Lou Ferrigno can't take Mark Ruffalo "seriously" as the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ferrigno originally played the raging character on the landmark 1978 TV series The Incredible Hulk, while actor Bill Bixby portrayed Doctor David Bruce Banner. MCU fans love Mark Ruffalo in the MCU and have enjoyed seeing his progression over the course of the last handful of movies. Avengers: Endgame gave us the Professor Hulk, or "Smart Hulk," on the big screen for the first time, further stretching what the character was capable of.
However, Lou Ferrigno isn't having it. He's not into the way the MCU has treated the character he and Bill Bixby helped make a household name over 40 years ago. The Hulk has had many twists and turns in the comic books, which have been shown on the big screen in various forms, but Ferrigno isn't into it. He had this to say at Montreal Comic-Con.
"Mark is a wonderful actor. But we've had three different actors – we've had Eric Bana, Edward Norton, and Mark Ruffalo. I like Bill Bixby the best, I like Edward Norton. But Ruffalo – I think he's a wonderful actor, he blends in with the Marvel aspect of the Avengers – but I can't take him seriously enough."
Lou Ferrigno's opinion might prove to be pretty unpopular amongst MCU fans, while some may tend to agree. There has been a lot of talk about Marvel Studios losing some edge when Disney came on board from a certain group of fans and they will probably like what Ferrigno has to say. As to why he thinks the Hulk lost his edge in the MCU, Ferrigno says it might have to do with Disney. He explains.
"Bill (Bixby) has that intensity, and you knew that when he was in danger, you could feel that intensity. But because of Marvel and Disney, they've taken a different direction. You can't take it as seriously as the original series."
While Lou Ferrigno is stating his opinion, it may come off as sour grapes to MCU fans. The Incredible Hulk wasn't exactly the best show on TV, but it worked with what it had and was a major success, especially in Europe. However, it can't compete with what Marvel Studios has built over the last decade. The intensity is "why people just loved it so much," according to Ferrigno. When it comes down to it, Ferrigno believes the original TV series was better because of that intensity of his Hulk and Bill Bixby's David Bruce Banner. Ferrigno had this to say.
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"I've got so many fans come up to me, they tell me when they were young, they were fighting to watch it. They'd get behind the couch, but when they see me as the Hulk – they want to see the Hulk because of that attraction, because it's a build-up, the adrenaline, that's what makes the show."
The Incredible Hulk originally aired from 1978 to 1982 and was made up of 80 episodes. While it was a success in North America, it was a massive hit overseas. Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby were going to get into the Professor Hulk aspect of the character in a movie of the week, but Bixby sadly passed away and the TV movie never came to be. Comic Book was the first to report Lou Ferrigno's thoughts on Mark Ruffalo's Hulk.
Kevin BurwickWriter for Movieweb since 2017. Enjoys playing Catan when not writing about superheroes and Star Wars.