Matthew McConaughey Wanted to Be the Hulk, Marvel Dared Not Compromise “Alright, Alright, Alright”

In the 1993 classic, Dazed and Confused, David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) pulls his car up next to Cynthis Dunn (Marissa Ribisi) and says, “All right, all right, all right.” Before filming this scene, McConaughey was listening to a live album by The Doors, in which Jim Morrison utters “all right, all right, all right, all right” in-between songs. McConaughey recalls thinking about the four things Wooderson enjoys: “His car, gettin’ high, rock & roll and pickin’ up chicks.” Then, he made the legendary connection: “I’m in my car. I’m high as a kite. I’m listening to rock & roll. Action! And there’s the chick – ‘All right, all right, all right!’ Three out of four!” 

Alright, alright, alright,” because that’s what it sounds like when he says it, has since become McConaughey’s famous catchphrase. Mr. Peanut has his monocle and McConaughey has those three words; reflecting a relaxed demeanor and cool as a cucumber philosophy. The McConaissance went on to spawn “just keep livin’,” harmonious chest-pounding (The Wolf of Wall Street), and the art of rolling a booger between your fingertips. 

Believe it or not, Marvel had an opportunity to say “alright” to McConaughey and did not take it. As a childhood fan of Lou Ferrigno’s The Incredible Hulk, McConaughey really wanted to play the enormous green rage monster. Speaking with Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast, McConaughey said that he made his affinity for the role clear (presumably following Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk): 

Horowitz: You never got your chance to play Bruce Banner, or David Banner in the show, did you?

McConaughey: No, I didn’t.

Horowitz: Jerks.

McConaughey: Wanted it.

Horowitz: Really?

McConaughey: Yep.

Horowitz: Did you throw your hat in the ring? Did you say, “I’m game if you guys are?”

McConaughey: Yep.

Horowitz: No kidding?

McConaughey: They said, “No, thank you.”

Obviously, Eric Bana starred as Bruce Banner/Hulk in 2003’s Hulk, Edward Norton in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, and Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton in 2012’s The Avengers. McConaughey was offered the (villainous) role of Ego in James Gunn’s Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but turned it down; Ego went on to be played by Kurt Russell and McConaughey’s legendary vernacular adopted a bitter “yep.” 

Not alright, or is it? Let’s be honest, McConaughey doesn’t really fit the nerdy scientist with anger issues archetype. However, McConaughey has surprised audiences before with physical/emotional transformations in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club and HBO’s True Detective. Still, when you think McConaughey, you think, “Alright, alright, alright,” not “Hulk smash!” To associate those two phrases would not only compromise the former but create a potential paradox, resulting in a chain reaction that would unravel reality and destroy Wild Turkey Longbranch bourbon as we know it. That is something Marvel dared not do.

Cover Photo: Universal Pictures/Marvel Studios 

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