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HULK SMASH

by Lenise Willis

Marvel Universe LIVE! visits Greensboro Coliseum

lenise@yesweekly.com

Underneath the ripped, green giant, and behind the furious face of the Hulk character isn’t just Bruce Banner, it’s also CrossFit competitor and Olympic weightlifter Joshua D. Murillo, who’ll be playing the mean, green character at the Greensboro Coliseum starting on October 9.

“The Hulk is an amazing character to take on,” said Murillo, from Yakima, Wash. “As Bruce Banner, he has so many things that people can relate to. He must constantly show restraint for the sake of those around him. As the Hulk, he is so primal and uncontrollable. That dichotomy is so fascinating to me.”

A stuntman, Olympic weightlifter, former boxer and CrossFit coach and competitor, Murillo certainly did quite a bit of heavy lifting to obtain the role of the Hulk. With stuntman experience and a physique already equipped to wear and maneuver the 75-pound Hulk suit, Murillo was ready to carry the weight of the challenge, but there were a few other hurdles he had to jump over.

“Most of the other performers at my audition were incredible,” Murillo said. “They had skills that took years and years of practice to develop. I had to figure out how to make myself stand out, and the answer was to pour my heart into it and trust in my training. I also was asked if I knew how to use stilts. I didn’t, so that night I went out and bought a pair of stilts and practiced my butt off.”

Murillo adds that besides maneuvering on stilts, his stunts aren’t particularly scary (as opposed to the Spider-Man characters aerial stunts), but more like a fun form of anger management. “I mostly smash a lot of things,” he laughed.

batteries to power the suit. to create the virtual scenes.

THE SPECS

SUIT: The Hulk suit stands at eightand-a-half feet tall and weighs 75 pounds. It took more than 1,500 hours to build the Hulk costume. The design team went through four Hulk prototypes before the final product. It takes two car.

SHOW: The set includes a 36-by- 24-foot LED backdrop. It takes 25 projectors, weighing 700 pounds each, To stay “mean and green,” Murillo maintains a diet comprised mostly of veggies and protein. On Mondays, though, he recoups with a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream. He also works out several times per week with his fellow Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D actors in a traveling gym, which is complete with barbells and a squat rack.

His favorite weightlifting exercises are the clean and jerk and the snatch. Both exercises involve lifting a barbell from the floor to the overhead position. The clean and jerk involves lifting the barbell to the clavicle before pressing it above the head.

For my bodybuilding readers, the answer is no, he doesn’t get a quick “pump” on before going out on stage. “There are weights offstage, so you could if you wanted to, but I save my energy for the show,” he laughed.

When first-ever Marvel live tour rolls into Greensboro next week, it will bring 25 Marvel characters, a digital battlefield, and one epic quest for power.

The show highlights Thor’s brother, Loki, as he seeks to clone the Cosmic Cube and destroy the universe. To defeat him, Marvel’s biggest super heroes, including the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider Man and Wolverine band together. As the story continues, our favorite super heroes run into trouble and must face some of their biggest adversaries, including the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and Electro.

Besides having a stage full of professional stuntmen, the show also promises to wow the audience with special effects, such as pyrotechnics and video mapping. These effects allow for the creation of optical illusions and digital-wrapped 3D objects. The audience will be immersed in explosions and laser beams.

This impressive virtual space is made possible by sophisticated forms of technology that are used to interact with the performers on stage. In fact, the Marvel production includes “the largest, transformative projection space ever known to be built.”

For the projection content, the creative team generated a backdrop that is equivalent to a two-hour scenic movie, occupying approximately 10 terabytes of data on the projector servers. Rendering one scene of these high-res images has enough data to fill 153 HD-DVDs. !

WANNA go?

There are seven shows of Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro, Oct. 9-12. Tickets are $25-$90. For tickets and more information visit www.greensborocoliseum.com or call 373-7400. Dial 1-800-745-3000 for Ticketmaster.

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