Two months ago we learned that Marvel TV and ABC Studios were pairing up to create a new Hulk TV series, the first to be created by Marvel’s new TV division. Deadline now has the news that the series is in fact being created by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), and David Eick (executive producer of the 2004 Battlestar Galactica series).
Apparently the Hulk series will follow the superhero’s “origin story” (we’re getting a lot of those lately, aren’t we?), Bruce Banner being “in his mid-twenties, less reactive and more energized as the world is still his oyster.” I don’t have a problem with that, I just hope they get the actual origin out of the way pretty quickly – the 2008 Incredible Hulk benefitted greatly from getting straight to the point, instead of rehashing the origins yet again. But then I suppose if it’s told in a way that is different enough, it’ll be fine.
Del Toro, who has already had previous experience with comic book adaptations Blade II and the two Hellboy movies, will create the story together with Eick, and subject to availability, will direct the pilot episode. Eick will write the script.
Del Toro’s biggest talent is, arguably, his ability to create wonderfully twisted monsters and creatures, and provide strange and fantastic imagery. Naturally, he will oversee the look of the Hulk character, which will this time employ a combination of puppetry, prosthetics, and CGI, instead of just CGI like was featured in the 2003 and 2008 Hulk films. The new Hulk is “expected to draw on previous comic book incarnations, as well as the original 1978-82 Incredible Hulk TV series, with a few wild tweaks on the old look.” Wild tweaks? How “wild” are they willing to go, I wonder?
Del Toro commented on the matter:
“I have always been attracted at the combination of comic book heroics and monsters, Jack Kirby’s Demon or Kamandi or DC’s Deadman or Marvel’s Dr. Strange, Morbius, Metamorpho, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, etc,” Del Toro said. He said that The Hulk has been at the top of his list and he first pursued it as a feature film around the time of the 2002 release of Blade II, which he directed. Del Toro added that, with partner Eick “we coalesced a respectful but powerful way of retelling the Banner/Hulk story in a fresh way.”
Not to be pessimistic, but I’d be more excited about new properties such as Deadman or Dr. Strange, than a Hulk show.
Eick also had something to say:
“I’ve enjoyed the challenging, rewarding process of revisiting beloved characters,” he said. Eick called The Hulk “one of the crown jewels of the Marvel world for generations” ans said it was a “dream opportunity to join one of my all-time filmmaking heroes, Guillermo del Toro, in a faithful but unique retelling of the primal, emotionally-rich tale of one of my all-time comic book.”
It doesn’t seem to have been clarified, but it appears as though this will share a separate continuity to Marvel Studios’ current Avengers film universe, and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I’d prefer Marvel TV shows about characters that are not already being explored in the movies…but that doesn’t mean I can’t look forward to this, del Toro’s enthusiasm for the project, and the hopefully-large roster of villains that will be employed. Perhaps the terrible Toad Men, pictured above, will make an appearance?
This is still in incredibly early stages, but Marvel is looking to release the Hulk TV series after the release of The Avengers in 2012, so they can exploit the Hulk’s appearance in that film, and get people watching. It will most likely begin airing in fall of that year. Are you excited? Or skeptical?