UNIVERSAL PICTURES TO OPEN THE HULK,
DIRECTED BY ANG LEE, ON JUNE 20, 2003
Universal City, California, December 17, 2001
Universal Pictures will release The Hulk, the feature film based upon the classic Marvel Comics series, on June 20, 2003, it was announced by Nikki Rocco, president, Universal Pictures Distribution. Acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is set to direct the film, from a screenplay by James Schamus. The film's producers are Gale Anne Hurd, Avi Arad, James Schamus and Larry Franco. Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee is the executive producer.
"The Hulk will be our big tent-pole movie for summer 2003, which will be supported with an unprecedented company-wide marketing effort, and the third weekend in June is the perfect release date for a major event title like this," said Ms. Rocco.
Ang Lees concept for the film will combine all the elements of a blockbuster visual effects-intensive superhero movie with the brooding romance and tragedy of Universal's classic horror films -- for The Hulk is at once a superhero and a monster, a wish fulfillment and a nightmare. Lee and his team have gone back to the moving, early incarnations of the character created in May 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, staying true to the subversive spirit of the early Marvel years, while completely updating and projecting The Hulk into the dangers and aspirations of contemporary times.
Eric Bana, who won international acclaim in the title role of Chopper and who next appears in Ridley Scotts Black Hawk Down, stars as scientist Bruce Banner, whose inner demons transform him into The Hulk in the aftermath of a catastrophic experiment. Bana will play both the human Banner and through groundbreaking visual effects technology provided by the Oscar-winning Industrial Light and Magic the superhuman Hulk. Jennifer Connelly, who won rave reviews for her performance as a hapless Coney Island resident in Requiem For A Dream and who currently co-stars with Russell Crowe in Ron Howards A Beautiful Mind, portrays Betty Ross, whose scientific genius unwittingly helps unleash The Hulk, and whose love for Banner finds its impossible resolution in the film's denouement.
Production on The Hulk is scheduled to start on March 18, 2002 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
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