Now that the Marvel universe and Disney are part of the same universe, sister television network ABC says it wants to take advantage of that — by finally bringing The Incredible Hulk back to television after a 30-year absence.
Paul Lee made the announcement during upfront presentations made to advertisers and media about new shows for the fall. Lee, the head of ABC, said he had tried to put together a series for the upcoming 2012-13 season, but it just couldn’t come together fast enough. So the earliest it could be considered now is 2013-14.
This is good news for the Hulk franchise, which has suffered a bit for being considered one of the weaker Marvel film franchises. Director Ang Lee tried to bring the franchise back to life in 2003 with “Hulk” starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner and a CGI creation as the Hulk, but the film failed to capture attention, grossing about $132.1 million domestically.
Edward Norton tried to resurrect the franchise again in 2008 with “The Incredible Hulk.” A much more quieter film than its predecessor, this version went on to gross $134.5 million, falling short of its budget.
When Joss Whedon was bringing “The Avengers” together for the film that has now grossed $373.2 million domestically, and nearly $1 billion worldwide, it was decided to recast Bruce Banner again when Marvel couldn’t strike a deal with Norton, casting Mark Ruffalo in the role instead.
The original television series premiered in 1978, and took a different route from other comic book heroes because it captured a darker tone. It ran until 1982 and starred Bill Bixby as Bruce Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, in a wig and green makeup.
It was nominated for three Emmys, winning one in 1979 for Mariette Hartley, who won for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role for the episode “Married.” The other two Emmy nominations were technical in 1980 and 1982 for cinematography and music composition.