Who ever thought we’d be seeing another Hulk movie? And who thought it would be the summer after next? But it’s happening – Marvel, now their own studio, has planted their big green flag on June 27th, 2008 as the date when the Green Goliath will return to movie screens in The Incredible Hulk.
This Hulk movie will be sort of a sequel, sort of a reboot – they’re not erasing the events of the first, poorly received (and terrible, IMO) Hulk film by Ang Lee, but they’re just going full steam ahead. Here’s what writer Zak Penn told me about it when I visited the set of his improv comedy The Grand in Las Vegas this summer:
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.
Summer 08 is a big time for Marvel, as it will be when they unveil the films they produced themselves. Iron Man will hit first on May 2.
The Incredible Hulk, directed by Transporter helmer Louis Leterrier, will be coming out in a tough market. The Dark Knight will have likely opened just a few weeks previous, and Pixar has a big movie coming either that weekend or the next – a big, secret movie known only as the “Wall-E” project.