NYCC: The "Incredible Hulk" Movie Panel

Sun, April 20th, 2008 at 2:05pm PDT | Updated: April 20th, 2008 at 2:08pm

TV/Film
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

The Great Green Goliath has been watching over the NYCC all weekend long
If at first you don't succeed, smash, smash again.

At least, that appears to be the lesson learned by Marvel after the release of their "Hulk" movie in 2003 by director Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Brokeback Mountain"). This summer, Marvel has another go-round in the theaters with their jade goliath in "The Incredible Hulk."

The difference between this time and the last? Marvel Studios is creatively in charge of this film, as opposed to Universal Studios (who released the last "Hulk," and will still release this one as well).

The two studios held a panel at the 2008 New York Comic-Con to talk about this "unofficial" sequel. Present at the con were producers Gale Anne Hurd ("Terminator") and Kevin Feige (of Marvel Studios), director Louis Leterrier ("The Transporter"), and actor Tim Roth ("Reservoir Dogs").

The first thing brought up in the panel was the release date - June 13. Those present agreed the date was creeping closer and closer with each passing day. Leterrier said, "I just came from a scoring session in Seattle this morning. Craig Armstrong is scoring the film, and the score sounds ‘Star Wars' good."

They also informed us that the film is currently "picture-locked" (which means no more editing is taking place) and they are mostly working on the visual effects at this point.

Speaking of visual effects, actor Tim Roth spoke about his character - human Emil Blonsky/CGI-creature the Abomination. He told the audience, "I always loved Hulk, but I didn't really know the Abomination. Once I got the part though, I read up on the character."

The Blonsky that Roth is playing is a bit different than the one comic fans are used to, however. Tim Roth's Blonsky is a fighter. As a matter of fact, in a clip the audience was shown, con attendees saw him take on the Hulk as Blonsky - a human soldier in the army! He performed martial arts flips and spins, but still was beaten by the Hulk (of course).

Security was tight, but someone snuck in an olde timey spy pen cam to snap a pic of Tim Roth and Louis Leterrier!
Roth further explained of his character, "He's a soldier whose body is giving out on him. Becoming the Abomination is his solution."

In addition to a different villain in this Hulk film, Feige indicated that the movie would be going for a different tone. "We want the Hulk to be a hero this time," he said.

Feige also told the audience that he and Leterrier were thrilled with the way the movie has come out. He said that at the beginning of the movie, Leterrier had made a wall with clips from "Hulk" comics of moments they wanted to include in the film. When they looked at the board recently, Feige said they realized that they got every image they wanted.

The panel then opened things up to the audience. One of the first questions created an interesting back-and-forth with Leterrier.

"Does the Hulk talk in this movie?"

Leterrier: "What would you like him to say?"

"You know - ‘Hulk smash puny humans.'"

Leterrier: "That's a good idea. We should use it."

At this point, Leterrier smiled and explained that his main exposure to the Hulk growing up was through the TV show; so to him, there was only one Hulk...

This was the cue for Lou Ferrigno to walk out on stage to thundering applause from the audience. It was then revealed that Ferrigno had a cameo in the movie, and it's a respectable one.

Another spy pen shot, this time of Louis Leterrier and Kevin Feige!
Leterrier said, "I hate cameos where people stop by, wave, and leave. I wanted to give Lou something to do. I think you'll like it."

Then the director had some fun with his muscle-bound idol, and told him, "Oh, by the way, you've been cut out."

Ferrigno merely smiled and said, "I'll see you backstage."

Going back to the question of the Hulk talking, the former "Hulk" star explained that while his Hulk never talked on the TV show, he used to do the voice of Hulk on the cartoons.

Leterrier grinned and asked Ferrigno for a "Hulk smash!"

Ferrigno leaned into the microphone and growled the words in a way that shook the speakers. Leterrier told him that he was hired. No one in the audience could tell if the director was kidding or not - it seems we'll have to wait for the movie.

Another question asked by a fan was about the possibility of an "Avengers" movie. Feige's only response was, "Depending on folks' reactions to the movies this summer (‘Hulk' and ‘Iron Man'), I'd like to see it happen."

A final question was answered by the last clip of the movie shown at the panel. An NYCC attendee questioned the guests about an internet rumor that said Nick Fury and Tony Stark make appearances in the film. Feige responded, "Some rumors aren't true, while some...are closer to true."

The audience was then treated to a scene where General Ross (played by William Hurt) is drinking in a bar. Robert Downey Jr. appears as Tony Stark and walks over to him. After some witty repartee, he says to Ross, "I hear you have an unusual problem."

"You should talk," Ross responded.

"You should listen," Stark replied.

The clip ended and all Marvel fans in the audience cheered loudly as the panel concluded.

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TAGS:  indredible hulk, lou ferrigno, iron man, louis leterrier, nycc2008

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