“There may have been discussions”: Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk Movie Almost Became A ‘Jim Carrey Or Adam Sandler’ Film

"There may have been discussions": Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk Movie Almost Became A 'Jim Carrey Or Adam Sandler' Film

Before the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the film industry, there were several attempts to bring superheroes from the pages of Marvel Comics into the spotlight. And leading this venture was none other than the green rage machine Hulk, making its presence known to the world from as far back as the 1970s TV into modern-day cinema as one of the most iconic comic book characters in the world.

Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk from The incredible Hulk TV Series (1978)
Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk from The Incredible Hulk TV Series (1978)

But while these prior attempts might’ve seen positive reviews from the audience, the success wasn’t anything significant, which was why attempts to reintroduce the character were done over and over again. The first real success that counted towards the successful recognition of Hulk came from 2003’s Hulk, which was directed by Ang Lee. But this too could’ve been another failed attempt as it was considered to be made into a comedy.

Ang Lee’s Hulk Was Almost Made Into A Comedy Film!

A still from Hulk (2003)
A still from Hulk (2003)

2003’s Hulk made everyone take notice of the character in its full glory thanks to CGI, advanced technology, and new techniques in filmmaking. Ang Lee, the director of the film, brought a new version of the green giant into modern times with great execution. But that execution was a hard-fought privilege since the film was already in talks to be turned into a comedy film starring Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler.

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In 1993, Michael France and Stan Lee were invited to Universal Studios to start writing the script for the proposed Hulk movie alongside director Jonathan Hensleigh. But due to complications and dissatisfaction with the story, the script had to be rewritten many times over. This, in turn, created a lot of confusion amongst the hierarchy, who had all sorts of ideas for what the film would look like in the end. France also stated that he heard rumors to turn the film into a comedy flick. He said:

“Someone within the Universal hierarchy wasn’t sure if this was a science fiction adventure, or a comedy, and I kept getting directions to write both. I think that at some point when I wasn’t in the room, there may have been discussions about turning it into a Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler movie.”

Therefore, the film kept being pushed further and further back from its schedule until Ang Lee took charge of the project and finally delivered the film in 2003.

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Why Did Hulk Fail?

Hulk (2003)
Hulk (2003)

While the film may have been one of the best takes on the character in modern times, the appeal of Ang Lee’s Hulk was something that fans and audience members couldn’t understand. Along with an unorthodox storytelling style for cinema, as well as the inadequacy of a completely CGI character to satisfy the viewers’ expectations mixed with the fact that it was something far different than what Lee had envisioned while making the film are some of the reasons why this film is considered bad by today’s standards.

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Hulk, streaming on Prime Video.

Source: Comic Book Movies, a book by David Hughes.

Written by Deepak Bisht

Currently pursuing Bachelor's Degree. Just a typical nerd talking about nerdy things with people around the world with the amazing and like-minded people at FandomWire.