<b>Comic-Con: <i>Hulk, Hulk, Hulk</i></b>! - Mania.com

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Comic-Con: Hulk, Hulk, Hulk!

By Rob M. Worley     August 06, 2002

Attendees atComic-Con were treated to a panel discussion of Universal Pictures' Hulkmovie. On hand to discuss the film were producers Larry Franco, Gale Anne Hurd,Avi Arad and director Ang Lee.

Thealready-released teaser trailer for the film was presented and Lee also had aslide show prepared, giving fans a behind-the scenes peek at the film. Therewere a number of interesting images of Eric Bana (as Bruce Banner), JenniferConnelly (as Betty Ross), Sam Elliot (as General Thunderbolt Ross) and more.

Interestingpoints revealed by the slides:

  • Visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren is on the set every day, which is necessary due to the heavy interacting with real and CG effects.
  • Rick Jones or a similar character is involved in the origin segment of the movie. The character was not named but Lee revealed that Banner saves an unnamed "kid" in the accident that results in his transformation. Lee credits Arad with making sure that detail got into the movie.
  • Banner must eat a lot of food to deal with his metabolic changes.
  • One shot showed Bana passed out, wearing a pair of the classic, tattered purple pants.
  • Lee said that fans will enjoy a "very complex psychological performance" from Nick Nolte, who plays Banner's abusive father.

The director revealedthat comic books and martial arts were part of his childhood fantasies, althoughindulging in those fantasies was prohibited in the culture of his youth. Once hegained clout as a filmmaker, he felt he was finally able to play in thatsandbox, first with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and now with Hulk,a movie Lee calls his "new green destiny."

Hurd said thatLee has displayed great stamina in making sure the movie will be a specialevent. "I can absolutely vouch that Ang Lee has preserved the Hulk,a project I've been working on with Avi for twelve years. It's better to make itright than to make it fast," Hurd told cheering fans. "I can't tellyou how stunning Ang's vision is for this film which is true to the comic books,true to the characters and true to everything that makes a movie great.

"He hasbeen a man on a mission," Hurd went on to say, "and the mission is tobring you the very best Hulk anyone could ever imagine."

In response toquestions about rumors the filmmakers said there is no She-Hulk or Absorbing Manin the movie. They would not comment on the presence of a Hulk dog. However,later on the convention floor, C2F spoke to a Hollywood insider who hasseen some of the early CGI work. That person verified that there is a Hulk dogwho appears early in the film as a lab animal.

The issue ofHulk's stretching (and perhaps disappearing) pants was touched on vaguely. Leetold fans that the fate of Hulk's trousers varies from one transformation to thenext. "We're trying very hard to keep it PG-13," the director said.

The filmmakersalso commented on reports that the movie was over-budget and the crew memberswere miserable and the set tense.

Lee, whotypically delivers movies on time and on budget, verified that the movie isover-budget but said that's "good news" for fans. "I'm Hulkingout," Lee exclaimed.

Franco deniedreports of strife on the set saying, "We've all had a blast working withAng, and the cast has. It's a wonderful experience, it's a great set to beon."

Hurd added,"Every time a cast member wraps, they cry and we cry. We've been a familyfrom start to finish and nothing can be further from the truth."

Aradacknowledged executives at Universal Studios for looking at Hulkas a character piece and allowing it to have depth beyond the notion of a simplemonster movie.

Hurd returnedthe compliment saying, "I have a huge debt of gratitude to Marvel Comics,to Avi Arad...to Stan Lee."

Fans weredisappointed in that they did not get to see any images of jade-jaws himself atthe presentation. The filmmakers insisted this is simply because none of the CGIeffects shots have been completed. Lee said that there were some designs andconcept work done, but nothing that would convey the drama of the character.

He did tellfans that the creature will be "green, not intelligent. He'll look likehe's mad. He's very agile. I take more from the comic book than the TVseries."

After thepanel, C2F spoke with executive producer Kevin Feige who told us that theHulk would not be kept under wraps forever (as was attempted with Sony's Godzilla).There will likely be a trailer later this year that reveals the character.


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