By Zack Zeigler
Available tomorrow on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, “Marvel’s Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United” pits two iconic Marvel super heroes on the same team in an animated full-length feature. Tasked with keeping Earth safe from a slew of enemies that includes the nefarious HYDRA, monstrous Abomination and the energy monster Zzzax, two of the mighty Avengers dominate the screen for a 71-minute explosion of action and adventure.
|"Marvel's Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United" on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD Tuesday, December 3|
We spoke with one-half of the writing team for “Marvel’s Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United,” Henry Gilroy, about his latest animated feature. Gilroy’s impressive resume includes penning script’s for other popular animated shows like “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “G.I. Joe: Renegades,” and “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”
Marvel: You’ve been in the animation game a long time. Do people look to you as kind of a Jedi now? Like, the guy who has to fix every problem that arises?
Henry Gilroy: Gosh, I’ve never been called a Jedi before! I don’t see myself as a miracle worker so much as I see myself as a servant of the story. When you as a storyteller can put your ego aside and let the story take over you are always going to get a compelling story.
Marvel: How did the story for “Marvel’s Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United” evolve?
Henry Gilroy: My co-writer Brandon Auman and I…broke this story in one evening over a sushi dinner. We had to deliver a first-draft script in three weeks. That’s a really short amount of time to produce a feature-length quality story. [But] we knew what we had to work with…and we came up with a five-page premise. That got approved, and we did a 15-page outline. Then the next week we delivered the script.
|Hulk borrows some of Shellhead's armor in "Marvel's Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United"|
Marvel: Sheesh. A deadline like that obviously made you sacrifice sleep, but did you have to sacrifice anything story-related due to the time constraints?
Henry Gilroy: It was fast, but I think a lot of times having that shorter deadline can help you because you can’t overthink; you have to produce.
Marvel: What were you guys thinking when it came to a narrative?
Henry Gilroy: We had to come up with the best story to tell for the characters we had--Iron Man is Tony Stark, and he’s kind of a loner. Another loner is the Hulk. So when you force them to work together they are going to bump heads. You’re going to get a recipe for drama and comical banter between the two. I want to best serve the story and characters. I had an opportunity to do that with “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”
|Two of the mightiest Avengers join forces in "Marvel's Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United"|
So with “Heroes United” we took a small cast of characters and focused on Hulk and Iron Man…and got to see what makes their relationship tick. When we first see them there’s a misunderstanding and they start punching each other. They are fighting for the same reason…but they’re not working together.
Marvel: Did you have time later to make edits and add in more action or humor?
Henry Gilroy: We had time in the back-end of production to add in more jokes. [But the film] has an epic quality to it; it’s action-packed and people were like, “Wow, it’s 71 minutes but it feels like 50 minutes of straight action.” We wanted it to be like that, and to build this rollercoaster ride between the characters.
Marvel: Sounds like a group effort was needed to get this film out on time, huh?
Henry Gilroy: Director Leo Riley and his team, [and] Jamie Simone (Voice Director) and Eric Radomski (SVP of Production and Creative Director) really knocked it out of the park. The way they pulled it all together--they’re fantastic.