Exclusive Pictures from the San Diego Comic-Con Part 3
Wednesday, August 7 2002
This is the scene I last left off on. Ang called this room the Gamma Sphere."Oh, by the way the kid next to him is the kid that he will save" Ang said. "That's one thing Avi said to me that's important. He saves the kid's life and gets zapped." This quote should satisfy people who think that Avi Arad is letting Hollywood have its way with Marvel's characters. If that kid doesn't end up being Rick Jones, I'd be surprised.
Many will remember this scene from similar photos that were leaked during the filming in San Francisco. Ang said that this scene with the Army men was filmed in San Francisco and that Police and SWAT teams were also present. "This is a big dramatic scene in the movie" Ang said. "We spent 7 days filming there."
Here is another shot of the scene previously described. This occurs shortly after the first Hulk out and Bruce has had time to calm down. Ang mentioned that Bruce seemingly remembers events that are secret to the movie.
Ang stressed that the mediums of film and comic books are very different. Ang said "I think to give you the same satisfaction from reading the comics, when you translate to the movie, it has to be done somewhat in a movie way."
Ang feels that the film will be a very dramatic piece. In this scene in particular Eric Bana is displaying both the characteristics of the Hulk and Bruce Banner at the same time. Ang called it a very demanding scene and for that reason it stands out as one of his favorites in the film.
Yet another shot from that tense scene, this time with General Ross.
"Some people ask me why I choose Eric Bana and you can see why" Ang said. At first I wasn't sold on Eric Bana as Bruce Banner either. Who was this guy? I saw Chopper and thought that he played his part well, but he didn't look like Bruce Banner and he had an Australian accent to boot. But like Ang said, you can see why this guy was cast as Bruce, and his voice in the teaser trailer was perfect. "He's looking in mirror and see a reflection of guess what?" Ang said.
"That's General Ross in a very manly, fatherly moment" Ang said. Ang went on to say that they had just finished shooting him yesterday (Friday).
"This is the one, the handsome guy that you'd love to kill at the end of the movie" Ang joked. For those in the in the dark, this is Josh Lucas who plays Major Talbot in the movie.
This is a shot of General Ross's temporary command base near SF. All of the military action in the film was based on both the real world and the comics. All of the uniforms, for example, are authentic military issue. Ang feels that small details like these add to the movie's realism.
This is a shot of Nick Nolte, who plays Bruce's father."I have seen some of the most brilliant performance from him," Ang said. "I think it will be a wonderful, wonderful surprise for you. I think you're going to enjoy him very much. Very psychological, complex performance of the old man."
A shot of Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross. "She sees him and that look is going to kill him" Ang said. From a great moment in the movie.
"Another intense moment from Eric" is all Ang needed to say.
Yet another dramatic scene, this time from right when the accident takes place.
Ang foreshadows what is to come by using a little green. "Usually I'm a little more subtle than that," Ang said, "but what the heck."
Another great shot of Josh. This looked much more sinister up close.
This scene takes place in the dessert. "The first element of the Hulk that interested me was the psychodrama" Ang said. "The comic book deals with the absolute truth; it's the reality. This is one of the scenes that really touched on that alter ego, that darker side of all of us. It's a fantastic set I think. Quite poignant scene. Very intense. To me Bruce Banner is like most of us, but Hulk is the other side, is the truth that will be hiding. So this is the moment again on the verge."
"This is the moment before he is going to Hulk out, the first Hulk out" And said. He went on to explain that Bruce represses the Hulk for a long time before the Hulk makes his first physical manifestation.
Ang complained that it seemed that accidents were always happening to burly looking men, so he had the stunt coordinator ring in kids, a mother and her baby, and an elderly woman into this trolley smashing scene. This was met with laughs all around.
As expected, this scene occurs near the climax of the film. "I hope I can jerk some tears in the scene" Ang said.
A closer shot of that moment.
"Guess what just happened." And check out those pants.
"I guess that's it" Ang said. "I would love to show you more but I don't think I want to spoil it for you, I will leave that to your imagination for a while. I have been working on this for over a year now officially and there is still almost another year to go. I talk to my family half an hour every week.... I'm totally devoted. I hope the movie will be a blast." Ang next opened up the floor for questions.
The first question was asked by Fernando, webmaster of TheHulkMovie.com. He asked the panel whether they confirm or deny the rumors of the She-Hulk or Hulk Dogs appearing in the movie. Avi Arad answered that question with a definite "There is no She-hulk in the movie." He did not address the Hulk Dog question. BUT WHO CARES? To be honest, I am fed up with the negativity on the internet surrounding the so called "Hulk Dogs" (I prefer Gamma-Spawned Canines myself). Check out the cover to The Incredible Hulk 14 released in the Winter of 2000:
Well what do you...Hulk Dogs! On the cover no less! You really can't fault the production for straying from the comic roots and then denounce the Hulk Dogs in the same breath, can you? It's like saying, "Oh man are going to make the Hulk green?" Well he is green and that's a part of Hulk continuity, just like the Hulk dogs are a part of Hulk continuity.
The next comment was directed at Gale Ann Hurd and was more of a well deserved thank you for being one of the producers on the Hulk. For those that think they are unfamiliar with her work, you are not, unless you have never seen The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens or The Abyss.
"I can absolutely vouch that Ang Lee has preserved the Hulk," Gale began "a project that I have been working on with Avi for twelve years. It's better to make it right than to make it fast and I can't tell you how stunning Ang's vision is for this film, which is true to the comic book, true to the characters, and true to everything that makes a movie great which is not only characters but absolutely fabulous action. It's fun, but it's about something."
She ain't kidding about the it's better to make it right than to make it fast. The Hulk was originally fast tracked for a summer '98 release in order to coincide with Universal's opening the Hulk Coaster at their Orlando Islands of Adventure Theme park. How f'd up would that have been?
The next question was for Ang Lee and asked how his frequent collaboration with James Schamus came about. "We're best friends," Ang said. From Ang's second movie on, James has either written or re-written all of Ang's scripts, so Ang really hasn't worked with any other writers. They have been collaborating for almost 10 years now and there's no reason to fix what ain't broke. Ang mentioned that James is more than just a writer, he is a film maker (James is a film professor at Columbia University) According to Ang, James' scripts are tailored for film makers and not studio executives, and his screenplays read more like blueprints for how to make a good movie than anything else.
"It seems that the Hulk is my new Green Destiny (referring to the sword in Crouching Tiger)," Ang said. The success of Crouching Tiger led Ang to be approached to do The Hulk. He has been working James very closely on The Hulk in trying to capture the essence of the character. "We are not comic book drawers or writers, we try to make the best movies we can" Ang said.
The next question asked how the Hulk gets his pants on. Ang said that he already revealed one Hulk out, the first Hulk out (the one with Banner passed out with purple pants) and that after that anything is possible. Ang did stress that is was a PG-13 movie. Ang said that Bruce will hulk out "quite a few times" in the film and they had variations each time he Hulked out
The next question asked if Tobey Maguire would have a cameo in the film. Ang had previously worked with Tobey twice before in The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil and is one of Ang's favorite actors. Ang said not in this movie though. He recounted a story of how, on his birthday Tobey visited the set of Hulk. "I have a great idea for the Hulk 2 and Spiderman 3" Ang told Tobey. "How do you think the studio will divide the profits," Tobey replied.
The next question asked when Ang would do another comedy. Ang replied that he does what his heart tells him. He had previously done four comedies in a row, and then switched gears with Crouching Tiger. He explained that he was still in that mode. Ang mentioned that there is dark humor in The Hulk, and humor here and there. He said that he would revisit pure comedy at a later time. He is in "Hulk mode" now.
The next question asked if the Absorbing Man was Bruce Banner's father. Ang replied that there is no character the Absorbing man in the movie.
The next question was a two part question. One, how animated is the Hulk? Is he cheap animated? and two, will the Hulk be naked? Gale replied that unless Universal has cut their budget without them knowing, that the Hulk will not be "cheap animated". Ang reiterated that the Hulk will be PG-13 and that there will be variations each time Bruce Hulk's out.
The next question asked if Lou Ferrigno would have a cameo in the movie. Ang replied yes, that Lou was in the film, which was met with huge applause. "Nicest guy I ever met in my life" Ang said.
The next question asked Gale Ann Hurd to explain what it took to bring the Hulk to the big screen. Gale credited Marvel Comics, Avi Arad, and Stan Lee with making it possible. Gale again said that it's better to make it right than to make it fast. "We didn't have the technology literally until right now to bring this to the screen properly" Gale began. "To have a character of the Hulk that can emote, a Hulk that you would believe. We are making the movie at the right time with the right film maker at the helm and that has never happened up until now. The preliminary discussions were about a year and a half ago, and he has been a man on a mission ever since. And his mission has been to bring you the very best Hulk anyone could ever imagine."
The next question asked what the Hulk would look like and why no actual Hulk images had been released yet. Ang said that there are many faces, different sizes actually to the Hulk. "There is no specific face that you can give the Hulk" Ang said. "Bringing to life is still months away, I'm just being honest with you. I have devoted two years of my life to answer that question... But I will tell you he is green. He is not intelligent or give you big speech. He looks like he's mad. He's very agile, he's not meathead. I take more from the comic book than the tv series" Ang went on to say that The Hulk is the physical manifestation of Banner's emotional trauma.
I had the pleasure of asking the last question at the panel. Like everyone else I was aware of all of the various Hulk rumors floating around, but I was only really concerned about one of them. And that was the rumor going around that there were problems on the set and that the movie was grossly over budget and over schedule. Ang responded to my question by saying "I think for the Audience, over budget is good news. I feel that I am being indulged. I never do that, I never go over budget, over schedule, but I am doing that now, I am having a blast, I am Hulking out that is all I can say. You are watching a film maker Hulking out!"
Larry Franco added that yes, they are over budget and over schedule, but there is no fighting on the set. "We've all had a blast working with Ang and the cast has and everybody, it's a wonderful feeling and great set to be on. And I don't know how that hit the internet but it's all bogus. We've had a great time."
Gale added "Every time one of our cast member wraps they cry and we cry. It's been a family from start to finish and nothing could be further from the truth. That is the one rumor I think that hurts us more than anything else because we have embraced everyone on the cast and crew and they have embraced us."
Ang added that this is best, most efficient crew that he has ever worked with and he glad in be involved with The Hulk.
Avi finished up by adding "we have been talking about The Hulk the character, but this movie, from an action standpoint, has more scope than anything you have seen before... This is over the top. This is going to be the most amazing unique, you think it was unique in Crouching Tiger, wait until you see this one. Larry Franco added that the effects are spectacular and will be unlike anything seen to this point.
Well that's it. If you weren't lucky enough to attend the San Diego Comic Con, I hope that I was able to fill you in on what went on. Now go and enter the HulkMovie.com teaser poster contest now!
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