Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) is working with Disney and “Battlestar Galactica” executive producer David Eick to create “The Hulk” TV series for ABC.
According to Deadline, Del Toro and Eick will share story credit on the pilot, which they will devise together and Eick will write. Del Toro will direct the pilot, if available, though he’s deep into pre-production on his 2D horror epic At the Mountains of Madness. ”The Hulk” is Disney’s first TV production since acquiring Marvel in January for $4.24 billion and Del Toro’s first foray into television.
Details are scarce, since it’s still in the works, but the show is reportedly starting with the origins of a 20-something Bruce Banner and his green, rampaging alter ego. To keep costs low, ABC will use “a mixture of prosthetics, puppetry and CGI” rather than the entirely computer-animated Hulks of the two recent films. Del Toro will oversee the character’s design, which the report says will include a “few wild tweaks from the old look.”
The nearly finalized deal is part of Del Toro’s new partnership with the Mouse House, which has already spawned a spooky reboot of The Haunted Mansion. He said he was interested in the Hulk back in 2002 (when he directed Blade II), but was never hired to make the movie.
Instead, Ang Lee landed the feature with Eric Bana playing Banner and, well, the results weren’t well received. Edward Norton starred in his own take in 2008 titled The Incredible Hulk. Mark Ruffalo is playing the character in Marvel’s The Avengers in May 2012.
“The Hulk,” pitched as an hour-long pilot, won’t be ready until Fall 2012 (after the superhero ensemble movie), and is said to be one of three live-action series Disney is developing from its new Marvel banner. Speculation points to The Punisher, which just reverted to Marvel after two failed movie attempts, and Cloak and Dagger, which is being set up at ABC Family, according to THR.
Guillermo del Toro is a master storyteller. If you’re into that sort of thing, I recommend the horror novel series he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, starting with The Strain.