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The REAL reason Even More Possible Great News about HULK casting... IS just British tabloid-type BS!!!

Father Geek here on Friday with the FINAL WORD on the origin of the whole HULK bs that desended on us and the web yesterday, I hope this puts it all to rest, for the time being anyway...

First, greetings and salutations from the UK. And second, thought some rubbish-sweeping was due re: that there so-called Hulk movie.

In issue 41 of Total Film, we ran a 6 page feature called The Lost Blockbusters, a reappraisal of 10 notorious never-mades, including Gilliam's The Defective Detective, Helgeland's Ticking Man, Burton's Superman Lives and - yes, yes - McTiernan's Hulk. Scripts were sourced, conceptual art was tracked down (ie Sylvain Despretz's bonza artwork for I Am Legend and Superman Lives) and the projects' jinxed histories revisited.

Seeing as there was precisely no news on Hulk before Total Film hit the shelves, I can only presume that Empire, Sky etc have just borrowed the article on a slow, porridgey news day and attempted to spin it into a news piece. You know how it is. The fact that we mocked up some admittedly pretty realistic fantasy poster campaigns and photographed them just outside our office probably made glancers think the movies were more, er, "happening" than they quite obviously weren't. If you get my drift.

So. Not a hoax. Not a rumour. And certainly not news. Just a fun feature that - thanks to some suspect blabbing on Empire's part - has mutated into - in your own words - good ol' British BS. Verdict? Total Film: Not Guilty. Empire & co: Not so much egg on face as an entire omelette. Keep up the ace-as-ever studio snoopery!

Big regards

Simon Crook

Contributing Editor, Total Film

PS. For those who can't get hold of a copy, the Hulk text went something like this:


WOULD-BE DIRECTOR: John McTiernan/Jonathan Hensleigh

SCRIPTER: Jonathan Hensleigh/Michael France

NOT STARRING: Steve Buscemi

WHAT'S THE PLOT? In the comics: an explosion turns Bruce Banner into a muscle-bound monster. He then uses his powers to battle supervillains. On TV: a sabotaged experiment turns David Banner into Lou Ferrigno. He then uses his powers to battle bad landowners as he wanders America, Littlest Hobo-style. On film: who knows?

WHAT HAPPENED? There was a time, not so long ago, when all the major studios had films based on Marvel Comics characters in development. Alex 'Repo Man' Cox wrote a Dr Strange script with the legendary Stan Lee, James Cameron put his name to a Spiderman screenplay, his then-Mrs Kathryn Bigelow worked on an X-Men adaptation and Roger Corman planned a Fantastic Four picture. Of these films, only Corman's hurdled the obstacles and that was only to secure the licensing rights. Made on the cheap and only released in Italy, it was predictably dreadful. All of the others hit budgetary stumbling blocks. Same for Hulk. As the TV show proved, rendering Hulk by spraying green paint on the nearest beefcake made for a not-so-incredible spectacle, Universal's solution was to capture the gamma man's dimensions using CG and CG only. Bodybuilder Joe DeAngelis was dragged in to pose for ILM's animators, $20 million went into research and development and then... Nothing. Having calculated the script as nothing less than a $100 million movie, a frugal Universal balked. In late '99, GoldenEye writer Michael France wrote a new Hulk screenplay which Jonathan Hensleigh (author of the earlier McTiernan picture) might direct next year. Universal are still sitting on the script. However, the studio execs are likely to wait and see whether a) Sony's Spiderman swings into production and b) Bryan Singer's X-Men does big box-office. Rather like Space Dust and Deeley Boppers, should it not get made, we're sure we'd learn to live without it. Although casting jittery Buscemi as Bruce Banner has a certain appeal.

FANTASY TAG: You won't like me when I'm angry.

Father Geek here again... from here down are the original series of stories run on this subject... If you haven't read them, they're fun, but total BULL... as it turns out!

Hey folks, Harry here. AICN regular reader Dirtfish sent this in at 6:22.49 am CST, just before I had to get in my vehicle and hightail it to the airport. If this is true... Praise Be To Allah! Years ago with Jonathan Hensleigh was mere moments from making one of the biggest budget films ever based upon a terrible screenplay, I talked with him about the casting of Bruce Banner. At the time, Universal wouldn't consider Buscemi at all because he "wasn't name enough"! Instead they were looking to Johnny Depp. Well, the plug was pulled, and Hensleigh left the project. Gale Anne Hurd has been continuing to develop the property. Universal is well aware of the potential for the franchise if they nail it. Now all of this below is EXTREME RUMOR, and unconfirmed.... But I find it highly titilating. Enjoy, and I'll see you folks friday night from inside the glowy box thingee!

Dirtfish here,

On Satellite TV here in the UK there was a report on comics making it to the big screen. There was the usual Spiderman, Batman 5, Superman news but the most interesting one I thought was The Incredible Hulk!

The report said that Hulk fan and indy king Steve Buscemi was ready to play mild mannered Bruce Banner and that once angered the green giant would be entirely CG.

The Incredible Hulk script has been written by Michael Tolkin who also wrote Deep Impact. John McTiernan may be tempted back to direct after giving up on his previus aptempt to make The Hulk in the mid-90's failed after the proposed budget soared to 100 million and Universal lost their bottle.

Father Geek here,it's 7:29.07 am CST and I just got back from dropping Harry off at the American Airlines Gate to catch his plane to tomorrow night's LATE LATE SHOW appearance on CBS when I found the following in my E-mail from our friend The Hobgoblin in England, it fills in a little bit more on this HULK thingie which we're treating as a wild British rumor right now. We'll keep you informed though...

Who's the mystery man?

Nuclear physicist Bruce Banner - he of the mild manners - got in the way of a gamma ray bomb. As a result, he transforms into a green ogre with ripped purple flares and an attitude problem.

The Players' Steve Buscemi has long been linked to play Bruce Banner but the green goliath will be entirely CG. Deep Impact scribe Michael Tolkin will pen the screenplay. Up, up and away?Sort of.

In the mid-90s, John McTiernan was slated to direct and bodybuilder Joe DeAngelis posed for Industrial Light and Magic animators, but Universal lost their bottle after the projected budget soared above $100 million and the script turned off fans worldwide.

Recent reports on Aint It Cool News suggested that ILM had screened test footage of a CG Hulk trashing a mid-western town, and that longtime Marvel Comics artist Kerry Gammil was hired to handle some design work. Screenwriter Tolkin came aboard in May, all of which indicates that the green goliath may very well come bounding on to cinema screens in the very near future.

Gleaned from Empire Online in the UK.

by The Hobgoblin

Father Geek here again, I just checked with our Euro-AICN ace reporter in the British Isles on this story and at 8:15.31 am CST here is what Ozymandias has to say about the whole affair...


My take on this is to treat it with the utmost caution. The full section of the Empire online website (entitled "The Tight Stuf" hyuk, hyuk, hyuk...) that deals with this includes such scoops as Darren Aronofsky to direct Batman 5, Spiderman: "Sam Raimi has signed to direct from a David Koepp script, which pits the webslinger against long-time foes Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin. No word yet on who will play the supervillains, but rumoured Spidey candidates include Jason Schwartzmann, Heath Ledger and Wes Bentley", and Nic Cage and Oliver Stone for Superman.

Methinks they're just rehashing old news and presenting it as if it's something new. It's in an out of the way feature on their website, not in its news section (which surely it would be if they had a hot new tip) and their news section is dreadful anyway, having maybe one or two new stories on it a day if you're lucky, usually three or four days behind everyone wlse. My take on it is this - don't get your ripped up jeans in a twist.


Penthouse Suite, Ozymandias Towers,

Dublin, Ireland.

Mail me at my Euro-AICN Irish Offices.

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