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THE HULK

About The Production
The character of "The Hulk” first appeared in a series of six Marvel Comics in 1962 as the creation of writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. Two years later, the creature was pitted opposite Giant-Man in #59 of Tales to Astonish, and in the next issue of the series, earned his own separate story in the comic book. By 1968, the Hulk had taken over the entire book, which was then re-named The Incredible Hulk; the series ran to issue #474, ending publication in 1999, and was quickly resurrected in a new series (first called The Hulk, changed back to The Incredible Hulk with issue #12), which continues current publication without signs of slowing. It seems in the world of heroes (Super, anti- and other), it's hard to keep the big green man down. 

The immense popularity of the creature also spawned a successful CBS television series (1977- 1982), which starred Bill Bixby as scientist Banner and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. Following cancellation of the series, fans' enduring affection for the tale of hunted scientist and his angry alter ego urged network executives at NBC to bring back the Hulk to the television screen and ultimately, three more telefilms were created and aired in the late ‘80s. Hopes for a fourth installment were dashed when Bill Bixby passed away from cancer in 1993. 

During his career as a Marvel Comics character, the Hulk underwent several changes (early on, the creature was gray, not green, and a nocturnal being). Throughout, however, he was always linked to his alter ego, scientist Bruce Banner, and the two were intertwined in a constant, uneasy relationship. It was this relationship that seemed to keep alive the fans' enduring devotion to Banner/the Hulk and exactly this yin-yang dynamic that made the character ripe for a cinematic appearance. 

Executive producer and co-creator of the Hulk character Stan Lee remembers, "When I was younger, I loved the movie Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as the monster, and I also loved Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One day, I figured, ‘Boy, wouldn't it be cool to combine the two of them and get a character who can change from a normal human into the monster?' I always felt that in the movie Frankenstein, the monster was really a good guy. He didn't want to hurt anybody—he was just always being chased by those idiots holding torches and running up and down the hills. So I thought, ‘Why not get a sympathetic monster, but let it be a guy who can change back and forth?' So, the Hulk became the first Super Hero who was also a monster.” 

Producer/screenwriter James Schamus, Ang Lee's longtime filmmaking partner and collaborator, comments, "Unlike a lot of other Super Heroes, the Hulk is a Super Hero, a monster and a person, and the various Hulk comics include the drama between generations of families, the quest for his origins, how he came to be who he is, the mystery of who he is…all of those things.” 

It was the character's internal conflict and the dramatic dilemmas it posed that also attracted producer Gale Anne Hurd to the property. 

"I always thought the story of the Hulk, as presented in the Marvel Comics, had elements of a Shakespearean tragedy that had great cinematic potential,” Hurd says. "There was real, elemental drama of the human condition in this character. What I always liked about the Hulk was that he was a hero, but not really a Super Hero, not when compared to the other Marvel crime-fighting characters. The Jekyll and Hyde conflict intrigued me. Part of it is a cautionary tale, not only about the demons that we have to come to terms with inside ourselves, but it is also a bit of a commentary about the ramifications of having the technology to create a Hulk. The comic book dealt with Cold War issues, but we've been able to update it and it's relevant, if not more relevant, now.” 

Hurd, whose many blockbuster

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