The following was originally posted on IGN.com:
Penn says Abomination won't be called Abomination
May 3, 2007 - Writer-director Zak Penn is at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this week to promote his new movie The Grand, but during his visit the man who helped write such films as X2 and X3 also proved willing to talk a bit about his various upcoming superhero movies. First off, he acknowledged today that rumors placing the Abomination as the villain in the next Hulk film are true… sort of.
"On The Hulk, one of the big discussions has been -- God, I hope I don't get in trouble for this -- the villain is going to be this character from the comics, the Abomination, who will not be called the Abomination out loud in the film because it's a silly, silly name," laughs Penn, who wrote the film. "It just is; it's so hard to work in. 'Hey, what should we call that guy?' 'He's an abomination!'"
In classic Marvel Comics continuity, the character was an Eastern Bloc spy who, like the Hulk, was transformed into a green-skinned, ultra-strong monster after getting a blast of radiation. Penn is fairly tightlipped about details regarding the film version of the character, but he does reveal a bit about the film's technical approach to him.
"It's definitely not all CGI," he says of the character. "Marvel will release casting when it happens. I don't even actually know right now. I'm sure it will come out soon. … But one of the things we talked about with the effects people, who had done X3 as well, is that when this guy transforms, he's not used to having these properties. Like he's much heavier, and we talked about how when he walks down the sidewalk, his weight destroys the sidewalk and he's tripping. [It's all about] the humanization of these kinds of superhero characters, showing the effects physics may actually have on [them]."
Penn says that he just finished his third draft of the script a couple of weeks ago for director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) and star Edward Norton and that the production end of things is more or less "off and running." And as for comparisons to Ang Lee's Hulk film from 2003? Penn seems fairly frank on that matter.
"I think that Ang Lee is a fantastic director and there's incredible, incredible stuff in the first movie, but I don't think that it captured the things that are interesting about the Hulk," says Penn. "One of the things that appealed to me as kid about reading The Hulk is in no way is the Hulk a superhero story. It is simply not. Spider-Man is a superhero. He puts on a costume and he fights crime. The Hulk is a Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein horror comic. That's what it is, period. He's a man cursed with turning into his repressed id, that's it. And to me, that's a very powerful idea. Cronenberg's The Fly is one of my favorite movies ever made, literally I think it's a fantastic film. And to me, that [Hulk] film was not made -- the first Hulk was not that film. It was not about the torment of being a person who cannot afford to feel anxiety in modern culture, which is to me the strength and power of The Hulk movie. Other things were done, they did some cool s--t, whatever, great in its own way. But we didn't make that movie and Marvel wanted to make that movie and they still want to make that movie and now we are."
The casting of Norton as Banner has Penn as excited as many fans, apparently.
"Ed Norton playing that role," laughs Penn. "Fight Club is kind of about a guy who's a lot like Bruce Banner. So I think that's the goal, to go back and make that Hulk movie that didn't get made. And as to why now as opposed to later … it has more to do with Marvel as a company and the fact that they started their own studio, etc., etc. I think if they had made that movie and failed, we wouldn't be making the sequel."
I for one think that this is great news. You'll remember that in 2003's "Hulk", the Hulk is only referred to as "The Hulk" once, when Bruce and Betty are in the cabin after the fight with the gamma dogs. Bruce says:
"He wanted me to change, he wanted me to change into that mindless Hulk"
For the rest of the film the Hulk is mostly referred to mostly as "Angry Man". I thought that it made for a more realistic portrayal. So as far as the Abomination goes, as long as he remains Emil Blonsky, I think that it's a good idea. Although it would be nice to throw in a "I've become...an Abomination" somewhere in there as a nod to the character.
Wanna talk about this bit of news? Start a discussion over at the boards.