Do you think Edward Norton is a good choice for The Incredible Hulk?
Avi Arad: Edward Norton is a great choice for anything. He's just a great choice period.
With The Incredible Hulk coming next year, you have to be pretty far along with the script? And, are you going to incorporate any of the CGI from the first film?
Avi Arad: None. It's a new Hulk. It's a new direction, new size, new color, new attitude. Anything that was done before is not in this movie. It's a very different kind of a Hulk. It's more of a love story. It's a heroic Hulk. It's the kind of Hulk we loved in the show. So, it's kind of more influenced by the show than anything else. It's very human, very touching. A new direction, Louis Leterrier has a unique filming style that will be great here.
Any truth to a gray Hulk?
Avi Arad: Well, we'll see, I don't know.
Edward Norton is such a bold casting choice. How do you get someone of that caliber to sign on? How did that come about?
Avi Arad: We let him read the script, let him meet the team, let him understand what the character is about, what the journey is about. He actually turned down Hulk 1. So, I guess the second time around was more convincing.
What made him change his mind this time?
Avi Arad: I think he thought he wasn't ready or people have... in all fairness, I think Spider-Man and X-Men... made actors of this caliber really interested in our kind of movies. They realized that they can tell a story in a real special way. The creature still contained the character of the actor. If you look at the kind of choices that were done on Spider-Man 1, 2 and now 3, it gets their attention. People get attracted and they realize, "No, no, it's not about the action, it's about the story."
Robert Downey, Jr., to be in a superhero movie, if you talked about it 10 years ago he would have looked at you like, "Get out of here." This is the time of his life.
When you bring on people to these movies like Edward Norton or Robert Downey, Jr., do you get them to sign on for multiple pictures? Or, is it a balance? You get a big name but they only sign on for one film?
Avi Arad: It's a mixed bag. Some of them sign for multiple pictures. Our experience with these kinds of actors is they had a good experience, they want to stay with the character. Once you've formed the character you can make a movie this size, and that sophisticated, from a relationship standpoint, because Toby, Kirsten and James have that deep within their own characters. You can really take some risks. Acting is character development. So forget what a piece of paper says, if an actor doesn't want to do it, it doesn't matter what the contract says. They have to want to do it. You don't want somebody showing up on set just because they signed up for it. You want them to come in and have a great time.
The Incredible Hulk crashes into the theaters June 13, 2008 from Universal Pictures and Marvel Studios.
Spider-Man 3 swings into conventional theaters and IMAX on May 4 from Columbia Pictures.