Man Into Monster!

Sunday, June 8 2003

The Hulk Official Movie Souvenir Magazine is available now. It's 66 pages full of Hulk info. The magazine includes interviews with Gale Anne Hurd, Avi Arad, Eric Bana, Ang Lee, Jennifer Connelley, ILM, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliot, Josh Lucas, Rick Heinrichs, James Schamus, Lou Ferrigno and Charlie Croughwell!

The magazine also includes a look at The Hulk: Interactive Game. Be warned: The first section of the magazine, titled The Hulk: The Story, gives the full details of the plot and contains massive spoilers. I recommend you skip that section until after you have seen the film. Below are some excerpts from the interview with James Schamus:

How did you go about adapting the screenplay from the comics?
You draw on over 40 years of Hulk. And those 40 years are filled with riches. Many different people wrote different versions. You've got gray Hulks, you've got green Hulks, you've got green Hulks fighting with gray Hulks. So you have to first of all absorb that history. At that point, there was a crucial decision, which is, where do you go from here? You don't want to go backwards and simply rehash something from another era. On the other hand, you have the weight of many competing traditions, as well as the overall tradition of the Hulk, that you don't want to do anything to subvert or destroy, because you've got one shot to get it right when you make a movie.

We went for inspiration all the way hack to the earliest renderings of Hulk, set in the early 1960's, and we found there quite a rich vein or psychological and emotional back story that we eventually transformed into something quite new, but which we feel very confident represents the earliest essence of the Hulk.

How do you think Hulk fans will react to the movie?
I really think that for the real fans of the Hulk, those who've lived with this character for many years, the film is going to be a consummation of every hope and dream they've had for it, and it's going to be a revelation of something they never even expected. When you've been given material like the Hulk, I think a lot of people come in and say, `Oh, it's a comic book, we can do something more interesting,' have that kind of attitude. And I think those are the people that fail miserably when they try to bring this to the screen.

There is a wonderful Hulk television series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. In some ways, it's charmingly crude and some of the filmmaking [is] a little rough around the edges. On the other hand, it's remarkably emotional and very intelligent and Bixby and Ferrigno were both incredible in it. He is really an existential hero, the man who has no place to rest. So again, we've taken strands of that existential strain of The Hulk [TV show] and found a way to lace them in a movie. And of course Lou Ferrigno shows up in our film in a wonderful way. If you have a certain amount of respect and humility, but understand the challenge too, I think you've got a shot at making this work.

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