HULKING UP (OR, IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN) Our excitement that production on The Hulk has finally begun ain’t nothing compared to the happiness of producer Gale Ann Hurd, who has been attached to the project for more than a decade. ”It’s always been alive and kicking,” says Hurd, ”but we opened the floodgates about a year and a half ago,” when director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) signed on. (Explains Hurd of her rather artistic choice, which she made before she had seen Crouching Tiger, ”You want to make this film a character-driven film with amazing action.”) Starring Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down) as the mercurial Bruce Banner and costarring Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly, Hulk will actually benefit from its long time in development, since the less-than-jolly green giant will be entirely CGI. Says Hurd, ”If we started a few years ago, I don’t think the technology would have been up to it.” Hurd’s company, Valhalla Entertainment, is developing another project that will star a CGI character, this time an adolescent pop star named t-babe, as well as a movie purely for humans: a Boston Strangler film that Carl Franklin hopes to direct after he completes Out of Time, starring Denzel Washington.
JOLLY GOOD FELLOWES Onetime actor and first-time feature screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who won the Oscar for Gosford Park, seems to have decided that the writing life is for him after all. Fellowes is scripting an adaptation of Debi Gliori’s children’s book Pure Dead Magic, a Harry Potter-meets-The Others story set in a Scottish castle. Magic, which is for Universal, will be ”a family movie, which I’m actually rather pleased about,” says Fellowes, who wrote the 1994 BBC adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy. ”It’s a market I rather liked, and I’m very happy to get back into it.”