '90s and many directors were attached. However, Jon Faveru wasn't interest in Iron Man. At first, he was going to direct Captain America. However, not a lot of people were a fan of the more comedic take he was going for. However, he decided to direct this film instead and give this the serious tone. Faverau was so happy he got the job that he lost seventy pounds just to reward himself.

The film was written by two different writing teams. One script was written by Punisher: War Zone writers, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. The other script was written by Children of Men writers, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby. Faverau ended up combining both scripts to make the film. He also got advice from Marvel writers, including Brian Michael Bendis. 

Now for casting. Tom Cruise, Sam Rockwell, Hugh Jackman, and Timothy Olaphant were considered for Tony Stark. Rachel McAddams was supposed to play Pepper Potts, but she dropped out. Also, Iron Monger was meant to be the villain of a sequel, with The Mandiran meant as the villain here. Stane was just supposed to be the friend character who would either turn evil or be revealed as evil. But that all changed when Jeff Bridges was cast.

Speaking of the Mandarin, when he got shoved to the side in favor of Monger, he supposed to be a Palpatine-style villain. But he was cut out of the movie because he wouldn't mesh well with the realistic tone the film was going for. Faverau said that The MAndarin would work better in a sequel, after movies like Thor with all the fantastical emlements would be released. 

Anyway, when Robert Downey Jr. was cast as IronMan, people got upset. Like, Batfleck and Black Human Torch level upset. See, Robert was... No. I don't want to talk about it. It's not HORRIBLE, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that he turned his life around, was in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, he got the Iron Man role, proved everyone wrong, played a black man two months after this came out, and got nomminated for an Oscar for it.

Now people think that Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel's biggest risk, but I think Iron Man was. Think about it. If GotG bombed and sucked, we wouldn't get Inhumans and Captain Marvel. If Iron Man bombed and sucked, there probably wouldn't be an MCU. Just a Iron Man and Hulk film.

But Iron Man did not bomb, nor did it suck. It's seen was one of Marvel's best and was the highest grossing film of 2008 until the release of The Dark Knght.

Just a month later, Marvel released their Hulk reboot.

Now, as mentioned in the last chapter, this was meant as a sequel to the Ang Lee film. Which was happening because everyone loved it right guys. Screw Edward Norton. To hell with Mark Ruffalo.
This was the difinative Hulk movie. Aren't you disappointed this never happened:


But, I digress. Louis Lettier was set to direct the film and he wanted to base the film more on the 70s tv series. At first, He felt there was a lot of pressure on him because he felt he had to replicate Ang Lee's style. But Marvel told him they didn't give a damn about Ang Lee's style So Louis went:


Anyway, Zak Penn wrote the script, but left the project. So the script was finished by the Hulk himself, Edward Norton. However, he was uncredited. Edward came up with many ideas for the film, including the part where Bruce can'thave sex.

Now for casting. Mark Ruffalo was considered by Louis for the role of the Hulk. Not kidding. I refuse to believe this is a coincidence. Anyway, Ray Stevenson, who would later play other Marvel characters (The Punisher and Volstagg) was considered for the Abomination, but Tim Roth got the role. Sam Elliot expressed interest in returing as Ross (he played the character in the Ang Lee film), but William Hurt got the role. The film also included a cameo from Robert Downey Jr, who was in the film because he enjoyed working on Iron Man. 

When the film was realesed, it did... okay. The film got decent reviews. Some praised it for the action, the acting, and the struggle of the main character. While others critizied the weak villain and love interest. The film, like the 2003 film, is argued if it was a box office hit or flop. But compared to Iron Man's box office, it was a disappointment. To this day, it's the lowest grossing MCU film.

Now Edward Norton didn't return as the Hulk in future films. He was replaced by Mark Ruffalo. As of 2012, Norton has stated that while he hasn't seen Avengers, he admits that Ruffalo was a good choice for the role.

Oh yeah, one more thing. In 2007, Avi Arad was no longer president ofMarvel Studios. During the filming of Iron Man, a new president was found. And his name is...



As I was saying, a new president was found to replace Arad. This president was one Kevin Fegie.



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Odin - 11/15/2015, 5:43 AM
Incredible Hulk is puzzling film in IMO, since it actually is both a sequel to Ang Lee's Hulk as well as MCU solo film. It's like they did a reboot, but they took advantage of previous incarnation just so they wouldn't have tell the same story again...I feel like some other CBM franchises should've done the same thing.

imkennypowers - 11/15/2015, 3:11 PM
You might want to do a spell check & improve some grammar flaws. And it's Favreau, you spell his name several different ways, it takes five seconds to google this. hahaha.

"Mark Ruffalo was considered by Louis for the role of the Hulk. Not kidding. I refuse to believe this is a coincidence."

What's most interesting about this, it was Marvel that insisted on Ed Norton. However, it was Marvel/Feige who ended contract negotiations with Norton and instead chose to recast Banner with Ruffalo in the MCU.
imkennypowers - 11/15/2015, 3:19 PM

Since you're doing a series on "The History of the MCU", you might enjoy io9's "The Complete History of Marvel Superhero Movies: 1990-2008." It's a GREAT read, entertaining & informational.

Here's an excerpt for 2008, hope you like!:

A Universe Is Born: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

"Okay, so we're past the Iron Man point now, but there's a reason for that. With Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark charming the pants off of audiences and critics alike, the huge success of Iron Man had pulled superhero movies out of their slump and back into the limelight. Although Samuel L. Jackson's nerd-pleasing cameo at the end of the movie teased the Avengers Initiative and a future yet to come, it would be Marvel Studio's second foray that would really begin the process of creating a new universe — and giving his history of crossing over in TV movies, of course the honor would have to go to the Incredible Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk reboot is not the greatest movie Marvel have made — it was received with mixed reviews upon release but was considered much better than Ang Lee's original attempt back in 2003. The movie now holds an awkward place in the rapidly expanding MCU canon: it's largely forgotten or spoken about with hushed tones when it comes to gathering the timeline together, and although the events of the movie are still implied to have happened, the very public loss of Edward Norton's Bruce Banner ahead of The Avengers led to a new Hulk taking his place (fun factoid: Mark Ruffalo was originally considered to play Banner in The Incredible Hulk, but Marvel insisted on casting Norton.). But even then, it's important to acknowledge it for one short, but ultimately huge scene:

Robert Downey Jr.'s uncredited cameo as Tony Stark would be the first crossover of two different Marvel movie properties: The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born, and the movie industry would never be the same."
imkennypowers - 11/15/2015, 3:51 PM
@Quick1029 - "I never really thought about how important the Hulk after-crdits scene is."

Exactly, me either! I didn't really think much of it, especially in comparison to Fury's cameo in IM1, until they described it the way they did.

The whole article is great, it's a long read, but definitely worth your time! And maybe it can help, in some way, with your "history of" articles too.
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