Hulk; Source: The Avengers (2012)
Of all the performances in Marvel's The Avengers, it was the Hulk that seemed to get the most buzz. After the fan disappointment of Ang Lee's Hulk in 2003 and The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Avengers seemed to best capture what fans wanted to see in the Jade Giant. Here's twenty things you may not have known about the creation of the Hulkster, and his human counterpart Bruce Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo.

1. Director Joss Whedon wanted the Hulk to resemble Ruffalo so he wouldn't seem like a separate character from Bruce Banner.
Joss Whedon and Mark Ruffalo on set of The Avengers
2. Mark Ruffalo did the motion capture for the Hulk's movements and face, making him the first actor to portray the Hulk and Bruce Banner in the same movie.

3. Mark Ruffalo said he wouldn't have taken the role if he hadn't gotten to motion capture the Hulk.

4. Ruffalo called Ed Norton (Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk) to see if it would be okay before he accepted the role.

5. Bouncer and male stripper Steve Romm provided the model for the body of the Hulk.

6. A detailed life mask of Ruffalo's head, hands, and feet was created to use for the production, including pores, blemishes, and facial hair.

7. Ruffalo modeled the Hulk's lumbering movements off of gorillas.

8. Knowing the Hulk would be used in close-ups, the CGI model has an incredible level of detail including body hair, armpit hair, nose hair, stubble, and graying hair around the temples.

9. Whedon wanted the Hulk to have the softer body of a wrestler, as opposed to the chiseled and cut look of a bodybuilder as in the 2008 Hulk.
Hulk roaring, The Incredible Hulk (2008)
10. The Hulk is intentionally paunchy so there would be some bounce to his movements, and also room for muscles to flex.

11. Ruffalo said his first thought of the Hulk's design was that it looked like his father when he was angry.

12. The FX crew felt the Hulk in previous movies lacked a sense of weight, and wanted their Hulk to really feel like he weighed almost two thousand pounds.
Hulk (2003)
13. One of the first shots created was of the Hulk chasing Black Widow in slow motion. It was used to capture the sense of weight and mass they wanted for the Hulk, as well as the movements of muscles and skin.

14. The Hulk hunched over when he was at rest so he would stay in frame with the other actors.

15. Mark Ruffalo appeared on set in his motion capture suit to record his movements. The suit had a fake Hulk torso to capture the size and width of the finished CGI version.

16. Ruffalo would then perform a take on a full motion capture stage.

17. To keep the Hulk from either being too washed-out or pop out too much, ILM would render the Hulk in grayscale and increase the green until it fit the scene. As a result, the tone of green used in the Hulk's skin color changes throughout the movie.

18. The FX team at ILM had so many problems with the Hulk's skin tone that they wrote "green is hard" on their whiteboard.

19. Ruffalo found the motion capture bodysuit unflattering and requested a less revealing bodysuit for future movies.

20. The studio was so happy with Ruffalo's performance that he's been signed for six more movies to portray the Hulk, including a possible solo movie.
Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.); The Avengers (2012)

What did you think of the Avengers' Hulk?

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Nicole/TheMadlabPost said...

The Hulk isn't one of my favorite characters from "The Avengers" but those tidbits you mentioned about his skin tone changing to match the surroundings of different scenes is, well, fascinating. I also find Ruffalo's request for a less revealing motion capture suit to be interesting and the chasing shot with Black Widow is an understandable move for a production (and character) of that magnitude.

One can help but wonder what Ruffalo's father thinks about that anger comparison.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool he did his own motion capture. Really nice of him to call Norton to see if it was all right if he accepted the role.
I think everyone's father looks like the Hulk when he's angry.


He totally stole every frame he was in! Best part of the Avengers movie. It was cool of him to call Norton.

Pat Dilloway said...

That sounds like it took a lot of work. Definitely looks a lot better than the 2003 one but then it was 9 years later so technology had improved a bit. Really though 5 movies after Avengers 2? That seems a bit overambitious.

Tony Laplume said...

Six movies is a huge commitment, especially for such a tricky character, no matter how well he worked in this one. I wonder how many he'll actually do.

Nigel Mitchell said...

Thanks, glad you found it informative. I wonder about his father as well

Nigel Mitchell said...

I agree. Maybe they planning to have him appear in cameos in other movies

Nigel Mitchell said...

He really did an amazing job

Pat Dilloway said...

Does that count the cookie scene at the end of Iron Man 3? Probably not since the Hulk wasn't in it.


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