Incredible Hulk Director Named
Thursday, July 20, 2006

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"Hulk" making incredible return to big screen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Evidently underterred by the lukewarm reception that greeted "The Hulk" just three years ago, Marvel Studios is bringing the jolly green giant to the big screen once again.

Action filmmaker Louis Leterrier has signed on to direct "The Incredible Hulk," which will return the monstrous superhero to his comic book roots.

The 2003 version, "The Hulk," directed by Ang Lee and starring Eric Bana, cost about $150 million to make, and earned $132 million at the North American box office.

Producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige first met with Leterrier two years ago and were struck by his passion for the Marvel Comics universe. It was that passion that shone through recently when -- after being approached to gauge his interest in directing a new Hulk movie -- Paris-based Leterrier went back to his studio and, with the help of an artist, storyboarded two action sequences and developed a take on the monster.

Casting will begin shortly. The script is being written by Zak Penn, whose credits include Marvel's "X2: X-Men United" and "X-Men: The Last Stand." Universal Pictures will distribute.

Leterrier established his action credentials with the Jason Statham flicks "The Transporter" and its sequel, "Transporter 2," which opened at the top of the box office last year. He also directed the Jet Li movie "Unleashed."

"His movies have humor and character depth set against fantastic action, and these aspects will be explored to the fullest extent in 'Hulk,"' said Feige, Marvel Studios' president of production.

Leterrier will be formally introduced Saturday during a Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Hulk, created in 1962, remains one of the biggest characters in Marvel's stable and rivals Spider-Man in terms of pop culture iconography and mainstream appeal.

"People want to see the green guy again," Feige said.

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