You gotta give William Hurt credit. While he’s always worked with a Samuel L. Jackson-esque frequency, he’s been able to dip into virtually every genre in both film and television, and even direct-to-DVD, without skipping a beat or leaving any sort of career-damaging stains despite having starred in a number of outright bombs/failures (e.g. Michael, Lost in Space, The Village). Most recently, he seems to have carved out a nifty niche as a go-to scenery-chewing bad guy with thespian credibility (see: A History of Violence, Mr. Brooks). To add to that lane, he just grabbed the role of Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk, which has surprised us all by besting the original in almost every casting choice.
I’ll say that Hurt taking over for Sam Elliot continues the trend, assuming the unleash Ross to be a little bit more of a straight up bad guy in this one. And even if Hurt’s allowed or even encouraged to masticate freely, I doubt Hurt he would go anywhere near the level of kookiness we got from Nick Nolte in the first film, as that’s a performance that’s nigh physically impossible to match in terms of hamminess. So why not? They’re getting so much else right on this reboot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ross bringing in the venerable Hulkbusters in this version, and once that can of comic craziness is opened, there’s no going back.