Dr. James Schamus

Saturday, June 28 2003

Posted on SFGate.com

The following was originally posted on SFGate.com:

'Hulk' scribe revisits Berkeley roots, vows that the big guy will be back

"The Hulk" is barely out of the gate, and screenwriter James Schamus already is at work on a sequel. We got him to divulge that the big guy definitely will return to the Bay Area to do more damage.

Schamus himself came back last week for a late-night "Hulk" screening at UC Berkeley, his alma mater. He confessed to the crowd of students that his first draft of the script was a "complete piece of s--." He'd inherited 15 "Hulk" scripts that had been kicking around Hollywood for decades, "and I made them worse at first."

The movie's vision didn't crystallize until he and longtime collaborator Ang Lee "locked into what I call the 'Me Freud, You Jane' psychological thing. " They decided that instead of making the Hulk a monster, he should be a sympathetic character suffering from bad parenting.

Earlier in the day, Schamus had stood in line at Sproul Hall to file his much-delayed doctoral dissertation about (warning: mouthful to follow) "the relationship between word and image in Western art history leading up to and including early modern cinema." With a booming movie career, we wondered why he bothered to finish the treatise. "So that the next time my mother calls, she doesn't ask how my dissertation is coming along," he replied, laughing.

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