I’ve never cared for much of James Gunn’s work. I hated Slither, even if it was a nod to other films I do like, for instance Night of the Creeps, and didn’t care for Super or The Belko Experiment, two of Gunn’s other films. I also don’t much care for how Gunn was writing what was essentially an R-rated script for Scooby Doo when it’s a fucking kid’s cartoon. Really, what moron tries to turn a kid’s cartoon about a lovable dog and his teenage Sherlock Holmes-type owners into an R-rated mess? It takes a special kind of asshole to ruin kids’ innocence with adult-style trash.
In any case, Gunn somehow nailed the gig for Guardians of the Galaxy volumes one and two. Well, first he nailed the first audition, and I’ll give him the props he deserves for making that film a funny, off-beat wickedly vervy comic adventure flick. He was able to leave behind, in my mind, anyway, all the immaturish and amateurish stylings of his youth and evolve into a more adult and mature director, without sacrificing the derelict child inside himself. Or so it seems.
Regardless, in the news here it says Gunn wanted to direct a Green Hulk or a Red Hulk movie.
Speaking to his fans during a Facebook Q&A, Gunn was eventually asked about something other than Yondu or Rocket, and someone posed what dream superhero movie he wanted to tackle before Guardians:
“I wanted to do Hit Monkey. Like REALLY wanted to do it. I was also interested in doing a Hulk/Red Hulk film.”
I don’t know what Hit Monkey is nor do I care. I could look it up and write a paragraph or two about it but I’ll leave that for your homework.
The problem with doing a Hulk/Red Hulk movie is that others have tried to crack that film, without doing so. Ang Lee’s version was extraordinarily poorly done, and Edward Nortion’s The Incredible Hulk hit all the right spots, yet was still lacking. It just didn’t resonate right. Part of it is that a CGI Hulk doesn’t emotionally appeal to most people. I know, Spider-man is often rendered in CGI and yet works well, but there’s still person under the costume throughout key scenes, which isn’t true for Hulk. He’s one minute a relatable human, the next minute an animated Zbrush sculpt. So there’s loss of emotional connect there.
Another issue is neither film really gave him a compelling backstory or a compelling heroes journey. His entire motivation was finding a cure for his transformation, but we all know how that ends. It ends in failure. Every time. So perhaps next time rewrite the character a little differently. Write him so that he’s not so damned Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Perhaps he enjoys the transformation? Perhaps he doesn’t want a cure and never looks for one. More Spider-man less Dark Man.
Having said all that, a Red Hulk versus a Green Hulk sounds like twice the same thing we’ve seen, and what’s two times zero? I simply don’t think there’s much point pitting one Hulk against another. There’s no advantage for the “bad” Hulk and no mountain to climb for the “good” Hulk. The heroes journey goes out the door because the guy standing in the way of what the good Hulk wants is basically identical to the protagonist. There’s no struggle. It’s an effortless tie. You want the villain to be stronger than the hero. More outgunned and outnumbered. Out-strengthed. Out everything, so there’s a struggle. Will he make it, will he not? There’s peril in a good story like that, but with Hulk against Hulk, the peril falls flat.
And that’s all I have to say about that.