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Upfronts 2012: Marvel's 'Hulk' Still in the Works at ABC

Network president Paul Lee says the adaptation of the Marvel Comics series wasn't ready this development cycle and is optimistic the Guillermo del Toro effort will be ready next year.

The Incredible Hulk Comic Cover Art - P 2012
Marvel Comics

NEW YORK -- Paul Lee still wants the Hulk to smash on ABC.

The network's entertainment president told reporters Tuesday during a conference call ahead of his formal upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers in New York that he'd still like to "see some Marvel projects come to television."

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"Hulk is in development," he confirmed. "It wasn't going to be ready this season but we hope it's going to be ready for next season."

Oscar nominee Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labrynth) is developing the project for the Disney-owned network after ABC's parent company purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in late 2009.

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With Disney distributing box office hit The Avengers, Lee touted the corporate synergy and expressed optimism that he plans to expand its superhero slate. "We're immensely proud to be a company with The Avengers," he said. "We're going to continue to develop aggressively."

Pressed for details, Lee remained mum only noting, "We've got some in development, but none that I can talk about at this point."

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More recently, ABC Studios and Fox gave a put pilot commitment to an adaptation of Marvel's The Punisher, with Criminal Minds' Ed Bernero that didn't move forward.

The update news comes as The Avengers continues to build to its box office cume. The film, which stars Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, has already topped $1 billion worldwide.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit