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March 2007 Archives

March 4, 2007

Vancouver Too Busy For The Hulk?

The following was originally posted in the Toronto Star:

Vancouver just too busy to take all of Hollywood's calls

That's why the Hulk movie is being filmed here

VANCOUVER–Not to burst Toronto's fragile bubble on the heels of last week's The Incredible Hulk blockbuster announcement, but what if the location decision came down to Vancouver just being too busy?

"You hate to turn it away," said Don Cott with a chuckle last week. As Canadian vice-president of the American-based Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, Cott sees a steady and successful film and television industry on the West Coast – so much so that the latest Marvel Comics movie had to go elsewhere.

"There certainly wasn't studio space. Studio space is virtually full and they need a lot of stage space," said Cott. That's despite Vancouver's eight purpose-built studio facilities in the Lower Mainland, including the aptly named 300,000-square-foot Mammoth Studios in suburban Burnaby. Movie-making giant 20th Century Fox has already booked the space – used in the last year to film Night at the Museum and the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Four – until the end of 2007 for a yet-to-be-named blockbuster project.

The Hulk announcement — along with its more than $100 million (U.S.) budget – is bringing glimmers of hope in Toronto to an industry that saw a 23 per cent drop of production revenue in 2006 and an estimated loss of $400 million (Canadian) during the recent six-week ACTRA strike. Meanwhile, confidence, cautious as it may be, is brimming here.

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March 6, 2007

More On The Incredible Hulk Licenses

The following was originally posted on Playthings.com:

On June 13, Marvel unleashes The Incredible Hulk. Directed by Louise Leterrier (Transporter 2, Unleased), the Hulk film will have a storyline closely based on the comic series. Casting is currently taking place for this film.

“Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk mark two of the most highly-anticipated films for 2008 and represent two of the most legendary franchises in the Marvel Universe. The early feedback has been phenomenal with licensees quick to embrace both of these properties; we couldn’t be happier with the top-notch roster of licensees we currently have on board to create an incredible foundation for an explosive super hero summer,” says Paul Gitter, senior vice president of consumer products for North America at Marvel Entertainment. “With high-action, gripping entertainment and a renowned cast of characters, these franchises lend themselves to an incredible array of consumer product applications that we are sure will inspire some of the ‘must have’ merchandise for next year. We look forward to developing retail exclusives for certain programs to further the standout retail experience for these two franchises.”

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March 13, 2007

Marvel Entertainment Names David Maisel as Chairman

The following was originally posted on BusinessWire.com:

Studio Further Solidifies Executive Team with New Hirings and Promotions as Iron Man Begins Principal Photography Today

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mort Handel, Chairman, Marvel Entertainment, (NYSE: MVL) announced today that David Maisel has been named Chairman, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige has been named President of Production. This comes as Marvel Studios continues to build momentum on the production of a slate of self-produced and financed feature films based on some of its marquee Super Hero franchises, and as principal photography on the first film in this slate, Iron Man, begins this week.

Mr. Maisel joined Marvel in December 2003. He was responsible for the conception and execution of the company’s new film production initiative, including the establishment of the $525 million non-recourse loan facility to finance that strategy.

Mr. Feige joined Marvel in 2000 and has been involved in all of Marvel’s theatrical productions including the X-Men trilogy, Spider-Man 1,2 and 3, and the Fantastic Four and its upcoming sequel. He is currently serving as producer on Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. In his expanded role, Mr. Feige will also now creatively oversee Marvel’s animated projects for television and DVD, as well as video games.

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March 15, 2007

Is The Green Goliath Too Big For Toronto?

The following was originally posted on Playbackmag.com:

The City of Toronto and Ontario Media Development Corporation recently trumpeted the arrival of The Incredible Hulk, the Marvel Studios blockbuster shooting for four months in Ontario starting this summer.

A super-sized FX-heavy Hollywood production is a rare score for the city, and while it's good news for the 400 industry workers Hulk will employ, the shoot once again exposes Toronto's shortage of prime soundstages.

Recall the '99/'00 Toronto shoot of X-Men - also featuring Marvel super-heroes - which was frustrated by too few soundstages spread over too many locales.

DOP Newton Thomas Sigel spoke publicly about studio limitations hampering certain FX sequences, and the franchise moved to Vancouver to shoot a pair of sequels.

It turns out The Incredible Hulk, sequel to 2003's Hulk, is coming to Toronto because Vancouver is booked, with B.C.'s Mammoth Studios, for one, firmed up for the year by 20th Century Fox for unspecified projects.

Toronto, on the other hand, has vacancies post-ACTRA strike. But finding the right stages is a challenge for Hulk given that Cinespace Film Studios recently closed its Marine Terminal 28 location and the Filmport megastudio is not scheduled to open until at least March 2008.

"It's a big chunk," says Rick Perotto, business representative with IATSE 667, of The Incredible Hulk's soundstage requirements, after having met with the movie's producers.

At the same time, Perotto estimates Hulk's shoot may not exceed the scale of sci-fi flick Jumper, starring Samuel L. Jackson, which shot in town last year at Cinespace and Toronto Film Studios.

"Right now, there are an adequate number of stages," argues Peter Lukas, president of Showline studios, which was the main host of X-Men. He adds that Hulk producers put holds on his soundstages back in February while scouting during the ACTRA strike. As of this writing, he didn't know whether they were going to commit.

The production will likely not take over every inch of available space in town. As was the case with Jumper, Hollywood producers often put holds on all the city's prime soundstages. Once the movie's creatives, especially its art directors, decide how many stages will be required for set building, the producers make their bookings and lift holds on what's left over.

While TFS president Ken Ferguson - who is also heading up Filmport - won't confirm anything, sources indicate Hulk has booked four of TFS' largest soundstages for permanent sets.

The film's three cameras and accompanying crews will do much location shooting in and around Toronto, and require additional office space.

The likes of Showline and Cinespace should soon know if the production will fill any of their locations, or whether the studios can book other shoots already lining up behind Hulk.

"There's a whole bunch of projects looking at moving into Toronto, but not Hulk size - decent shows that don't need big soundstages," Ferguson says of the city's current production climate on the heels of a tentative resolution to the ACTRA strike.

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March 26, 2007

Matthew Modine In The Incredible Hulk?

The following was originally posted on DarkHorizons.com:

Modine In "Hulk"?

Dark Horizons scooper 'Indiana' visited California Adventure Park today and met actor Matthew Modine at the Ariel's Grotto Restaurant.

Aside from questionable taste in cuisine, Modine apparently revealed the following which would indicate he has a role in the upcoming "The Incredible Hulk":

"He said he's in town doing a bit of work on a new film called "The Neighbour" - which he said is going to be very funny - and then he said he's doing something else with the "makers of the Transporter movie that I did". I pushed... and he went "[made funny growling noise] he's big and green".

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March 30, 2007

Incredible Hulk Shooting Schedule

The following was originally posted by the Ontario Media Development Corporation:

Every two weeks, we publish a listing of productions shooting or about to shoot in and around Toronto.

Marvel Studios
Prod: Gale Ann Hurd
Exec. Prod: Jim Van Wyck
Dir: Louis Leterrier
Cast: TBA
PM: DJ Carson
PC: Sabine Graham
Shoot: June – Oct. 24/07
629 Eastern Ave, Bldg B, #203
Toronto M4M 1E4
T: 416-645-8285
F: 416-645-8286

The information provided is current as of March 30, 2007.

Prod = Producer
Exec. Prod = Executive Producer
Dir = Director
Cast = Cast
PM = Production Manager
PC = Production Coordinator

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