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The Hulk Isn't Grey After All!

The following was originally posted on EmpireOnline.com:

You know this ‘The Hulk may be grey in the new Incredible Hulk movie’ business that’s been floating around the internet for the last couple of days? Well, as it turns out, he won’t be. Move along, nothing to see here!

How do we know this? Well, just this afternoon we spoke exclusively to Avi Arad, ace comic book movie producer and the guy whose casual mention of a ‘new colour’ at a round table in LA sparked a net-geek frenzy on a scale rarely seen, and he confirmed it. Simple.

“It was a joke!” laughs Arad, in town to talk up Spider-Man 3, which opens on May 4. “Here’s what it was. There were 30 people around a table, and they said ‘is there going to be a grey Hulk?’ And I was thinking about it and I said, ‘who knows?’ It was one of those moments. I had just got back from Japan and I was trying to talk about Spider-Man and this guy was pushing me on The Hulk so I thought I’ll be coy. I don’t know what colour it is, and all of a sudden it’s headline news.”

But Arad did mention a new colour – so will the eponymous star of Louis Letterier’s movie, due out in 2008, still be green? Or orange? Or pink with yellow stripes?

“It’s a different shade of green,” confirms Arad. “But the colour is not like the old Hulk. And no, there’s no grey Hulk.”

Talk of a grey Hulk had led to fevered speculation that this version of Ol’ Green/Greyskin would have some intelligence, and even be able to speak, much like the grey Hulk in the comic books. However, not content with debunking one rumour, Avi swiftly shot down another.

“He’ll be instinctive, like a primal creature. That’s what’s interesting. There’s no smarts. My dog is the gentlest animal out there, but he hates the plumber. He won’t fight with anybody, hates the plumber!”

Of course, The Hulk will be taking on a bigger foe than The Plumber in The Incredible Hulk, namely The Abomination, but Arad is adamant that Marvel and Universal are heading in the right direction with the movie, particularly the casting. Last week’s news that Edward Norton – indie darling and star of resolutely uncommercial films, for the most part – had signed on to play Bruce Banner. Especially when it was further revealed that he had actually turned down the Ang Lee version, in 2003. So, why the change of heart for Norton?

“I think we have a much better story,” reveals Arad. “I think he likes Louis Leterrier. It’s a very different movie, one of my personal goals was to make another Hulk movie where Hulk is heroic, lovable, the real Frankenstein story. That’s what we set out to do. To me, I was stuck – literally – if it wasn’t Ed Norton. I was sitting, thinking ‘he has to make it happen’.”

Arad also mentioned that the casting of “an amazing” Betty – Banner’s love interest – should be confirmed within the next couple of days. Keep ‘em peeled, people!

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