Ex-Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno Dings CGI-Heavy Marvel Projects for Missing 'Raw Human Performance'

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Lou Ferrigno
Lou Ferrigno

JC Olivera/FilmMagic

Lou Ferrigno had a few words about the negative impact visual effects can have on the performances in today's film and TV projects.

The retired bodybuilder and former Incredible Hulk star weighed in on the latest projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Wednesday, noting that CGI-heavy entertainment loses some of its actors' "raw human performance qualities."

"Though I appreciate the amazing visual work these artists are producing, it's missing the raw human performance qualities that I believe only an actor can play," Ferrigno, 70, told The Washington Times. "Especially when it comes to the Hulk."

Ferrigno portrayed the title character CBS's live-action The Incredible Hulk from 1977 to 1982 and the 1990 TV movie The Death of the Incredible Hulk, and he also voiced the character in a '90s animated series. More recently, Mark Ruffalo took on the role of Bruce Banner starting with 2012's The Avengers.

Unlike, Ruffalo's portrayal, though, Ferrigno's turn as the Hulk predated the common use of CGI. In fact, he told USA Today in 2008 that it took three hours for makeup teams to transform him into the Hulk for the series.

Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Eric Kramer
Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Eric Kramer

Nick Ut/AP

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Of course, Ferrigno is not the first showbiz figure to criticize Marvel Studios' use of CGI or the proliferatiopn of comic book movies in recent years.

In 2019, director Martin Scorcese said he does not view superhero movies as cinema, telling Empire via The Guardian that he thinks of those movies as "theme parks."

"It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being," said Scorsese, 79.

Image
Image

Bernard RICHEBE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

A month later, Scorsese wrote an op-ed for The New York Times elaborating on his statements.

"Some people seem to have seized on the last part of my answer as insulting, or as evidence of hatred for Marvel on my part. If anyone is intent on characterizing my words in that light, there's nothing I can do to stand in the way," he wrote. "Many franchise films are made by people of considerable talent and artistry. You can see it on the screen. The fact that the films themselves don't interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament."

RELATED: Ridley Scott, Jane Campion and More Directors Who've Slammed Superhero Movies

Nevertheless, Scorcese's comments vibrated through the industry enough that those who work with Marvel Studios still comment on them more than two years later.

In December 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland told The Hollywood Reporter that he feels superhero movies and Oscar-nominated "are all the same, just done on a different scale."

"You can ask Scorsese, 'Would you want to make a Marvel movie?' but he doesn't know what it's like because he's never made one," Holland, 25, said at the time.

Bruce Banner Hulk Avengers Endgame
Bruce Banner Hulk Avengers Endgame

Marvel Studios

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According to Yahoo!, Marvel Studios recently updated the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law after some fans complained about the CGI for the series' central character, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany). She-Hulk, which premieres on Aug. 17, also stars Ruffalo as Bruce Banner.