Hulk (2003) is not on Disney+ and had a mixed reception, but it offers a unique character study and is worth watching for fans of the character. It’s now available on Netflix. Hulk set the tone for Stan Lee’s speaking cameos in Marvel projects, being the first time he had lines in a Marvel movie. Lee went on to have speaking cameos in future Marvel movies until his final appearance in Avengers: Endgame. Despite its flaws, Hulk is an important part of Marvel movie history, as it experimented with serious storytelling for fantastical characters. It paved the way for the development of the MCU’s Bruce Banner and Hulk.

Bruce Banner is one of the most prolific heroes in the MCU, but a pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Hulk (2003), is now available to stream on Netflix and was the first to pull off a now-classic Marvel feat. Unlike most Marvel characters, the film rights for whom are either clearly owned by Disney or Sony, Bruce Banner and the Hulk’s movie rights sit in a strange in-between limbo – and it’s not exactly clear what his current ownership status is. Ang Lee’s Hulk, starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, may have been unevenly received, but it’s still an interesting look into modern pre-MCU Marvel movies that’s worth a watch for fans of the character.

Hulk (2003) is not on Disney+ as it was not made by Disney or Marvel Studios. Hulk failed to garner an immediate following like several other superhero movies of its time. In large part, this uneven reception is likely because Hulk isn’t terribly interested in being a traditional superhero movie. Though Hulk does, indeed, create plenty of destruction, the movie overall is much less action-filled than many were likely expecting. Instead, Hulk is, first and foremost, a character study about a man’s tumultuous relationship with his father and the monster within that it creates. Viewers can now check it out for themselves on Netflix.

In addition to being an interesting project in its own right, Hulk is also noteworthy in that it set the tone for future Stan Lee cameos in Marvel projects. Before Hulk, Lee had cameos in several other projects, including The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Mallrats (1995), and The Ambulance (1990). Some of these roles were Marvel projects, and some had spoken lines, but Hulk was the first time Lee had spoken lines in a Marvel project. Of course, Stan Lee famously went on to have speaking cameos in Marvel movies after that, with his final appearance occurring in Avengers: Endgame.

Related: Marvel: Every Live-Action Version of The Hulk, Ranked

Though it undoubtedly has some problems with pacing and a few of its action scenes, Hulk is still an important part of Marvel movie history. Though its slower approach to storytelling wasn’t to everyone’s tastes, experimenting with serious stories for more fantastical characters was an important step toward treating comic book characters as more than two-dimensional plot devices on-screen. The MCU’s Bruce Banner and Hulk wouldn’t have ended up as they did without Lee’s version, and Hulk pairs nicely with The Incredible Hulk in lieu of any more modern MCU movies about the character.

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 An important Hulk movie is now on Netflix.  Read More