Bad buzz. Creative infighting. Superhero gridlock at the multiplex. For Marvel Studios, handling gamma rays is starting to look like a cakewalk compared to turning “The Incredible Hulk” into a movie franchise.

The unjolly green giant, born from a botched gamma bomb experiment in a 1962 comic book, belongs to an elite class of superhero. In Marvel’s stable of characters, which includes the X-Men and the Silver Surfer, only Spider-Man outsells him. The Hulk, along with his emotionally withdrawn alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, has spawned television shows, theme-park rides and best-selling toys.

But big-screen glory has eluded him. In 2003 “Hulk,” a pricey attempt to give the monster a Spidey-size movie career, flopped after the director Ang Lee’s artsy creature was ridiculed as Gumbyesque. That picture, which cost $150 million to make, sold a disappointing $132 million in tickets in North America and made less overseas.

Now Marvel is attempting what it openly calls a do-over. Starring Edward Norton, “The Incredible Hulk,” set for a June 13 release, will serve up more action (Hulk battles a new creature called Abomination) and more female-friendly themes. (Banner is madly in love.) The monster was mute in Mr. Lee’s film, but this one speaks, a nod to the campy 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and the bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (resplendent in green body paint).

Marvel and its distribution partner, Universal Pictures, expect “The Incredible Hulk” to be nothing short of a blockbuster, citing strong sales for a newly introduced “Hulk” comic book series as one reason for optimism.

“We are really proud about how the new film came out,” said David Maisel, chairman of Marvel Studios. “The 2003 movie was like test-driving a car. We were able to see what people liked and did not.” But signs of trouble abound, leading to lip-biting among some Marvel investors, Hulk fans and movie theater owners. “There are people who clearly don’t think it looks good and are expecting a bomb,” said Doug Creutz, an entertainment analyst at Cowen & Company.

The trailer, engineered to vanquish memories of the 2003 film, arrived last month and instantly polarized the comic book crowd. The look of the new Hulk — meaner and greener — won praise from some fans online, but several influential tastemakers held their noses.

Entertainment Weekly pronounced the computer-generated effects “totally fake-looking,” while deemed the project “just hideous.”

And then there’s the bickering among the creative team.

Mr. Norton and Marvel, which has the right of final approval on the film, have sparred in recent weeks over trims, among other issues, said studio executives involved, who asked to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak publicly. Mr. Norton — who was hired to rewrite the script along with playing the lead — has made it clear he won’t cooperate with publicity plans if he’s not happy with the final product, these people said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Norton said he had no comment. Mr. Maisel brushed off the friction as par for the course.

“When you get to this point in the process, there are always lots of passionate discussions,” he said. “Edward is very passionate. He is as passionate about the Hulk as we are.” (For those unaccustomed to Hollywood speak, “very passionate” roughly translates to a seven on the “he’s a difficult person” scale.)

Even if everything were running smoothly, “The Incredible Hulk,” which has a budget of about $150 million, would probably be having a difficult time generating excitement. With studios in hot pursuit of franchises, superheroes are booked elbow to elbow at the summer multiplex. Seven movies built around larger-than-life characters will vie for attention between May and August, including Batman’s latest adventures (“The Dark Knight”) and “Hancock,” which stars Will Smith as a misanthropic superhero. “Iron Man,” with Robert Downey Jr. as a wealthy industrialist who builds an armored suit, arrives next month from Marvel and Paramount.

Even Stan Lee, a creator of the Hulk and Iron Man characters, seems underenthused about the prospects of his green baby. “My prediction is that it will be more popular than the last one,” he said. His “Iron Man” prediction? “Enormous hit,” he said.

Universal Pictures, which will distribute and market “The Incredible Hulk,” bristles at the notion that the monster needs C.P.R. “I would caution anybody against betting against it,” said Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president for marketing and distribution.

Mr. Fogelson said the trailer for “The Incredible Hulk” had generated more streams online than any previous Universal trailer. He also said the movie had the largest number of licensing and promotional partners of any Universal project in 2008, although he would not name any.

Universal noted that Mr. Norton’s Hulk, according to a recent poll on the ticket-selling Web site Fandango, is the fourth “most anticipated new character portrayal” of the summer. (Over all the movie ranked as the seventh “most anticipated summer 2008″ movie.)

As for competition, Marvel and Universal plan to use the giddiness around “Iron Man” to their advantage. A second “Hulk” trailer will run in conjunction with “Iron Man,” and Mr. Downey will make a cameo in “Hulk” as Iron Man.

Despite these promising signs — and an insistence that Mr. Lee’s film has gotten a bum rap — Marvel and Universal are definitely trying not to repeat their mistakes in 2003. They have held back on showing any footage of the new monster until they are satisfied with the effects. Last time Universal broadcast a Super Bowl ad that quickly prompted the Gumby comparisons, and the studio ended up plowing $20 million into extra special effects.

One detail in the first film that irked fans — the Hulk grows to three different sizes depending on his level of annoyance — has been eliminated. This time he will be a uniform nine feet tall. The two studios are also playing down Banner’s loser tendencies and playing up Hulk as a hero.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is that the new movie will stick closer to the television show, which is most people’s point of reference for the Hulk. That’s partly why the producers added back the word “incredible” to the title. In another nod, Banner’s eyes glow bright green when he starts to get angry.

Some fans have picked up on the differences.

“In reading the early hype on the movie, I was concerned that Marvel would seek to dumb down the character in reaction to the failure of the 2003 film,” said Charlie Brooks, the moderator of a Hulk message board at “The trailer gave me hope.”

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