EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Incredible Hulk Writer Greg Pak!
The critically acclaimed comic book writer of titles like World War Hulk and Hercules talks to me about his extensive work on the Green Goliath as well as his thoughts on Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, his award winning film career, what comic book movies he’d like to see made and a lot more...
This interview has literally been months in the making. Due to Greg’s hectic schedule with deadlines for the various titles he works on for Marvel, it took a while to get these answers from him and he was good enough to put up with my incessant nagging during that time! As I’m sure you’ll see though, it was worth the wait! Read on for some information about Greg and his work and then to hear his thoughts on everything from the Hulk to Hercules and more! Oh, and I would of course like to thank him for making the time to always reply to my queries and to finally get these answers back to me for you guys to enjoy. Heck, the poor guy still hasn’t had chance to watch Iron Man 2 as you can read about below!
Greg Pak’s feature film, Robot Stories, won 35 film festival awards. It was soon after this that he started writing for Marvel and later signed an exclusive contract with them in July 2005. His work with them includes titles such as Phoenix: Endsong, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. It was with the Earth shattering event World War Hulk that made him the favourite of many a comic book fan and he’s kept up the great work within the Hulk line of comics as well as projects such as Incredible Hercules, Skaar: Son of Hulk, Magneto: Testament and War Machine.
JOSH WILDING: What was it that made you decide to get into writing comic books?
GREG PAK: I'd read and drawn comics all my life. But for whatever crazy reason, it never occurred to me to pursue it professionally. I started making films with a student group while I was at the Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. Then I went to grad school at NYU film, made a ton of shorts, and eventually shot my feature film Robot Stories. While I was on the festival circuit with Robot Stories, my agent found out Marvel was looking for writers. She sent over the Robot Stories screenplay, which must have rung the right bells, 'cause five years later, here I am!
JOSH WILDING: You've been involved with the Hulk for a fair few years now. What is it you like about the character so much?
GREG PAK: The Hulk is so incredibly simple -- he's about the price of anger. That simplicity makes it possible to focus very closely and in an almost paradoxical way end up writing surprisingly complex and deep stories. Anger is also a phenomenal theme for dramatic storytelling. Drama is all about conflict, and what better engine for conflict than wrath?
In our most recent storylines, we're pumping up this theme of anger by pairing it with family. Because no one can save you from anger like your family -- but no one can drive you crazier. Starting with Incredible Hulk #612 and #613 in September, the book's been renamed Incredible Hulks and features the Green Goliath leading a team of friends and family, including Red She-Hulk, Skaar, She-Hulk, A-Bomb, and Korg. It's a massively-overpowered team of volatile smashers, and their first opponent is the Hulk's insane half-alien son Hiro-Kala, who might just be out to destroy the world. A ridiculously unstable and hugely fun scenario for massive smashing and huge emotional repercussions.
JOSH WILDING: How did it feel to write an event like World War Hulk that pitted him against pretty much the entire Marvel Universe?
GREG PAK: It was a blast. I'd hugely enjoyed writing Planet Hulk, in which the Hulk was exiled on an alien planet -- there's some storytelling freedom you gain when you don't have to worry about coordinating with the rest of the Marvel Universe. But I was hungry to play in the big sandbox and World War Hulk let us really cut loose with just about every big character out there.
JOSH WILDING: Although a lot of characters have been popping up in the Hulk line of books, is there a chance that he'll appearing elsewhere after being absent from events like Civil War, Secret Invasion and Siege?
GREG PAK: The Hulks will play a massive role in the Chaos War event that's exploded out of the Incredible Hercules epic I've been writing with Fred Van Lente. Don't miss Incredible Hulks #618 to #620, pencilled by the brilliant Paul Pelletier, for a mind-blowing superhero horror action story that makes up the critical second front of the Chaos War.
JOSH WILDING: What do you think about Mark Ruffalo being cast as Bruce Banner in The Avengers?
GREG PAK: I'm a huge Mark Ruffalo fan -- absolutely LOVED him in You Can Count on Me -- so I can't wait to see what he does with the role.
JOSH WILDING: Are there any characters in particular you'd like to write that you so far haven't had chance to work with all that much?
GREG PAK: Silver Surfer, Storm, and Strange are three big characters that my imagination continues to drift towards in idle moments. Someday!
JOSH WILDING: After writing War Machine in his own series for a little while, how did it feel to see him come to life on the big screen in Iron Man 2?
GREG PAK: Shocking confession: I still haven't seen the movie! Marvel had a special screening in New York that I missed in order to get ahead with some Hulk comics deadlines. And I still haven't managed to free up an evening to see it. Because I'm writing comics for you, dear fans! All for you!
JOSH WILDING: Are there any other comic book movies in particular that you're looking forward to or would like to see made?
GREG PAK: X-Men: Brood War! And, of course, "World War Hulk" and "Incredible Hercules."
JOSH WILDING: After writing and directing the brilliant Robot Stories, would you ever be tempted to return to the movie world? Perhaps with a comic book character?
GREG PAK: Thanks so much for the kind words. I've actually kept a finger hooked into the movie world over the past few years. Most recently, I directed a short film starring Tim Kang called Mister Green that won Best Short at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival. You can see it at my YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/user/pakbuzz. I'm hoping to shoot another short next year -- knock on wood!
JOSH WILDING: What can your fans expect to see from you next?
GREG PAK: I'm announcing a crazy new creator-owned project at the New York Comic-Con in October. There's a little tease at http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002149.shtml And I recently joined the Twitter, 'cause I hear that's what the kids are all raving about: http://www.twitter.com/gregpak
Source: Josh Wilding
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