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<I>The Hulk</I> Crashes To the Big Screen June 20

19 Dec, 2001 By: Hive News

Just when we needed another big, green, unlikely hero, Universal Pictures is planning a June 20 release for a movie based upon the classic Marvel Comics series The Hulk.

"The Hulk will be our big tentpole movie for summer 2003," says Nikki Rocco, president, Universal Pictures Distribution, "and the third weekend in June is the perfect release date for a major event title like this.''

Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is set to helm 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 studio promises Lee's hallmark action visual effects will mesh "with the brooding romance and tragedy of Universal's classic horror films"

"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," a studio publicist says.

Eric Bana, who won international acclaim in the title role of Chopper and who next appears in Ridley Scott's 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 the human Banner and the superhuman Hulk into which Industrial Light and Magic will transform him. Jennifer Connelly, who costars with Russell Crowe in Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind, portrays Betty Ross, whose scientific genius unwittingly helps unleash the Hulk.

Production is scheduled to start March 18 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The studio promises "an unprecedented companywide marketing effort" in support of the film.

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