A Glimpse of The Hulk
Friday, January 31 2003
Posted on the New York Times
The following was originally posted on the New York Times:
A Glimpse of the Hulk
It's customary for protagonists of big special-effects films to do a sort of strip-tease in the months before they open: Batman reveals the shape of his cowl or Godzilla unveils a big yellow eye, building up to the moment when filmgoers can get the whole picture by buying tickets.
But "The Hulk," from Universal, went all the way months before its scheduled release on June 20 with a 30-second commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl. No shadows, no fragmented close-ups of feet and hands: viewers got a good, clear look at the big green guy who will be the hero of the forthcoming film, directed by Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon").
Why so much so early? "We had always set the Super Bowl as an event opportunity to reward people for their patience and give them a sense of the character that Ang is developing," said Adam Fogelson, president of marketing for Universal Pictures. "And we have asked the hard-core fans to be patient while Ang Lee is going through the process of creating this film."
What Universal means to do, Mr. Fogelson explained, is to turn attention away from the design of the character to the character himself. "Until you give people some sense of what the character is and how the character functions, it's impossible to see the rest of the film," he said. "That giant question will always be lingering. And it was time to take that question off the table. There's so much more to this movie than just how the character looks."
Mr. Lee's Hulk will be a pure C.G.I. creation (for computer graphics imaging) rather than a blend of digital and photographic effects, as are most movie creatures of his kind. "The Hulk really performs in the film," Mr. Fogelson said. "The Hulk really has attitude and emotion. I can only tell you that Ang and everyone else at Industrial Light and Magic are spending 24 hours a day refining and perfecting everything. To simply reduce it only to `What is he going to look like?' is doing a disservice to the scale and scope and the aspirations of the film."
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