Dave Davis and I are in Las Vegas right now, visiting the set of Zak Penn’s improv poker comedy, The Grand. It was 90 degrees at 7:30 this morning, but we haven’t been out of the hotel once – we’ve been watching Zak and his cast, which includes Werner Herzog, David Cross, Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell and Richard Kind – do some very funny stuff. We did have a chance to sit down with Zak this morning, though, and he did reveal some info about Hulk 2, which he’s writing. The word has been that the film is a remake, but Zak says that’s not technically the case. Says Zak:
It’s definitely not a remake. We’re not going to tell the origin story of the Hulk. Reboot? It’s harder to say. I think the tone will shift. We all loved the action [in the first one], and I like a lot of the creature stuff and I liked the performances in the movie. What I didn’t like was the father/son stuff. Honestly I didn’t like the dogs.
I felt – weirdly since I get so much shit for fucking with the continuity on X-Men 3, which not all of which was my doing but some of which is – I feel like on the Hulk that was one which didn’t need to be revamped. I didn’t like that the Hulk was something his dad injected into him as opposed to him being a repressed guy with all this rage to unleash.
The other thing is that there’s something about the tone of the TV show – despite the fans’ insistence on going with ‘Hulk smash’ and all that stuff- there’s something about the man on the run with a dark secret, Jekyll and Hyde, theme that we could do more with. There wasn’t much of that in the Hulk movie. I can’t think of one scene where he was trying to solve his problem while keeping it a secret from anyone. To me that’s essential to the Hulk. That’s what’s great about the Bruce Jones run [in the comics]. When I read that, I thought, ‘This is a Hulk movie.’ You know, with the laptop and Mr. Blue. We’re using all that stuff. I think it uses the tone of the TV show but keeps the scope as big as you want with a Hulk movie. The problem with the TV show is that you don’t want a guy running around in green paint knocking walls over. It’s a matter of combing that tone with a bigger scope, and that’s what we’re doing. So I don’t know what to call that. I felt like we should keep as much continuity as we can while changing the tone. That’s my personal preference.
Part of that tone change is going to involve seeing the Hulk beat his enemy into submission, Zak promised.
There’s more to come! Look for our coverage of The Grand set visit, which will have some sort of incredible one on ones, soon. And we’ll have plenty of stuff to bring you from Comic Con – and Avi Arad and Brett Ratner are showing up here today for cameos, so maybe your intrepid reporters can get more info!