Marvel’s Hulk Absolutely Tortured Its Director: ‘Ang Lee Was In Tears’

At the time, it was certainly a bold decision for Universal Pictures and then Marvel Enterprises to work with Ang Lee. Granted, there have been critically acclaimed directors like Sam Raimi helming major CBM properties, but Lee was fresh off the epic and imaginative Crouching tiger, hidden dragon (and would go on to win the Oscar for Best Director Brokeback Mountain). But according to Lucas, Lee had a deep connection to the titular jade giant.

“It was an interesting choice for Marvel to choose a writer on Ang’s level, but if you look at Ang Lee, he has some personal connections to the Hulk. He’s a quiet, scientific mind. He is a very gentle soul who has this deeply powerful, creative and overwhelming urge to create. Not just great art, but transcendent, difficult art. All his films have done that – Crouching Tiger apparently, setbackall of them.”

Of course, creating “difficult” art can come with challenges, but as Lucas recalls, for Lee, the experience went beyond that.

“He poured his soul into it [Hulk], and you could see that he was exhausted. It looked like he had gone to war.”

As Lucas recounts, there were a few times where that “gentle soul” in Lee, much like the tormented part of Bruce Banner’s (Eric Bana) character, was the source of some of the inner turmoil during the production of hulk. There are more than a few special occasions that Lucas remembers vividly, including one instance when the cast and crew were at Industrial Light and Magic. During an early showing of the post-production work, Lucas recalls Lee telling him, “It was one of the most painful experiences of my life.”

Lucas delves further into Lee’s mindset, revealing that this wasn’t the only time the director appeared to be tortured. Coincidentally, Lee might have used a little more Hulk to match his Banner-like qualities. According to Lucas, it seemed like studio influence or other factors were pulling the film away from Lee and his true vision, and that maybe Lee wasn’t committed enough to that vision. Marvel’s Hulk Absolutely Tortured Its Director: ‘Ang Lee Was In Tears’

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