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. It garnered strong ratings, despite being up against the television premiere of the movie Witness and the big-budget "Winds Of War" mini-series.
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 ... David Banner
- Lou Ferrigno ... The Hulk
- John Rhys-Davies ... Wilson Fisk
- Rex Smith ... Matt Murdock / Daredevil
- Marta DuBois ... Ellie Mendez
- Nancy Everhard ... Christa Klein
- Nicholas Hormann ... Edgar
- Richard Cummings Jr. ... Al Pettiman
- Joseph Mascolo ... Albert G. Tendelli
- Linda Darlow ... Fake Nurse
- John Novak ... Denny
- Dwight Koss ... John
- Meredith Bain Woodward ... Farm Supervisor
- Mark Acheson ... Turk
- Richard Newman ... Apartment Owner
- Don MacKay ... Judge
- Doug Abrahams ... Prosecutor
- Mitchell Kostermann ... Henchman
- Beatrice Zeilinger ... Henchwoman
- Ken Camroux ... 1st Crime Boss
- Charles Andre ... Bailiff
- John Bear Curtis ... 2nd Crime Boss
- Stan Lee ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
- Michael O' Hare ... Thug on Subway Train (uncredited)
This is the slickest of the three post-series movies. Rex Smith does a good job as the TV version of Daredevil.
- Incredible Hulk creator Stan Lee appears as one of the jurors. This marks his first live-action cameo appearance in a media adaptation of a Marvel comic. He continues this tradition today, appearing in Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptions of works in which he was involved in creating or co-creating.
- 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.