The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk
Gerald Di Pego
May 7, 1989
The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988)
The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk (directed by Bill Bixby) is a 1989 made-for-television film sequel to the 1970s Incredible Hulk television series, featuring both the Hulk and fellow Marvel Comics character Daredevil.
David Banner working up north. Discouraged and at the end of his rope, David makes his way towards a large city with the hopes of renting a room and staying buried. Unknown to him, the city he arrives in is under the control of a powerful underworld "kingpin" named Wilson Fisk. When David reluctantly attempts to save a young woman from being attacked by one of Fisk's men, he transforms into the Hulk. A short while later, David is arrested by the police and wrongfully charged with the crime.
While awaiting trial, blind defense attorney Matt Murdock is assigned to David's case. David is uncooperative but Murdock has faith that he is innocent and is determined to prove so. One night while fast asleep, David has a nightmare about his upcoming trial and dreams about transforming into the Hulk on the witness stand. The stress of this causes him to transform in reality and the Hulk subsequently breaks free of the prison.
Murdock manages to track David down in a seedy part of town. In order to win David's trust, Murdock reveals that he is the costumed vigilante known as Daredevil, and that he needs David's help to take down Wilson Fisk. David is initially suspicious of how a blind man can be a costumed crime fighter, but Murdock shows David how his other senses are heightened to compensate for his blindness. The two eventually form a mutually dependent friendship and set out to stop Fisk.
- Bill Bixby as David Banner
- Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk
- John Rhys-Davies as Wilson Fisk
- Rex Smith as Matt Murdock / Daredevil
- Marta DuBois as Ellie Mendez
- Nancy Everhard as Christa Klein
- Nicholas Hormann as Edgar
- Richard Cummings Jr. as Al Pettiman
- Joseph Mascolo as Albert G. Tendelli
- Linda Darlow as Fake Nurse
- John Novak as Denny
- Dwight Koss as John
- Meredith Bain Woodward as Farm Supervisor
- Mark Acheson as Turk
- Richard Newman as Apartment Owner
- Don MacKay as Judge
- Doug Abrahams as Prosecutor
- Mitchell Kostermann as Henchman
- Beatrice Zeilinger as Henchwoman
- Ken Camroux as 1st Crime Boss
- Charles Andre as Bailiff
- John Bear Curtis as 2nd Crime Boss
- Stan Lee as Jury Foreman (uncredited)
This is the slickest of the three post-series movies. Rex Smith does a good job as the TV version of Daredevil (and was intended to be a backdoor pilot for a possible NBC Daredevil series).
- It garnered strong ratings, despite being up against the TV premiere of the movie Witness and the big-budget Winds of War mini-series
- Incredible Hulk creator Stan Lee's uncredited cameo here was his first of his 37 cameos in Marvel Universe movies
- Matt Murdock's colleague (played by an uncredited actor) who shares an office with him is seen but never referred to by name (which would be Foggy Nelson from the comics)
- Wilson Fisk is never referred to by his famous comic book moniker of "The Kingpin"
This movie was paired with The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988) in Image Entertainment's 2011 DVD double feature.