Hulk will be directed by Louis Leterrier (Transporter 1 & 2, Unleashed) and produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige (Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises) and Gale Anne Hurd (who produced Marvel's The Pacifier).
The production is expected to shoot for more than four months in and around the city. Both Iron Man and Hulk are to be distributed through Universal. A third feature, Wolverine, a spin-off from the X-Men franchise, is in the works at Fox.
Executive producer Jim Van Wyck, a freelance producer who last shot in Toronto in 2005 on Richard Donner's 16 Blocks, told Screen International that he, Arad, Feige and Hurd were all keen to shoot in the city again, adding that Toronto edged out Vancouver as the first choice for the production. 'The third act takes place in New York,' he said, making Toronto and its environs a better match. Van Wyck said the production has booked space in the city's two main facilities, Toronto Film Studios and Cinespace.
Rhonda Silverstone, manager of the Toronto Film and Television Office, said the the city was on tenterhooks during the six-week strike. 'Toronto has been scouted by several major productions during the past few months. There was work in the city from the productions that had signed temporary agreements but there was no chance of new work coming in. No one would commit.'
However, when asked if a prolonged strike might have forced Marvel to re-think its choice of Toronto, Van Wyck said that, on the contrary, his production was prepared to sign an interim agreement with Canadian performers' union ACTRA. One of the threats wielded by producers negotiating with ACTRA during the strike was that US producers were unlikely to sign such deals.
Either way, everyone is agreed: 'It's good to be back in business,' said Donna Zuchlinksi, acting director of industry development at the Ontario Media Development Corp.