By Marc Strom
Hulk smash puny Canadian!
At Comic-Con International this past weekend, Marvel held the world premiere of its latest animated feature, "Hulk VS Wolverine." The movie, one-half of the "Hulk VS" DVD out next January-the other half, "Hulk VS Thor," was not shown at the panel-delivered the goods, beginning with a brutal confrontation between Wolverine and the Hulk.
From there the film began to focus largely on Logan and his mysterious past. Flashbacks retold his origins at Weapon X, adapting portions of Barry Windsor-Smith's original "Weapon X" story, while in the present day the Canucklehead found himself and the good Dr. Banner captured by some of the program's other agents, Omega Red, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and a very talkative Deadpool.
Yes, you read that right, True Believer: Deadpool
For those of you not lucky enough to be in attendance-and seriously, where were you?-we've got all the details from the post-show Q&A.
In attendance were the film's co-writer and supervising producer, Craig Kyle; producer and supervising director Frank Paur; co-writer Chris Yost; and Fred Tatasciore, the man responsible for bringing the Hulk's distinctive personality to life on the screen.
Kyle began by asking the other panelists several questions, saying of "Hulk VS Wolverine" that "those are the kinds of films that I think we should be making for you guys."
Tatasciore informed the crowd that he got into character by "looking at the designs [and] seeing the physicality" of the Hulk, then going over the storyboards to see the raging giant's exact movements in any given scene.
Yost commented that part of what made writing "Hulk VS Wolverine" so fun was the fact that they had a very simple mandate in creating the story. "Literally the only thing had to be Hulk had to be in it and Wolverine had to be in it," the co-writer related, going on to say that anything else was up to his and Kyle's discretion.
During a discussion of Tatasciore's other Marvel-related credits-he voices the Beast in "Wolverine and the X-Men," as well-Kyle told fans they can expect a Hulk vs Wolverine rematch in the merry mutants' upcoming series...though it will be considerably less bloody.
Kyle next asked Paur whether he preferred doing an adaptation of a specific series or story-arc, such as the upcoming "Planet Hulk," or something which takes a piece of a character's mythos and interprets it, as with "Hulk VS Wolverine."
"That all depends on how much time we have to do it," Paur dryly responded before becoming more serious and remarking that "Hulk VS" is "a radical departure from what we normally do." Rather than making one long-form movie, "Hulk VS" is composed of two shorter stories which require two completely different forms of art direction.
Kyle then opened up the room for questions from fans, with one of the first questions concerning whether or not Marvel Studios has considered a Deadpool movie. Kyle noted that, at this point, fans really have to speak up and let the studio know what movies they'd like to see. With the last of the initial eight animated features, "Planet Hulk," soon finished, they're currently considering what their next round of films will consist of.
Another question concerned the varying degrees of stylization used in Marvel's animated projects, ranging from the more anatomically correct-"Ultimate Avengers"-to the more exaggerated-"Spectacular Spider-Man." Paur said that the style of any given project depended upon the story, saying for example that the animation in "Spectacular" wouldn't work as well with something as dark as "Hulk VS Wolverine."
After another question pertaining to what animated features Marvel produce in the future, Kyle expressed an interest in continuing the "VS" series, pitting various characters or teams against one another.
In response to the final question of the panel, why Marvel chose to release their animated films straight to DVD rather than to theaters, Kyle explained that the DVD format "allows us to get away with a lot. This is the place we love to be because they don't watch us too closely," going on to say that most people expect animated films released in theaters to be much more kid-friendly than the movies they want to produce.
Check out the Hulk VS Wolverine trailer right now!
For up to the minute Marvel news spinning out of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, visit the Marvel.com SDCC news hub. And while you're waiting in between announcements, spend some time over at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
And for more info, downloads and much more, check out the official Hulk Vs hub page!