“It was too much of a monster”: 1 Hulk Actor From the Past Came to Rescue Mark Ruffalo’s Marvel Hero During Making of The Avengers

Yes, the original Hulk from the 1977 CBS TV show, made a cameo in ‘The Avengers’ by offering up those roaring effects!

mark ruffalo hulk

When Marvel released The Avengers in 2012, it was viewed as a risky gamble. Although it is now relatively simple for the MCU to release a big movie starring a large cast of A-list actors, the studio set a new precedent with The Avengers. While the MCU has done well at replicating that success, no other studio seems to have come close.

Even with the film’s phenomenal success and intriguing financial flow, it is still surprising that most people are ignorant of certain facts about it. Did you know that Lou Ferrigno—the original Hulk (CBS’ The Incredible Hulk)—shadowed Mark Ruffalo in a crucial but unseen role in Joss Whedon’s 2012 flick?

Marvel Studios’ 2012 release of The Avengers set a new precedent for big-budget movies with a large cast of A-list actors.

Mark Ruffalo as Hulk in The Avengers (2012)

Ferrigno brought his unique perspective to the character, teaming up with acclaimed sound editor Christopher Boyes.

Lou Ferrigno Made an Epic Comeback as Hulk’s Voice in The Avengers

Sure, Hulk is one of the most iconic and beloved characters, and there’s no doubt about it. And while Mark Ruffalo was the face of this huge green character in The Avengers, he received some unexpected help from the original Hulk, Lou Ferrigno.

For those who grew up watching CBS’s The Incredible Hulk from 1977 to 1982, Ferrigno’s appearance as the green-skinned behemoth is etched into their memories. The actor, now 72, brought physicality and emotion to the character that appealed to viewers, despite the limitations of special effects at the time.

Lou Ferrigno shadowed Mark Ruffalo in Joss Whedon’s film, by providing his roaring voice to Hulk

Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers (2012)

Fast forward to the 2008 MCU film, The Incredible Hulk, where Ferrigno gave a vocal performance as Hulk and made a brief cameo as a security guard. But it was in The Avengers that his contribution truly shined—or, should we say, roared?

Sound editor Christopher Boyes turned to Ferrigno to give the Hulk his iconic roar in The Avengers. The former once explained the creation of the roar (via Ranker): “Initially, for Hulk, I started using all sorts of animal vocals and tried to create this larger-than-life, territorial rage… And so the feedback coming back from Joss [Whedon] was that it was too much of a monster, too much of a creature. He really wanted to lead with the notion that this is a superhuman, but human in rage… [The final sound] turned out to be [a combination of] Mark Ruffalo, some Lou Ferrigno, and a little bit of me and two people from New Zealand. So I led with that.”

Since Ferrigno had previously voiced the Hulk in Kenneth Johnson’s 1977 series, this was surely a unique opportunity for him.

Lou Ferrigno’s Not so Sweet Perspective on the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Lou Ferrigno targeted the MCU by hitting out at their use of CGI and contemporary superheroes.

Lou Ferrigno’s Hulk The Incredible Hulk (1977)

Marvel Comics has been in the business for more than 80 years. To put it another way, it took them several decades to dabble in moving pictures. However, there was one aspect of Marvel’s filmmaking approach that Lou Ferrigno found objectionable.

Back in 2021, the former professional bodybuilder aimed at the MCU  by hitting out at the use of CGI and contemporary superheroes. Ferrigno said in his since-deleted X post (via THR): “Can’t think of another superhero that isn’t in costume or CGI. Worked damn hard on my diet and exercise for the Hulk. Wasn’t going to let anyone down. The Hulk was my hero as a kid as well.”

Ferrigno took the decision to take the MCU back to a time before an army of computer-using nerds willed the existence of the Hulk. Back then, all it took was one guy to transform his body into a mass of muscle through intense exercise. Ferrigno just wanted everyone to remember that!

From 1977 to 1982, Ferrigno portrayed Hulk in the iconic CBS series, which ran for five seasons and starred the late Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner.

The Incredible Hulk can be rented on Apple TV, while The Avengers is streaming on Max.

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