The Incredible Hulk 2 With Edward Norton Would Have Broken The MCU

By Sean Thiessen | Published

edward norton mcu

It is strange to recall the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would be even stranger if director Louis Leterrier had his way. The visionary behind 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, the second movie in the MCU canon, told Comicbook.com about his plans for The Incredible Hulk 2, which would have seen Edward Norton back to face off with multiple Hulks.

Louis Leterrier, director of The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton, wanted to expand with different Hulks, including the popular Gray and Red versions.

“Yeah there was like a whole sequel,” Leterrier said. “There was like Gray Hulk, Red Hulks – there was a lot of good stuff that we were planning.” Those plans, of course, fizzled.

The Incredible Hulk 2 never happened. Edward Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo as the MCU’s Bruce Banner, and the Hulk has yet to have another solo movie.

Had the sequel happened, it would have expanded Hulk lore on the big screen. Leterrier called the Hulk “complex”, noting the character’s fascinating personas. The traditional green Hulk is primal, fueled by fury. Gray Hulk and Smart Hulk are different, allowing for more personality and less blind rage.

To die-hard Hulk fans, Gray Hulk is a notable missing piece in the MCU. Seeing that version of the character on the big screen in The Incredible Hulk 2 would have been neat, but even more exciting would have been Edward Norton squaring off with multiple Red Hulks.

liv tyler captain america
Liv Tyler in The Incredible Hulk

“Yeah there was like a whole sequel. There was like Gray Hulk, Red Hulks – there was a lot of good stuff that we were planning.”

Louis Letter on plans for Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk 2

Fans have been waiting for Red Hulk for a long time. It is rumored that the character will finally show up in next year’s Captain America: Brave New World. With Harrison Ford taking over the role of General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, rumors are swirling that the antagonistic military man will finally Hulk out.

Liv Tyler, who starred in The Incredible Hulk as Betty Ross, is rumored to reprise her role for the first time since 2008. There is speculation that she will be seeing red as well, donning the role of Red She-Hulk

The MCU has come a long way since 2008, and it has departed sharply from Leterrier’s plans for The Incredible Hulk 2. The director explained that he had a lot of fun with the rage-fueled Hulk in his film, and where he planned to go with Edward Norton was not as silly as where the character ended up.

Edwards Norton
Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk

“I like She-Hulk,” Leterrier said, “but then you know, yoga between Hulk and… I was like ‘Okay! yeah, we’re very far from my Hulk.'”

Though The Incredible Hulk 2 never got off the ground, Leterrier and Edward Norton have found considerable success in their post-Marvel careers. Leterrier just came off of Fast X, and he is on deck to direct its sequel. 

Edward Norton took a starring role in Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which dominated on Netflix last Christmas. He also continues to appear in the work of director Wes Anderson, playing in 2021’s The French Dispatch and this summer’s Asteroid City.

“I like She-Hulk, but then you know, yoga between Hulk and… I was like ‘Okay! yeah, we’re very far from my Hulk.'”

Leterrier on how Hulk has changed from Edward Norton’s version

The MCU would have looked a lot different if The Incredible Hulk 2 had manifested, and seeing Edward Norton alongside the rest of the Avengers would have brought a very different dynamic to the team. Leterrier’s pitch for the sequel sounds fun, though the time for a solo Hulk movie may have already passed.

But with Marvel, death rarely sticks. The Incredible Hulk 2 may find life anew, and with the advent of the multiverse, even Edward Norton has a shot at going green – or gray – once again.