Inside Move: U adds confusion to ‘Hulk’ title

Marketing slams grammar with on-and-off article

When is “The Hulk” just a “Hulk”?

As the introspective green giant charges into theaters this week, confusion has swept through the crowd of people who pay super-close attention to movie titles (for the most part, people who write about movies) as to whether Ang Lee‘s comicbook adaptation has a definite article in its title.

The pic’s marketing materials from Universal don’t do much to clarify the matter. In the list of credits, “Hulk” appears always sans the. But in the production notes, nine pages later, we’re told, “And now, this summer, ‘The Hulk’ arrives.”

So what gives?

U marketing prexy Adam Fogelson says the movie is officially titled “The Hulk.” “But,” he adds, “the graphic treatment is simply ‘Hulk.’ ”

That means movie posters, trailers, title screens, videogame boxes, etc. are all labeled “Hulk.”

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But whenever the title is written about, or spoken by the trailer narrator, it’s strictly “The Hulk,” in accordance with normal speech. (Although, “Have you seen ‘Hulk” yet? I liked ‘Hulk’ very much,” has a certain Hulk-like sound to it.)

Fogelson says the decision was about choosing a good logo.

“The power, simplicity and elegance conveyed in the word ‘Hulk’ was a confident, smart, cool way to convey the power of the movie,” Fogelson says. “The felt like an unnecessary appendage.”