Comic-Con 2007: Hulk Still Rules?

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Kevin Feige. That's the Marvel president's name I couldn't get right earlier. In my own defense, how many people do you know named "Feige"?

Kevin, Avi Arad, producer Gale Anne Hurd, director Louis Leterrier, Liv Tyler, and Edward Norton were the panelists for the new Hulk movie, named, like the TV show, The Incredible Hulk. That's no coincidence -- the TV show will apparently be a bigger influence this time. And it isn't a sequel to the Ang Lee movie starring Eric Bana. Edward Norton is the new Bruce Banner...and the screenwriter too! (Rumors have long been that Norton essentially does heavy rewrites on most of his movies anyway; might as well make it official and just let him do it from square one.)

Liv Tyler had been onstage two panels ago (for The Strangers -- more on that in an upcoming post), but managed to change costumes in between.

Gale Anne Hurd, suggesting this movie will be more to fans' liking: "He's not going to be three different sizes in this movie." If she thought she was gonna get a big pop from the crowd, she was way wrong. Not sure why size-changing is a problem, actually -- Hulk changes size in the comics.

Though the movie is still shooting, we were treated to one image of the conceptual version of the new Hulk. Simply put, it looks like a 3-D real-world rendition of the classic green Hulk drawn the way children of the '70s and '80s remember him, with a touch of gray in the color as a nod to alternate versions. It does NOT look like Norton at all, the way Lee's Hulk looked like a huge caricature of Bana.

No-one calls Hurd and Arad and Norton on the fact that they're pretty much giving the same spiel that was used to promote the last Hulk movie -- it's a mythic saga, a classic tragic figure, it's important to focus on the humanity, and oh yeah, "We have the technology now" to do it right.

Hulk will be played by Norton using performance capture-animation. Hulk in the last movie was performance-captured by Ang Lee a lot of the time rather than Eric Bana. Norton insisted he be able to do it as a condition of being Bruce Banner

Norton says "It's kind of an honor and it's kind of hilarious" to be playing the Hulk. Friends he never thought had even heard of the character got hugely excited when he told them.

Norton has trouble giving simple answers; tends to ramble a lot, which may be a clever way of not giving too much away, or just self-important pretension. Hard to tell. For instance, he's asked if the Hulk's origin in the movie will be more like the comics or the TV show. Norton responds by saying the origin "doesn't necessarily come at the beginning...I don't always want them to race through that origin...it seems obligatory." Then he says he plans to "spool it out in an artful way," and "the fun in this was not to remake anything, but spin our own version."

Leonard Samson is in the movie.

The Bruce Jones series "Return of the Monster" was a big inspiration. The script has approximately 350 scenes, and will contain subtle references to other parts of the Marvel universe, possibly including the super-soldier serum. Tim Roth plays Emile Blonsky, the Abomination.

Leterrier want to pay homage to Bill Bixby in some way. "Homage is French for stealing ideas from American films and not getting sued for it."


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