Gale Anne Hurd is a name most people would notice, with her track record as a producer on such successful films as “Aliens,” “Alien Nation,” “Armageddon,” and all three Terminator films showing she knows the sci-fi/fantasy genre. It began back in 1982, when Hurd launched her own production company, Pacific Western Productions, working alongside such greats as James Cameron and Michael Bay. Hurd is also no stranger to comic book movies, as she was a producer on the original “Hulk” movie directed by Ang Lee as well as both recent Punisher movies, including the upcoming “Punisher: War Zone.”
Looking at her track record, Hurd seems to have a sense for smash hits and cult classics but what she is always drawn to about a project are the characters. “I love character based films,” she told CBR News. “You know the fact that, certainly with ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ you have a character with that kind of duality. Where Bruce Banner believes that he has a curse turning into the Hulk, he’s trying to find a cure and over the course of the story he has a character’s journey of finding out what it really means to be the Hulk and it may be quite different from what he thought at the beginning..”
Hurd has been a fan of the Hulk for many years. “From the time that I was young I read ‘The Incredible Hulk’ comic book series,” she said. “To me there was always great wish fulfillment inside of it. The opportunity to have that rage [and] that anger to turn you into the Hulk. To be able to smash things and have plausible deniability. ‘It wasn’t me it was the Hulk.'”
The producer isn’t just an old fan of comic books themselves but a fan of comic book movies as well. In fact, Hurd has wanted to produce comic book based films even before Hollywood became so fascinated with them. “Well, going back quite a few years, I optioned the comic books from Marvel,” she said. “It was probably almost twenty years ago [now].”
Having seen the potential of these characters nearly twenty years ago, the time is finally right for these characters to shine, but why now? “I think that there are a couple of things,” Hurd explained. “I think that the mythology of comic books [have] really have gotten their due. They’re no longer considered not great stories or not great art, they are and so they have the respect from the fans and now they got the respect from financiers and studios and the great thing now, even more so, is that Marvel has their own studio and they, the greatest caretakers of their own Marvel universe characters, can bring them to life.”
As “The Incredible Hulk” is one of Marvel’s first outings as their own film studio, and having so much invested in their characters, the publisher took a very active role during the production of the film. “At the same time it’s a true collaboration,” Hurd added. “It was not a dictatorship.”
With such a wealth of characters in the Marvel Universe and so many names to choose from, some may be surprised to know which character Hurd would like to help bring to the silver screen next. “Probably Namor,” she said with a smile, “probably the Sub-Mariner.”
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