It's official: there's no director's cut of The Incredible Hulk coming to DVD, at least not any time soon. Even though star and scriptwriter Ed Norton complained bitterly about all the vital material that was cut from the film, we're not getting to see the version he wanted us to watch. (Instead, there'll be 14 minutes of deleted scenes on the regular DVD, half an hour on the special edition, and 43 minutes on the Blu-Ray.) But just what was in Norton's Hulk-sized version that didn't make it into the theatrical release? We read Norton's script and found out.
Note: So we're assuming the TIH script we got hold of is genuine. (Thanks to io9 reader The Ugly aka HowlingMan for passing it along!) It certainly seems pretentious enough, starting with a Joseph Campbell quote and including references to great literature. After reading the whole thing, here's the bottom line: the second Hulk movie should have been a good 10 minutes longer, including a few crucial scenes that beef up some of the Hulk's character and flesh out his backstory. But the vast majority of the scenes were cut for very good reason, if this 2007 draft is at all close to the shooting script.
Here's our rundown of the deleted scenes from the script, including whether you can glimpse them in the movie's trailer:
1) The famous Arctic scene.
A helicopter drops Bruce Banner off in the tundra, and he shambles off alone. He drops his backpack, stopping only to retrieve an object and jam it into his waistband, then trudges off under the Aurora Borealis. He has a brief, almost indistinguishable flashback of a woman's body on the ground, and flames. The object he grabbed turns out to be a gun, and he tries to shoot himself, but turns into the Hulk instead. He catches the bullet in his palm, flattened. Then he jumps into the Arctic sea and we see a monstrous green form underwater.
Featured in the trailer? Yes. Briefly.
2) Bruce meets Samson.
After Betty spots Bruce at the pizza place where he's hiding out, she confronts him, and introduces him to her new boyfriend, Samson Adams. It's awkward. Bruce promises to meet them back at Betty's house, but then splits. That leads to the scene where Betty drives after him in the rain.
Featured in the trailer? No.
3) Samson jokes about being a shrink.
This scene is a bit painful, to be honest. Bruce, Betty and Samson have dinner together (Samson cooks) and they talk about Samson's worst psychiatric patient:
...and I said "Miss So-and-so, I've been analyzing your ‘condition' for nearly three months and I think I can say conclusively that your issues are more Caffeinated-UnCaffeinated than Manic-Depressive... They all laugh, even Banner chuckles.
...You're not so much Multiple Personality as Spoiled Brat...
Your problem isn't ADD so much as laziness.
It makes you sound cruel. But Samson takes a few of these to pay for all the
free work he does.
Pro-whiners to pay for the pro-bono...
And then Bruce suddenly starts crying. No, really. Bad shrink banter makes Brucey cry. Actually, it's because "It's been a long time since I felt... light... about anything." Awww.
Featured in the trailer? No, thank goodness.
4) Samson discusses Raymond Carver.
After Betty goes to bed, Bruce and Samson have a man-to-man talk, and Samson brings up a Raymond Carver short story he read once, which has important literary lessons that Samson's not quite clear on. And then Samson delivers a giant speech:
I'll confess something to you if you'll clear up some things for me...First, I confess, as a man...as Betty's lover... that I have always hoped you were dead. Not because I didn't like you but because I love Betty and I've known that unless you were really gone, or she believed you were, that there would always be three of us in this relationship. I've dreaded the thought of you walking through the door. But now that you're here... I have to admit that I'm very happy about it. Because I'm also a psychiatrist. And I'm very committed to putting light into dark corners, so to speak, and I'm very good at finding my way into the places people hide their secrets. I do it primarily because I think it helps them but also frankly because I'm interested in what
people have to hide. Betty has a very dark corner that I have never found my way into, despite considerable, careful effort. And the only thing I know about her dark place is that you are in it. And I'm wondering if you'll be honest enough to tell me: why are you something that she won't talk about?
And then Bruce says this thing about how there are "aspects of my personality that I can't control." And he says he'd rather die than hurt Betty again.
Featured in the trailer? Yes.
5) Betty and Bruce discuss scientific ethics.
It's pretty brief, but Betty and Bruce have a whole discussion about what they thought they were doing when they created the Hulk, which I don't remember from the theatrical release. Bruce says General Ross may be the only one who was honest about what they were really doing. And humans evolved over millions of years, and maybe it was a mistake to try and tinker with human biology overnight.
Featured in the trailer? No. And at this point, it's probably been an hour since we last saw the Hulk.
6) If I could Hulk with the animals...
In Sam Sterns' lab, after they do the treatment that is supposed to cure Bruce of being the Hulk, Sterns reveals he's been doing experiments with Bruce's blood sample. But instead of just seeing vials of blood like in the theatrical release (as far as I remember), we actually see tons of rhesus monkeys and rats, including "Hulked-out versions." I'm pretty sure we didn't see this in the final movie, probably because nobody wanted to remind viewers of the Hulk-poodles from the first movie.
Featured in the trailer? No.
7) Bruce takes charge.
There's a lot more of Bruce in the helicopter, when he's a prisoner of the army and the Abomination is starting to trash New York. Bruce pushes his way to the front to look at the monitors, and a soldier tries to stop him. Bruce dares the soldier to try and shoot him. And then Ross and Bruce argue over what to do about the Abomination. Bruce says the only way to stop the Abomination is to unleash the Hulk. And Bruce explains why he thinks being tossed out of a helicopter will jumpstart his transformation: he tried to kill himself before (in the Arctic) and the Hulk wouldn't let him. Ross, Bruce and Betty argue:
Forget it. If I put you down there, you won't fight, you'll run.
We made that thing, you and I!! We've got to try something! I think you were right, it's still me. I heard you on the table calling to me and I held on...
You think you can control it?
No but maybe I can aim it.
What if you just double my problem?
Have you got a better idea?
Featured in the trailer? Yes.
8) Harlem comic relief:
After Bruce gets dropped into Harlem and becomes the Hulk, a "Harlem loudmouth" sees the Abomination and reacts:
...tired of this shit! Show me some motherfuckin' fifteen foot monster buggin' out in the WHITE man's neighborhood, somebody'd be...
He turns and sees HULK...stops cold...Looks back at Abomination...
Oh, I see...it's a family thing. I'm gonna let you all work this out.
Featured in the trailer? What do you think?
10) Betty dumps Samson:
After the giant rumble, Betty figures out that her boyfriend Samson is the one who let the Army know that Brucey was crashing at their house on campus, and she kicks his ass to the curb. He says he was frightened and he made a mistake, and she says she's not coming home. For a while, anyway.
Featured in the trailer? No.
Other differences: Instead of Stan Lee drinking the Gamma-laced guarana drink, it's a young mom. Instead, Stan Lee is an old fisherman who takes Bruce and Betty into New York on his boat.
We see more of the tough Major Cabot, a woman soldier who got a purple heart in Iraq, on the team that tries to capture Banner in Brazil. (She gets a great line later, when they confront the Hulk on campus: "They should not put this in the recruitment video.") Cabot also lets Ross and the others know that the Abomination is Blonsky, something they never seem to find out in the movie.
And we learn a bit more about General Ross' backstory: he had an accident in a "black box" R&D that injured his arm, and now he's stuck running a desk. Ross is way more of a bastard in some of the cut lines, including one after the soldiers have captured Bruce, and he says keeping his daughter close to Bruce is the best insurance against Bruce Hulking out, since Bruce knows he'd hurt Betty if he did. Also, there are hints that Ross proposed an unethical cover-up to Bruce after his first Hulk-out injured Betty. [Thanks To The Ugly]