Lee: 'Hulk' Is No Mere Action Film

For MTLou Ferrigno played the Hulk in the U.S. television series, but today's monster, though still green, is computer generated.
NEW YORK -- Director Ang Lee said this week that his new film "The Hulk" is more than just an action movie.

Despite that the movie is about a comic book hero, he said, he wasn't about to make it a one-dimensional film.

"I wanted to do it all," the 48-year-old, Taiwan-born director of "The Hulk" said. "I wanted a movie that satisfied the audience's desire for action. But I also wanted to establish ... a psychodrama, a kind of emotional intensity that drives the action along."

The director -- whose previous work includes "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), "Eat Drink Man Woman" (1994), "Ride With the Devil" (1999) and "The Ice Storm" (1997) -- said making a film about a mild-mannered man who gains the ability to turn into a muscle-bound monster after a lab accident was a way of tapping into a new kind of energy.

"With the comics, especially, there's this rich tradition of visual storytelling," Lee said. "It's just that no one can take it seriously. So I saw [this project] as an opportunity to do something crazy, intense and artistically fulfilling. With no rules."

In addition to being the subject of a popular comic book, the green-tinted monster, the Hulk, was also the basis for the U.S. television series "The Incredible Hulk" and three television movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

"The Hulk" opens worldwide on Friday. It is now playing in Moscow in English at the America Cinema and in Russian at several local theaters. See the listings below for showtimes.