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July 11, 2006

A Marvel Studios Production: The Future of Marvel’s Film Franchises San Diego Comic Con Panel

The following was originally posted on Comic-Con.org:

3:30-4:30 A Marvel Studios Production: The Future of Marvel’s Film Franchises

The next great era of comic book films begins as Marvel Studios launches its new slate. The studio is currently developing many of its landmark titles for adaptation to the screen, including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury, and Ant-Man. At this presentation, the directors of Iron Man (Jon Favreau), The Incredible Hulk, and Ant-Man (Edgar Wright) will share their visions for these highly anticipated films. Producers Avi Arad, Kevin Feige, and Ari Arad will join the panel and be on hand to answer questions from the audience. Moderated by Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter. Room 6CDEF

Hopefully, the director of the next Hulk film will be present, or at the very least an announcement will be made.

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July 19, 2006

Zak Penn On Hulk 2

The following was originally posted on CHUD.com:

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.

For the complete article, click here.

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July 20, 2006

Incredible Hulk Director Named

The following was originally posted on Reuters.com:

"Hulk" making incredible return to big screen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Evidently underterred by the lukewarm reception that greeted "The Hulk" just three years ago, Marvel Studios is bringing the jolly green giant to the big screen once again.

Action filmmaker Louis Leterrier has signed on to direct "The Incredible Hulk," which will return the monstrous superhero to his comic book roots.

The 2003 version, "The Hulk," directed by Ang Lee and starring Eric Bana, cost about $150 million to make, and earned $132 million at the North American box office.

Producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige first met with Leterrier two years ago and were struck by his passion for the Marvel Comics universe. It was that passion that shone through recently when -- after being approached to gauge his interest in directing a new Hulk movie -- Paris-based Leterrier went back to his studio and, with the help of an artist, storyboarded two action sequences and developed a take on the monster.

Casting will begin shortly. The script is being written by Zak Penn, whose credits include Marvel's "X2: X-Men United" and "X-Men: The Last Stand." Universal Pictures will distribute.

Leterrier established his action credentials with the Jason Statham flicks "The Transporter" and its sequel, "Transporter 2," which opened at the top of the box office last year. He also directed the Jet Li movie "Unleashed."

"His movies have humor and character depth set against fantastic action, and these aspects will be explored to the fullest extent in 'Hulk,"' said Feige, Marvel Studios' president of production.

Leterrier will be formally introduced Saturday during a Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Hulk, created in 1962, remains one of the biggest characters in Marvel's stable and rivals Spider-Man in terms of pop culture iconography and mainstream appeal.

"People want to see the green guy again," Feige said.

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Leterrier Talks About The Incredible Hulk

The following was originally posted on Superherohype.com:

Stéphane ARGENTIN' from Ecran Large tells us they already got a chance to speak to The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier after last night's announcement:

We were able to get in touch with director Louis Leterrier this morning regarding The Incredible Hulk to ask him a few precisions about the project. He told us that he was previously in relation with Marvel to direct Iron-Man before the project finally went to Jon Favreau. Seeing Leterrier's passion for Marvel comics, Avi Arad told him about this new Hulk and it took Louis less than half an hour to get convinced by the new orientation of the movie and agree to direct.

"We won't be spending times presenting the characters, which is unfortunately pretty much unavoidable as far as number ones are concerned. Someway like Spider-Man 2, Marvel wants this Hulk to be the one fans would really want to see on the big screen. I'm not badmouthing Ang Lee's movie which has its supporters but I think the tone was overall a little bit too serious. As far as the casting is concerned, we don't know yet if Eric Bana will be onboard and regarding Hulk, I can already tell you that I don't intend to use as much 3D as the first movie did. As for the budget, it will be over 100 millions".

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July 22, 2006

The Marvel Presentation At Comic-Con

The following was originally posted on Superherohype.com:

The Marvel Entertainment movie team of Kevin Feige, Ari Arad and Avi Arad invited three directors of upcoming Marvel projects – Ant-Man, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man - to share some details about the highly anticipated projects with attendees at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.

Newly named The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier (the "Transporter" films, Unleashed) told attendees that his vision for Hulk would still focus on Bruce Banner's hate for the monster inside him and carry a tone closer to that of the television show. Ari Arad added that the new film would focus more on the Hulk as hero theme.

"This is Marvel's horror movie," said Leterrier "It's Frankenstein meets Jekyll and Hyde with a little bit of Edward Scissorhands."

As for characters returning from the first film, Leterrier confirmed that General Ross will be there. Avi Arad addded that filming will start in April, 2007.

For the complete article, click here.

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SDCC '06: The Future of Marvel's Film Franchises Panel

The following was originally posted on Newsarama.com:

The highly-anticipated A Marvel Studios Production: The Future of Marvel’s Film Franchises panel at Comic-Con was held Saturday and Newsarama was there has has this following full report.

Kit then introduced the just-announced director of the second Hulk movie, Louis Leterrier.

Killing rumors, Kit said that the next Hulk movie will not be straight-to-DVD, and will not star David Duchovny or Brendan Frasier, as rumors have alluded to.

Letterier said that initially, he had reluctance to taking the job, given that he is a relatively unknown French director who would be following in the footsteps of Ang Lee, and said “No” when he was first offered. Later, on a trip to Hollywood, Letterier met with Arad, who whispered the pitch for the movie in his ear, and shortly afterwards, he decided that he wanted to do it, and accept the challenge of returning the character to film.

Letterier said that shortly after deciding to do the film, he started storyboards and put together concept art for the film, something, Arad said, convinced them that they had the right man for the job.

When asked by Kit how the new Hulk film will be different in tone from the first film, Ari Arad [Avi’s son and fellow producer} said that the idea behind the next movie is to make the Hulk the action/adventure movie that fans want to see.

"A lot more Hulk as hero," Arad said.

In teasing the cast, Letterier said that General Ross will return, as well as a new villain - the Abomination. The director said that he felt that the Hulk needed an opposite number, and will give the threatening feeling you find in other superhero movies, where the hero could actually dies at the hands of the villain.

In regards to the screenplay for the Hulk, Letterier said that they're currently shooting ideas back and forth, and will begin filming in April.

Feige said that Marvel is very open to the idea of films with more than one hero, noting that if you look at the films that have been announced, it's no coincidence that they are members of the Avengers.

Asked will the Hulk talk in the new movie, "We don't know about that," Letterier replied. "But I just met Lou Ferrigno, and he said, 'I want to do the voice’. So we'll see."

The director said that his Hulk will be less green, and that he loves the grey Hulk. All in all, the film will resemble the television show in its fundamentals, in that Banner will be on the run, and knows he is cursed with a monster inside him, and the challenge will be to see that the monster can also be a hero.

For the complete article, click here.

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July 23, 2006

Comic-Con 2006: The Incredible Hulk Panel

The following was originally posted on IGN.com:

July 23, 2006 - Hulk 2 (actually titled The Incredible Hulk) is not going straight to DVD. David Duchovny will not star now that Eric Bana has left the project. Neither will Brendan Fraser. The franchise will, however, have a new director. Mere days ago Louis Leterrier, most recently responsible for The Transporter 2 was tapped to direct the big green one's latest screen adventure.

Speaking about the wooing process, the French director said, "We've been turning around each other like dogs in love." Ultimately, he was selected, and President of Production Kevin Feige said, "What he has planned in terms of the fun aspects of the Hulk, Hulk as hero, you guys will really be excited."

Members of the panel seemed dedicated to distancing themselves from Hulk. Louis Leterrier said, "The idea… is to make the Hulk action adventure movie everyone wanted to see."

In addition to being an action/adventure movie, Leterrier stated, "It's Marvel's horror movie… It's Frankenstein, it's Jekyll and Hyde and a little Edward Scissorhands." The script is going to hearken back to the television show, focusing on Banner's journey and his difficulty dealing with the monster. "The good thing abour number twos is that you don't waste your time on the origin," said Leterrier.

Every superhero movie needs a villain, and since this installment is focusing on Hulk's more heroic qualities, it's only right that he gets a gnarly enemy. That ultra-bad-ass is going to be Abomination. "I think we needed an anti-Hulk this time," said Leterrier. "Abomination is mega-bad Hulk."

Warming the hearts of many Con-goers, Leterrier delivered one last piece of good news about the sequel: "No poodles. Promise." Keep your eyes on IGN FilmForce for more information on this and other Marvel movies.

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CCI Day 3: The Future of Marvel's Film Franchises Panel

The following was originally posted on ComicBookResources.com:

It was at this point that Borys introduced Louis Letterier, a man who only just signed on to direct the Hulk sequel three days ago.

"I've known these guys for a while," Letterier said of the Marvel Studios execs. "We've been running around each other like dogs in love."

Letterier admitted that he was initially apprehensive about following in the footsteps of Ang Lee, who helmed the first Hulk film, but after a meeting with the Arads, he was convinced that there could and should be another Hulk movie.

"I had to convince myself," Letterier explained, so he took it upon himself to draw up storyboards and conceptual art. This kind of initiative, Avi said, was how they knew they'd picked the right man for the job.

"The incredible Hulk will be born again," Avi said.

When asked how this film will differ from Ang Lee's vision, Ari said their intent was to make the "Hulk action-adventure movie" they'd always wanted to see.

"More hulk as hero, more savage transformations," he said. It will hearken back to the Hulk TV series, portraying Banner as a man on the road, struggling with his curse. General Ross was the only character from the first film that Letterier would confirm would be returning, but he did confirm the identity of the film’s villain: The Abomination.

"We needed an anti-Hulk this time," he said. "You have to believe the hero is in jeopardy."

Now that Marvel Studios is an autonomous production company, one fan asked about the chances of seeing characters cross-over from one film to another.

Avi said the "possibility excites all of us." It's no coincidence, he said, that the films they currently have in development could one day lead to an "Avengers" movie.

When asked whether the Hulk sequel will have any connection to the first film, Letterier avoided directly answering the question.

"The good thing about sequels," he began, "Is that you don't have to deal with the origin." It's not the origin that interests the director, so much as "the struggle, Banner's hate for this monster."

The degree to which the monster will or not talk remains up in the air, but Letterier did recount his recent meeting with TV's Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno.

"I wanna do the voice!" the bodybuilder had said. Ferrigno also reportedly gave Letterier his blessing.

Letterier characterized his vision of the Hulk as "Frankenstein meets [Doctor Jeckyll] with a little bit of 'Edward Scissorhands.'"

For the complete article, click here.

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July 24, 2006

Comic-Con 2006: Avengers Movie Gains Momentum

The following was originally posted on IGN.com:

July 24, 2006 - At the first ever Marvel Studios panel at this weekend's Comic-Con, President of Production Kevin Feige made statements that indicate Marvel is headed in a direction that will lead to a full-scale, live action Avengers movie.

The studio announced it's starting production on three new projects: Captain America, Nick Fury and Thor. All three figure heavily into the Avengers mythos, as do The Hulk and Iron Man, both of which already have movies in production.

In the past, an Avengers movie would have been unlikely, not only because movie technology was not advanced enough to handle some of the complicated characters, but because rights to various Marvel entities were scattered among several studios.

"Now that it's all under one roof, it could be done," said Feige. Jon Favreau, in a separate interview, stated that he always thought of Iron Man 3 as Iron Man: The Avengers. Stay tuned to IGN FilmForce for news on all of the Marvel movie projects.

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Comic-Con: Marvel Studios Panel

The following was originally posted on ComicsContinuum.com:

Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige says the time is right for Marvel to start producing its own films -- and the studio seems to be off and running in that endeavor.

At Marvel Studios' panel on Saturday, Feige -- joined by studiomates Avi Arad and Ari Arad -- introduced directors of three of Marvel's first independently produced films: Ant-Man's Edgar Wright, The Incredible Hulk's Louis Leterrier and Iron Man's Jon Favreau.

"We feel we have a pretty good handle on how to make these movies and make them ourselves," Feige said.

"We have some amazing talent around us," Arad said.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

* Letterier said he was hesitant to follow Ang Lee and didn't want to do it at first, but was convinced by Marvel that there could be another Hulk movie.

"I've known these guys for a while," Letterier said of the Marvel Studios executives. "We've been running around each other like dogs in love."

* Letterier said he did several storyboards and conceptual art because he had never worked with a super-hero before.

"The things he put together were some of the best sequences we had ever seen," Feige said. "And what he has planned for the aspects of the Hulk -- the Hulk as hero -- I think is going to make you guys very, very excited."

"The idea behind this movie is the make the Hulk the action/adventure we're all dying for," Ari Arad said. He added that it will feel a little bit more like the television series, with the Hulk on the run.

* The Abomination will be the villain, and General Ross will return.

"Super-heroes, for me, they work when you feel your hero is in real jeopardy," Letterier said. "Spider-Man is amazing movie for that because you really feel could be done in at any moment.

"I want to see that. We needed it. So the Abomination is a mega-bad Hulk. He's going to be an amazing creature."

* Leterrier also said there will be no poodles, a reference to the first film. "Promise," he said.

* Leterrier said production will start in April.

* Asked about crossovers, Feige said it's not a coincidence that the characters Marvel is working on might some day end up being The Avengers.

"That possibility excites all of us," he said. "Now that it's all under one roof, it could be done."

He added that Marvel's pre-existing pipeline with other studios will probably "continue for a long time to come."

* "The good thing about No. 2s is that you don't have to deal with origin," Leterrier said. "You don't waste 45 minutes of your time explaining the origin and then cram the whole plot of the movie into a 45-minute sequence.

"It's not so much the origin that's interesting about the Hulk. It's the stuggle, Banner's hate for this monster. We'll explore that much more. It's more about how you deal with yourself being a monster."

* Leterrier said he wasn't sure how much the Hulk will talk. "But I just met Lou Ferrigno and he said he'll do the voice," he added, drawing laughs and cheers.

* Leterrier described the movie as "Frankenstein meets Jekyll and Hyde with a little bit of Edward Scissorhands."

For the complete article, click here.

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