Lou Ferrigno, star of the original The Incredible Hulk TV show, has blamed Mark Ruffalo and Disney for a “disappointing” iteration of the character in Avengers: Endgame. Recently, the green beast has been a source of much debate in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; following a scaredy-cat outing in Infinity War, a quick time jump during the three-hour galactic epic revealed that Bruce Banner had managed to merge his brain with the Hulk’s brawn – the result being the hybrid creature we now know as “Smart Hulk.”
While a lot of fans were happy to have the Hulk back – especially a version who was in the comics but who had never before appeared in the movies – Ferrigno argues that this merger meant Endgame lost the “beauty” of both the 1978 series and the character itself.
Here’s exactly how he put it:
“What’s happening is that the first two Hulk movies, the CGI was improving, but the last one, Endgame, I was disappointed. Because the Hulk needs to be hideous, he needs to be a creature,” Ferrigno said at Canada’s Hamilton Comic Con. “You see in Endgame, Mark Ruffalo — I think it has a lot to do with him and Disney — I didn’t like the way it portrayed [Hulk]. It took away that beauty, that quality of the Hulk. That’s why a lot of people liked the series.”
Ferrigno then contributed to a particularly fiery debate, siding alongside Martin Scorsese’s train of thought in saying that “too much” of Endgame was “extreme with the spaceships, the shooting, the outer space.”
“We need good stories. Good elements, good messages about life,” Ferrigno continued. “Because when you see the series, even like The Twilight Zone, the original Twilight Zone, you learn something from every episode. The CGI, I mean, it’s all different. People like it that way because it’s bigger entertainment on the screen.”
Conversely, the now 68-year-old actor donned green paint when playing the Hulk during the series’ 80 episodes. But it’s not as if Ferrigno has always disliked the MCU’s decisions when it comes to his trademark character. In fact, he voiced the CGI hero in the Edward Norton-led film, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers (Ruffalo’s first appearance), as well as the latter’s sequel, Age of Ultron. But ever since 2015, Ruffalo has taken on every aspect of the Hulk performance.
Despite Ferrigno’s complaints, it’s not as if Avengers: Endgame didn’t sit well with nearly everybody else. Ending its historic box office run with $2.79 billion worldwide, the Russo Brothers’ epic clash has turned out to be one of modern film’s most important events.