Compare 2003’s with the new-to-DVD and you’ll find one common creative element: Gale Anne Hurd.
Hurd, the super-producer behind the “Terminator” and “Punisher” franchises, fell in love with the big green guy as a child, purchased the rights to him in the early ’90s while Marvel was in disarray and continues to cherish him as the most powerful of all superhero stories. And now that the character is relaunched, Hurd has big plans for the years ahead.
“When girls are growing up, they’re the ones who are picked on,” she said. “I had an older brother, and there’s no way that you could ever really fight back. So, to me, the Hulk was wish fulfillment. [My family] had a little cabin, and in the summers we’d go up there. It didn’t have running water and it didn’t have electricity, but the big thing there was a market we would go to before we went up to our cabin, and they sold ’Spider-Man,’ ’Incredible Hulk’ and ’Fantastic Four’ [comics].
“I always bought them out,” the now-53-year-old Hollywood power player laughed. “That was my treat for the summer.”
This past June, Hurd returned the favor by giving audiences a summer treat with “The Incredible Hulk,” a film that established as the new Dr. Bruce Banner. And although Marvel Studio’s president of production recently told us that Hulk’s future is somewhat uncertain, Hurd revealed that she has every intention of creating an “Incredible Hulk 2″ and that Norton is signed on to once again get angry.
“It’s all going to depend on the screenplay and where his character goes in any sequel, because he does have a multiple-picture deal,” she said of Norton, who told us recently that he’s waiting to hear from Marvel regarding Hulk’s future. “[Norton’s situation] is the same with every franchise like this, when you have one of the top actors of his generation.”
Those who’ve seen “The Incredible Hulk” know that a not-too-subtle sequel hint was dropped when Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns had a sample of Banner’s blood drip into an open wound on his head, causing him to mutate. Hurd said that a proper “Hulk 2″ would pick up on this event.
“The Leader,” she said when asked what Nelson was transforming into when last we saw him. “It would be a blast [to put the Leader in the sequel], and Tim Blake Nelson is tremendous and a very talented filmmaker in his own right.”
But before any Hulk/Leader throw-down can take place, she said, Hulk will likely be seen alongside Iron Man, Captain America and the other heroes being recruited by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. “Next, he’s likely to appear in an ’Avengers’ movie, but that’s completely up to Marvel,” she explained. “It’s wonderful that Marvel now controls so many of their own characters, and they can create a Marvel universe in film and populate it with so many of their characters who naturally exist together. I think an ’Avengers’ film is a very exciting prospect.”
Asked about her own involvement in the summer 2011 film, she revealed that just because Hulk will be involved with “Avengers” doesn’t mean she will. “That I couldn’t tell you,” Hurd said. “There haven’t been any discussions about that.”
So instead, she’s thinking about a “Hulk 2″ these days. “When I think of all the many, many, many villains in the Hulk universe, we’ve now done the Abomination, so wouldn’t it be great to tackle the Leader?” she beamed. “It’s a completely different type of cerebral villain, which would give the movie a terrific new take on the character.”
And even if “Hulk 2″ doesn’t come along until 2012 or beyond, the wait wouldn’t be a concern for Hurd, who once took 12 years between the second and third “Terminator” films. “You know what? You never give up on something that is worth doing,” she promised. “General audiences responded really well [to ’The Incredible Hulk’], and so we look forward to having the opportunity to do it again.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Incredible Hulk.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.