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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 22:10 GMT 23:10 UK
Hulk celebrates UK première
Jennifer Connelly
Connelly signed fans' autographs
The Hulk, one of the big summer movie blockbusters, premièred in London on Thursday.

More than 1,000 fans lined London's Leicester Square to greet the film's stars, which included eight-months pregnant Jennifer Connelly.

Eric Bana, who plays Hulk's human altar ego Bruce Banner, and the movie's acclaimed Taiwanese director Ang Lee also made an appearance outside the Empire cinema.

Bana, the Australian actor who had flown in from Malta from the set of Troy, joked he was not wearing the right coloured clothes.

Giant monster

Arriving in a charcoal grey suit, he said: "I looked everywhere for a green suit but I couldn't find a nice one so I've had to make do with this."

Other celebrities at the première included Australian pop star Holly Valance, boxer Chris Eubank and model Nell McAndrew.

A giant mock-up of the green monster loomed above the crowd on the facade of the cinema.

Eric Bana
Eric Bana flew in from Malta

Fans from Europe and the US joined the crowds, while one man dressed in a ripped shirt and green make-up in an attempt to get a ticket for the screening.

Peter Happlewhite was offering £100 for a ticket, and said he had had a couple of offers, but "everyone has been with a spouse, and their spouses haven't wanted to go in with me".

Marvel hero

Other fans arrived at the première on the spur of the moment.

Students Hannah Brooks, 16, and Jenna Miles, 18, from Essex, brought a camera and managed to get shots of Valance, Connelly, Bana and McAndrew - despite only coming in to London for a day's shopping.

The £100m action film, starring Bana and Connelly, has broken June box office records in the US, taking $62.6m (£37.6m) in its first weekend.

FANS AT HULK SCREENING
Devotees of the green monster greet stars

Directed by Ang Lee, Hulk is based on the adventures of the giant green hero from the US Marvel comic book series.

It has a charity screening in London's Leicester Square on Thursday night, and opens in the UK on 18 July.

In between, London's waxwork attraction Madame Tussaud's will officially unveil its own tribute to the new film on 10 July - a 15-foot, grimacing, luminous green Hulk.

Fan Peter Happlewhite "hulked-up" for a ticket

Hulk is the latest Marvel Comics creation to make it on to the big screen, following X-Men, Spider-Man and Daredevil.

'Don't make me angry'

He first made an appearance as The Incredible Hulk in a 1962 comic strip, which was turned into a hugely successful TV series starring Bill Bixby in the late 1970s.

The story revolves around mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner (renamed David in the TV show) who is transformed into the Hulk when a nuclear experiment goes wrong.

The monster appears whenever Banner is in a rage, leading to the immortal lines: "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

The 1970s TV series featured former Mr Universe Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk.

However, the monster in Ang Lee's film is entirely computer-generated.

Lee is best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and an Oscar-winning adaptation of Sense And Sensibility.




SEE ALSO:
How Ang Lee conquered the world
03 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Hulk breaks blockbuster mould
01 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Charting Superheroes' box-office power
07 May 02  |  Entertainment


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