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More Zak Penn On Hulk

The following was originally posted on Cinematical.com:

Cinematical: Now, next up for you is The Incredible Hulk. How do you feel about the casting of Edward Norton?

ZP: Great. I think he's the perfect choice for the part. I think he was the perfect choice for the part to begin with. Ya know, it's weird for me being back here, because I had an office in Tribeca about 10, 11 years ago when I first wrote a version of The Hulk. That version got thrown out immediately. I wrote a draft that's very similar to the one they're doing now, because I said lets go back more to the feel of The Fugitive -- make it a little bit more like an action-thriller. All that originally got thrown out. And back then, I thought Ed Norton would be the perfect person. So, I don't think you could pick a better actor to be in that role, honestly. I'm as thrilled about that casting than anything I've ever been involved with.

Cinematical: So how's it different from the last film? What's your version like?

ZP: Well I felt that there's shit in the first movie that I thought was extraordinary. I watched the movie a bunch of times now, and I'll admit that the first time I watched it, I didn't love it. But the more I watched it, I thought it was a very interesting movie. The action scenes are spectacular. That said, as a Hulk fan there are parts of it I just don't like. I don't like how there's a poodle that he fights. That bothers me. I don't like the stuff they did with his father. Ya know, I think Nick Nolte is a great actor -- and I don't even think he's bad in the movie -- I just don't like the way they changed his origin. To me, there's something so perfect about the origin of the Hulk -- making it so that his father is to blame for what he's become just drives me nuts. So I had a bunch of quibbles with the first movie, which I said I want to get away from those things. I read the beginning of the Bruce Jones comic book. I don't know if you know much about the comic book, but there's this guy Bruce Jones who wrote a bunch of issues and apparently a lot of people don't like the later issues he wrote -- which, I dunno, I read a graphic novel of the first ten issues that he wrote which was just fantastic. It had a great tone, really stripped down -- Banner on the run, having to keep his secret, etc ... And that inspired me. And I realized it was the same thing I liked about the TV show. It's the essential idea that a guy who cannot afford to get anxious, who cannot afford to feel anxiety, who is stuck in the modern world and he's on the run having to protect his identity from anyone he meets -- and also tremendously worried about what he'll do to anyone who's around him. To me, that's the center of the movie. That's what the movie has to be organized around; all the other details have to operate around that. So that's kind of where I started from and that's the movie I think you're going to get.

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