Avi Arad: For Marvel, The Hulk was a Windfall, a Huge, Huge Success.

Wednesday, February 11 2004

Posted on IGN.com

Thanks to Hulk fan Nivek who found the following article at IGN.com:

IGNFF: After X-Men and Spider-Man , there was an anticipation of what the follow-up would be - but with Daredevil and Hulk , there is no expectation.

ARAD: Why? We are about to start Elektra .

IGNFF: But there is no buzz about Elektra . No one walked out of the theater chanting, "Boy, I can't wait to see that Elektra movie."

ARAD: I'll tell you when you'll see the buzz - when we announce the movie, when we announce the director, and it will all of a sudden be an announcement that Jennifer Garner is teaming up with so-and-so to start the movie Elektra , and your site will get the buzz. It will happen. There's speculation about Hulk 2 , but Hulk is a very different situation. Some of us are very, very proud of the movie. In retrospect - totally, blatantly honest - we shouldn't have gotten that deep. It was hard. There were a lot of moments that were hard to watch. But that's what it was about. It's about getting to the inner soul, to understand anger, and it's hard. Listen - some of the critics loved it. We got reviews in some countries that usually kill our kind of movies. Kill it. Like in France, for example, that was a revered movie there. When you go with an Ang Lee, you're going to go to the depths of the soul. Now, some people didn't want that depth. They wanted Rick Jones and a motorcycle across the thing, and basically follow up the television show - that probably had more awareness.

IGNFF: I'm all for depth, but when you have a scene with an attack poodle, that kind of kills the argument for me.

ARAD: That was right from the books, the hulk-dogs.

IGNFF: But within the context of Ang Lee trying to make a grander piece, it was incongruous to what he was supposedly trying to do to have this blatantly cartoonish sequence. And the dogs were very cartoony in their design.

ARAD: Correct.

IGNFF: It's this mental shuffle that caused me to throw down the cards and say, "I fold."

ARAD: But then when you saw him lifting the tank or going up on a jet, or emptying the soldiers out of the tank. I mean, there were a lot of things about the Hulk. I actually love the opening, with the little boy. For me, the toughest thing for kids to deal with is when the parents are fighting. It's not violence on them - it's the feeling of violence in the family.

IGNFF: It's the mental violence.

ARAD: Exactly. And, you know, you go with a genius like Ang Lee who just is the master of the soul, and that is a risk you take. And it wasn't an easy movie to watch. It wasn't like you go in there and it's popcorn. It was hard. It was wrenching. There were moments that were scary. They were really scary, the mother and the father and all this stuff - that was the scary stuff. The kids loved the Hulk thing. As you know, for Marvel, it was a windfall. A huge, huge success. It launched the franchise in a way that I couldn't have hoped for better. I wish the movie did more money for Universal, really, but for merchandising? Hulk was hugely successful.

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