Director: Ang Lee
Writer: Stan Lee (Marvel comic book character), Jack Kirby (Marvel comic book character), James Schamus (story), John Turman (screenplay), Michael France (screenplay), James Schamus (screenplay)
Stars: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas
Runtime: 138 min
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Released: 20 Jun 2003
Synopsis: Bruce Banner, a brilliant scientist with a cloudy past about his family, is involved in an accident in his laboratory causing him to become exposed to gamma radiation and Nanomeds (A tiny life-form that is supposed to heal wounds but has killed everything with which they have made contact). Confused and curious about his survival, Banner discovers that since the accident, whenever he becomes angry he transforms into a giant green monster destroying everything in sight in an act of fury. Bruce’s mysterious past and the answer to why the radiation had this effect becomes revealed to him as his Birth Father David Banner intervenes with hopes to continue experimenting on him.
Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is a research scientist at a Berkeley, California laboratory. His work focuses on using nanomeds and gamma radiation to cure cancer and other diseases. Unfortunately, all of their experiments end in the test animals exploding. He works with Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly); they were recently romantically involved but have broken up because Bruce was too withdrawn emotionally. Although neither of them know it, their fathers worked together on an Army base in New Mexico, in the late 1960s. David Banner (Paul Kersey) was a driven research scientist intent on unlocking the secrets of regeneration of tissue so that humans could regrow lost limbs. Sgt. Ross (Todd Tesen) shut down Brian’s experiments when he learned he had been experimenting on himself. David was aware of the risks and already feared that he had passed on some genetic mutation to young Bruce. Bruce was a quiet, troubled child who was comfortable only in the presence of his mother, Edith (Cara Buono). After being fired, David sabotaged his equipment which resulted in an explosion on base. He then went home, fought with Edith and tried to kill young Bruce. Instead he accidentally killed Edith. David was arrested and incarcerated in a mental hospital. Bruce was placed with foster parents. He has repressed his memories of his parents, and because Bruce works under his foster parents’ name (Krensler), Betty’s father doesn’t recognize him. Ironically, Ross oversees the research Betty and Bruce perform.
Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas) used to work for the same lab as Betty and Bruce but has since moved on to a private corporation, Atheon. He returns to the lab, flirts with Betty and offers her and Bruce an unlimited budget if they will bring their research to his corporation. They both refuse but Bruce’s anger begins to rise anyway. Later that day, an experiment goes horribly awry. Bruce is exposed to massive doses of nanomeds and gamma radiation. Unlike the other test subjects, however, he doesn’t die. In the hospital he is visited by a strange man who had earlier begun to work at the lab as a janitor. Although Bruce doesn’t recognize him, it is his father (Nick Nolte). His father suggests that Bruce has secret reserves of power hidden within him, then disappears. After being released from the hospital, Bruce returns to work. He hears a phone message from Betty in which she discusses a meeting she had with now-General Ross (Sam Elliot) about Talbot’s offer. Bruce’s rage spirals out of control and he transforms into the Hulk, a superhumanly powerful, green-skinned creature. He destroys the lab and throws the gamma radiation generator into the parking lot. When he sees his father observing his rampage, the Hulk leaps away in confusion.