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WIZARD INSIDER: THE ABOMINATION
There’s double the gamma-fueled trouble this time around as the Abomination appears in the ‘Incredible Hulk’ movie
By Wade Gum
Posted December 5, 2007 11:50 AM
When “The Incredible Hulk” hits theaters June 13, 2008, the Hulk won’t be the only giant wreaking havoc on the big screen. In addition to avoiding the U.S. military and General Thunderbolt Ross, the Hulk will have to deal with a mighty villain who can match his immense size and strength: the Abomination. Since his first appearances in the ‘60s, the Abomination has been a constant thorn in the Hulk’s side and engaged in plenty of destructive brawls with him. Before these two behemoths battle it out, get a primer on the Hulk’s big green bad guy and what he’s capable of doing.
ORANGE MEETS GREEN
The actor responsible for bringing the Abomination to life is English actor Tim Roth, familiar to most movie fans as Mr. Orange from “Reservoir Dogs” and Pumpkin the robber from “Pulp Fiction.” Even though he’s primarily known for his work with Quentin Tarantino, Roth’s an experienced villain, playing the antagonist in“Rob Roy,” “Planet of the Apes” and “The Musketeer.” After squaring off against Liam Neeson and Mark Wahlberg, Roth should have no problem holding his own against Edward Norton, the actor portraying Bruce Banner/the Hulk. “Marvel has done an incredible job of casting their first two movies so far and I hope fans see that, too,” said screenwriter Zak Penn, talking about “Hulk” and “Iron Man,” the first two movies Marvel is developing in-house.
As opposed to the completely computer-generated Hulk from Ang Lee’s film, director Louis Leterrier has decided to take a triple-headed approach to the special effects. A combination of makeup, animatronics and CGI will be used to depict the Hulk and the Abomination. “When you see the Abomination,” said producer Avi Arad, “you’ll see something really special. He’s capable of amazing feats.” Fortunately, Roth is no stranger to dealing with special effects. He was buried under pounds of makeup to transform him into the simian General Thade in “Planet of the Apes.” There has been speculation that Norton will participate in motion capturing for the Hulk. If that’s the case, Roth could also be doing some motion capture to make the Abomination’s moves his own.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
In addition to retelling the Hulk’s origin, the film will also demonstrate how the Abomination came into being. Given the nature of the Hulk’s powers, it’s only natural that someone would attempt to re-create the accident that gave Bruce Banner his abilities. Enter Emil Blonsky, a mercenary desperate for power. Envious of the Hulk’s strength, Blonsky allows himself to be exposed to more gamma radiation than Banner, transforming himself into a gigantic green beast with immense strength.
One aspect of the comic origin that might not make the film is the name of Blonsky’s villainous alter ego. “The villain is going to be the Abomination, who will not be called the Abomination out loud because it’s a silly, silly name,” Leterrier stated. “It’s so hard to work in. ‘Hey, what should we call that guy?’ ‘He’s an abomination!’”
It’s rumored that the film will follow the Hulk origin story set forth in The Ultimates, in which Bruce Banner injects himself with a super soldier serum and unwittingly gains the ability to transform into a monster. If the comic series is any indication, the U.S. military will be eager to use Banner’s powers for their own gain, possibly using the serum on new recruits like Blonsky.
The Abomination can’t match the Hulk’s strength, so those close to Banner like Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) may become targets of his rage. Additionally, the Abomination might not be the only villain fighting Banner in the film. Tim Blake Nelson plays Samuel Sterns, known to comic fans as the super-intelligent Leader. If he makes an appearance in the movie, the combined smarts of the Abomination and the Leader may be too much for the Hulk to handle.
THE TALE OF THE TAPE
The Hulk may be the strongest there is, but the Abomination comes in a close second. They are equally strong when in a normal state but the Abomination cannot increase his strength when his anger increases like the Hulk can. He also cannot transform back into his human state. Once Roth becomes the Abomination, that’s the last you’ll see of him in the film. The Abomination is also at a disadvantage because he isn’t as familiar with his powers as the Hulk is with his. “When this guy transforms, he’s not used to having these properties,” said Leterrier. “Like he’s much heavier, and we talked about how when he walks down the sidewalk, his weight destroys the sidewalk and he’s tripping.” The only area in which the Abomination has a leg up on the Hulk is in the area of smarts. Whereas the Hulk retains none of Banner’s genius intellect, the Abomination’s mind is exactly the same as Blonsky’s.