<b><i>Hulk</i></b> Smashes San Fran! - Mania.com

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Hulk Smashes San Fran!

By Kevin Leung     April 26, 2002

Universal Studiosheld a press conference for The Hulk Wednesday on Treasure Islandin San Francisco, CA to thank the Bay Area for allowing them to film and toanswer questions about the project's filming. The conference coordinatorsworld premiered the first official teaser for The Hulk, which willrun with the release of Spider-Man next week.

In attendancewere the film's star Eric Bana, director Ang Lee, and many of the filmsproducers including Marvel Studio's Avi Arad, Gail Anne Hurd, James Schamus,and Larry Franco. Due to a filming schedule which included aerial helicopter scenes, Lee and Bana's costar Jennifer Connelly were significantly delayed. Connellyopted not to attend the conference altogether, but Lee eventually did arrive todiscuss filming with his longtime collaborator Schamus.

Lee was tiredfrom the shooting schedule but did note that he was grateful for having "agreat studio supporting my dream." Lee likened the jump in technologicaladvancement that The Hulk will take over his previous film CrouchingTiger, Hidden Dragon, as being similar to the jump between CrouchingTiger and some of his first films.

"Thetransformation we're still figuring out [it will be] something we haven't seenbefore," Lee said of the startling metamorphosis that drives the titlecharacter.

When asked aboutthe process that will transform Bana into the Hulk, Bana commented that he wouldnot be able to go into details but that there would be "a lot" of himin the Hulk.

Lee suggestedthat his approach to filming a character like the Hulk was easily relatablebecause of its similarity with basic human nature. "We all have the Hulkinside of us," the director said.

A general themeexpressed by the producers and by Lee was the importance of conveying emotionand drama. Hurd called The Hulk an "elemental drama of thehuman condition."

Bana, who'sAustralian accent was immediately noticeable, seemed tired but eager to answer afew questions before going on his lunch break. Bana noted he was drawn to theproject because Lee was attached and also because the Hulk was a hesitant hero,"The thing I think that particularly attracted me to the character of theHulk was the fact that he's a slightly reluctant superhero, which I think is areally interesting hook and angle to go for in terms of acting."

When asked abouthow much attention he was giving to Internet rumors and fan discourse, Leeadmitted that he tended to lock himself in his own "fantasy world" butthat he would likely open up more because he has a lot of respect for the fanand comic worlds.

Schamus notedthat their goal is to stay true to the Jack Kirby/ Stan Lee era of the Hulk,calling it a "return to what is old" in the character's longhistory.

Bana noted thathe was a homebody but that he enjoyed working in the San Francisco on this, hissecond visit, "It's a beautiful city and its hard working away from home."

Bana, who wasknown for being a comedian before becoming actor in Australia, says he would like tocontinue to explore dramatic and action roles here in America, but that he wouldstill be open to the comedic genre if the opportunity presented itself.

The producerspresent said they chose Hulk to adapt because it was a such a big brand name.Bana noted that even his mother, who was present at the filming, was familiarwith the character and enjoyed the television series.

Hurd thanked thecities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley for their cooperation andassistance, noting that filming of The Hulk constituted hiring 3000 localworkers, pumping over $10 million into the local economy.

Addressingconcerns over the amount of destruction and commotion that would be caused bythe special effects filming, the producers said that the majority of destructionwould take place at George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic special effectsstudios.


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