The Incredible Hulk was released in 2008 – shortly after Iron Man – making it the second movie to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and therefore the second movie in my Marvel Movie Marathon. To be honest, it’s probably the Marvel film I’m least familiar with, having only seen it a couple of times in the past 10 years, but that just meant I was even more excited to watch it.
The film stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner / Hulk – who played the character before Mark Ruffalo took over from The Avengers movie, onwards. It also stars Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, and Tim Roth as Royal Marine Commando, Emil Blonsky.
The movie is set in three different locations; Rio de Janeiro, Virginia and New York, but filming never actually took place in North America. Instead, the movie was almost entirely shot in Canada, with a few of the more exotic scenes taking place in Brazil.
If you fancy re-living The Incredible Hulk and standing in Banner’s footprints, then make sure to check out the locations below and plan your visit. Have you seen the Incredible Hulk before? What did you think of the movie?
Rocinha Favela, Brazil
Unlike Iron man, The Incredible Hulk isn’t an origin story, so after a small recap about how Bruce Banner became the Hulk, we’re transported ‘5 years later’ to the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where Banner is hiding out. The impressive opening shot is of a real life Favela – Rocinha – the largest favela in Brazil. Even though this is where Bruce Banner lives in the movie, Rocinha was only used for aerial footage. All of the action was actually shot at a different favela..
Taveres Bastos, Brazil
Rocinha Favela, Brazil
Taveres Bastos is the second Favela to appear in the movie. It’s much smaller and safer than Rocinha, which is why it was used to portray the favela in most of the action shots. I’m not sure on the exact location of Banner’s home because the huts are all very similar, but you can pinpoint a few different scene locations. The football pitch that Banner is chased across, for example, is the Quadra de Esportes da Tavares Bastos, and the street that Thaddeus Ross drives his van down in pursuit of Bruce is the Rua Tavares Bastos.
Escadaria Selaron, Brazil
Rocinha Steps, Brazil
These world famous Brazilian stairs – Escadaria Selaron – also appear in the movie. You can spot the 215 steps as Bruce Banner heads down them on his way to a Yoga session that he’s taking to try and keep the Hulk at bay. The Selaron Steps, as they are also known, can be found in central Rio, close to the Taveres Bastos favela, and are brightly coloured so you can’t miss them.
Fabrica Bhering, Brazil
Pingo Doce Bottling Plant
Another Incredible Hulk location filmed in Rio is the Brazilian bottling plant where Banner works as a handyman. It’s here that some of his blood falls into a bottle and gets sent out to a customer (cue Stan Lee cameo). The exterior of the factory is the Fabrica Bhering, which was once the largest in the country – it’s now home to around 80 art studios. The bottling plant’s interior was filmed at a factory in Ontario, Canada, but that building has since been demolished.
Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Canada
Fort Johnson, Everglades
Once Thaddeus Ross manages to track the source of the gamma filled bottle to a factory in Brazil, he sends for British Royal Marine Emil Blonsky, to help capture Bruce Banner. The airport Blonsky arrives at is the Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Canada, about 100 miles from Toronto, where the majority of the rest of the movie is filmed.
Cascatinha Taunay, Brazil
The final scene shot in Brazil is the jungle that Banner wakes up in after escaping from Blonsky as the Hulk. Half naked, he finds himself in Guatemala next to a rather impressive waterfall, only it isn’t actually Guatemala. This waterfall is called the Cascatiha Taunay, and can be found in the Tijuca National Park, Brazil. To find the exact spot, you’ll have to go off the beaten path, but it’s worth it.
Bangkok Spoon Deluxe, Canada
Stanley’s Pizza, Virginia
Having left Brazil behind him, Banner heads home to Virginia to try and hunt down all the data from his Hulk experiment – but first he needs to find a way to break into the University. Stanley’s Pizza, where Banner dresses up as a pizza delivery guy to sneak into the building, is a real restaurant but it isn’t actually a pizza place – it’s called Bangkok Spoon Deluxe, and it can be found just outside of Hamilton.
University of Toronto, Canada
Culver University, Virginia
The fictitious Culver University in Virginia, where Bruce Banner once worked alongside Betty Ross, is filmed entirely on the University of Toronto campus. Knox College portrays the building that Banner blags his way into by giving a pizza to Lou Ferrigno, and the Department of Molecular Genetics is used for the Biological Science Building where Betty now works. A little later in the movie, the Front Campus also features in the film when the Hulk takes on the military. A glass walkway was added onto a nearby college just for the movie.
Morningside Park, Canada
Culver University Campus, Virginia
The University Campus was a little too small to film the entire battle though, so the latter half of it was shot about 10 miles away at Morningside Park. Here the crew had more space to toss around vehicles and use special effects to blow up tanks. It’s also here that the Hulk takes Betty after she is knocked out during the fight scene.
Lake Shore Boulevard East, Canada
New York Road Block
Once the Hulk has turned back into Banner, he and Betty escape to New York to find Mr Blue – aka, Professor Sterns. They come across a police road block on route, which is actually shot on Lake Shore Boulevard East, just under the Gardiner Expressway. Yes, this is still in Canada.
Cherry Street Bridge, Canada
The duo abandon their car and head across a bridge in search of an alternative way to get to Manhattan. The bridge is Toronto’s Cherry Street Bridge, and it’s actually the second time it appears in this movie – the first time is when Betty recognises Bruce after not seeing him for years, and follows him in the rain until they eventually embrace.
Melinda Street, Canada
Finally in Brooklyn, Betty and Bruce hail a taxi by the metro station, which is actually on the corner of Yonge Street and Melinda Street in Toronto. The cab driver speeds off and drops them off around the corner to Betty yelling at him for driving like a maniac. It’s on Melinda street that Bruce offers up some anger management advice that isn’t very welcome.
University of Toronto Bookstore, Canada
Next it’s back to the University of Toronto, only this time the campus is filling in for Grayburn College in Harlem. The Koffler Student Services Centre was used to shoot the interior scenes of Professor Stern’s office, while the University bookstore is the entrance to Stern’s lab, which Blonsky and his military team storm while trying to locate Banner.
Yonge Street, Canada
A massive battle ensues between Abomination and the Hulk outside of Stern’s Lab. This Harlem fight scene was filmed on Yonge Street in Toronto. You can spot Mr Hi-Fi as the troops drive down towards Abomination, and the Apollo Theatre – which is actually 363 Yonge Street with a facelift.
Bella Coola Valley
We end the movie in Bella Coola Valley where Banner is hiding out after his battle with Abomination. The scene was actually filmed there, so the peaceful countryside you’re seeing is the real Bella Coola Valley in British Columbia.
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