3-D TV Guide Cover for The Hulk Movie

TV Guide just sent out a press release to prom
In TV Guide’s June 21st cover story (on newsstands Monday, June 16), writer Shawna Malcom reports that Oscar-nominated director Ang Lee was intent on finding the perfect actor to play the role of Bruce Banner, the lead in his upcoming big-screen adaptation of Marvel comics’ THE HULK. After his first choice, Billy Crudup (Almost Famous), passed on the role, Lee tapped the buff, but little-known Australian actor, Eric Bana. "I’ve lived in America long enough to know that you won’t watch a wimp for two hours," he says.

For his part, Bana was thrilled, "It’s fair to say that out of all the possible projects [Marvel] had, this was the one I was most excited about," he says. "I was a pretty fanatical follower of the the television series." Still, with an appropriately muscular actor firmly in place as the star, bringing the Marvel Comics antihero The Hulk to the big screen was no small feat for Lee.

"Making this movie has been…..difficult," he says. Notwithstanding a $150 million price tag, an exhausting five-month shoot and an additional nine-months in post-production bringing a computer animated Hulk to life, early buzz surrounding the film got off to a bad start after a Super Bowl spot featured a first glimpse of the green beast. "He wasn’t finished," says Lee. "We’ve added more layers, more translucency. I believe now he gives a good performance." Bana echoes Lee’s sentiments, "There weren’t easy days working on the film," he admits. "It was always very intense. Sometimes I felt like, ‘Can’t I just get painted green once and run around and act stupid?" The rest of the actors probably would have preferred that. Without an actual green goliath on the set, they were left to many of their more emotional scenes opposite a cardboard cutout of the Hulk’s head that was attached to a 15-foot stick."

Ultimately, as the story reports, Lee was steadfast in his vision for the film: he saw in the Hulk a metaphor for emotional repression. "The Hulk is the hidden desire, aggression and trauma," he says. "It’s the id, the part of ourselves we try to hide."

As Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly, who plays opposite Bana as scientist Betty Ross, says, "Ang didn’t want tongue-in-cheek characters who were aware they were in a comic-book world. He wanted a film with integrity and he was meticulous in that pursuit."

The HULK covers will be on Newsstands: Monday, June 16, 2003
0 Yes
0 No
TV Guide - See Cover HERE