In the TV and movie versions, why can't the Incredible Hulk talk?

In the Marvel Comics universe, the Incredible Hulk is stupid, but not mindless. He is at least capable of speaking English (in short, simple, ungrammatical sentences). But in the 1970s TV series and the 2003 film, the Hulk is a speechless, roaring berserker with no more mind than a rabid dog. Why did they make that change? Any theories?

I don’t know about the movie, but in the series, it might have had something to do with Lou Ferrigno being hearing-impaired. He can speak quite well, but his pronunciation is noticeably a bit “off”.

More dramatic.

Actually, in some versions (notably Peter David’s), the Hulk had Bruce Banner’s intelligence and could speak perfectly well.

Is it? Moron Hulk has a lot more potential for character development than Animal Hulk.

I think there’s a problem with how the Hulk is going to…sound.

His voice isn’t a problem in the comics. But in a movie, if he talks like a baby he’s not gonna sound right. “Hulk smash Rock-Man! Why won’t Rock-Man leave Hulk alone? Hulk is strongest one there is!” looks OK in a comic book…but where are you going to find a voice actor who can sell that dialog believably?

And in movies you can show Hulk’s emotions and thoughts by showing his facial expression. Better to just have Hulk growl and start smashing than to have him yell “Hulk smash!”

True, but in the movie, there’s no time for it in a 2-hour movie. It was simpler just to portray the Hulk as an elemental force of raging fury, with the occasional quiet moment so as to avoid turning the girlfriend into goo.

I just don’t think any actor could pull off Hulk’s comic book lines without sending an audience into unintended convulsions of laughter.


He’s sounded perfectly fine in the documentaries I’ve seen him in, as well as in King of Queens.

The Hulk has talked in various animated shows, though, and he gets one (albeit dream-sequence) line (“Puny Human!”) in the Bana movie.

Well, he did speak, once, sorta kinda, in the Ang Lee movie. In Bruce’s head. Remember? “Puny human.”

But if Hulk had been talking through the rest of the movie in that voice, it would have seemed, to me at least, pretty ridiculous.

Note that Ferrigno provided the voice of the Hulk in one of the animated Hulk series (as well as uncredited voice cameos in two other Marvel animated series).

An episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron had Jimmy and the gang exposed to some agent that gave them all super powers. Jimmy’s super power was that he turned into the Hulk (well, essentially, except he was orange). He was big, he was dumb, and he talked like Jimmy Neutron reading Hulk’s lines from the comic books.

Would have been great had that voice been used in the movie.

Where indeed? :slight_smile:

Funny you should bring that up because SNL also did a “Superman’s Funeral” sketch:

Hulk [Chris Farley]: I… I wish I… Hulk not good with words. Hulk write it down. [takes out sheet of paper, puts on reading glasses] “Superman was that rarest of things. Every superhero owes him a debt of gratitude and homage. His life was a super-human expression of the noblest asperations of man. And, in death, he has become the ideal. Of my friend Superman, I can only say this: he was… my… hero!” [removes glasses, near tears] I… Hulk… just… Hulk… Hulk just not the same! [smashes podium to bits] Enough said.

Vin Diesel, circa Iron Giant?

[del]Mongo[/del] Hulk only pawn in game of life.