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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Hulk can be found here.
In an accident at a laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, research scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is exposed to gamma radiation and nanomeds and somehow survives but discovers that he turns into a hulking, green monster whenever he gets angry. Pursued by his father (Nick Nolte) who wants to continue experimenting on Bruce, by U.S. Army General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (Sam Elliott) who believes that Bruce is a threat to national security, and by Major Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas) who wants to profit from the Hulk's strength and regenerative ability, Bruce tries to control his anger, prevent the transformation, and simply stay alive.
The Hulk is a fictional character in Marvel Comic series, The Incredible Hulk, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. The screenplay for Hulk was written by American screenwriters James Schamus, John Turman, and Michael France.
Bruce and his lab partner (and girlfriend) Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), daughter of General Ross, were experimenting with nanomeds, tiny lifeforms that they hoped could be used to heal wounds. Unfortunately, everything (e.g., frogs) on which they've tested the nanomeds have ended up exploding. Bruce is the only one to have survived exposure.
When Bruce's father David, also a research scientist whose genetic experiments were shut down when it was learned that he was experimenting upon himself, realized that his wife was pregnant, he feared what he may have passed to his child. Banner realized that his son had to be tested, and the results showed that Bruce had the potential to not be completely human (in his eyes).
As the Hulk becomes increasingly enraged, he increases in size. Some of the special features on the original DVD and the Blu-ray/DVD explain it a bit. Ang Lee wanted to reflect that idea, that the more rage Bruce feels, the greater his power becomes.
Lying unconscious at the bottom of the lake, Hulk survives the gamma bomb, but David is destroyed. As he rises to the surface, Bruce remembers his father as the man who lovingly tucked him into bed when he was four years old, kissing him and wishing him a good sleep. One year later, Betty is working in the lab when she gets a phone call from her father. He tells her that some loonies have reporting seeing something green and asks her if, by some chance Bruce survived the explosion and she found out about him, would she tell him. "No," Betty replies, adding that she loved Bruce and that she's the last person she would want Bruce to contact. Far off in a South American rain forest, Bruce is shown working as a doctor in a medical camp. When some soldiers attempt to steal their medical supplies, Bruce confronts them with the warning in Spanish, "You're making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry!" In the final scene, as the camera pans through the trees, the Hulk's roar can be heard.
Yes, in one scene we see two security guards walking towards the camera and having a conversation. The old guy with a mustache doing most of the talking is Stan Lee, who is the Hulk's comic book creator. The other guy, the big guy, is Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the 1970s TV series. There are also multiple references to the comic books. General Ross's helicopter is named "T. Ross", referencing his comic book nickname; Hulk's first appearance is grey rather than green, referencing his first comic book incarnation; the character "Benny", who appears in the comic books, is mentioned in a conversation between Bruce and Betty; Bruce's father's name is changed to David Banner, which was Bruce's name in the TV series; and David Banner takes on several attributes of Hulk's comic-book nemeses throughout the film.
No, but it was originally going to be part of a trilogy. James Schamus revealed in 2014 the unfinished sequel took place at a Native American reserve. Since the financial failure of the first film, it has been subtly rebooted as The Incredible Hulk (2008), which picks up from an unmade alternative origin story (i.e. Bruce is already the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk) and which has launched as the second installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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