Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Hulk finds Rhythm & Hues

Just when you thought The Hulk franchise was smashed to bits (well, not really, as it was announced months ago that there would be another film), Rhythm & Hues Studios has been named the visual effects house on "The Incredible Hulk" from Marvel Studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Production is expected to start in June in Toronto.
Rhythm & Hues was selected after several months of R&D that included the creation of a CG Hulk.

Louis Leterrier will direct from a script by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Zak Penn. Lee also will serve as an executive producer.

This project will give the Hulk a new look, as the Ang Lee-directed 2003 "Hulk" featured a CG character and lead visual effects from Industrial Light + Magic. The effects in the original were actually quite good, but director Ang Lee got carried away in the end. Most of the movie was enjoyable, but the final act was a disaster, both thematically and visually.

The company is well known for its character animation. For "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," the studio's work included the film's well-received CG lion Aslan. Earlier character work included "Babe," which won an Academy Award for achievement in visual effects.

Pointing to the company's history with creating animals, Rhythm & Hues film division president Lee Berger sees "Hulk" as a great next project. "It's the first time Rhythm & Hues has been able to take a human-like character to its full exposition," he said. "There's great enthusiasm for this project (at the company)."

The casting of Bruce Banner/Hulk has not yet been announced. Eric Bana played the lead role in the 2003 film, though his star power has risen enough that it is highly unlikely for him to return. Although, if you've seen the previews for his new movie "Lucky You", maybe he does need a blockbuster...

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