Incredible Hulk's Dispute Explained

By Rafe Telsch 2008-04-18 09:18:05discussion comments
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The Incredible Hulk is rapidly approaching theaters, but you wouldn’t quite know it. The typical PR blitz that accompanies a movie isn’t hitting hard the way we’d expect, largely due to a falling out between Marvel Studios and Hulk headliner Edward Norton. Even though Norton isn’t talking, it turns out the big problem between the two entities may not be as bad as we all thought, and the key contributing factor to the argument appears to us, the press.

Entertainment Weekly outlines the argument between Marvel and Norton, which started over the final edit of the upcoming Incredible Hulk. Director Louis Leterrier talks about being concerned about working with Norton at the start due to his reputation thanks to pictures like American History X. Instead Norton was an ideal part of the project… until that edit. Norton and Leterrier wanted a slower paced film that meditated on key ideas while Marvel wanted a more commercial flick. The studio won and Norton lost.

Frankly, the argument could have ended there had websites not gotten wind of the dispute and made a big deal out of it. Instead of helping to resolve the situation, Leterrier said the press made it impossible for Norton and Marvel to come to a resolution, which is why Norton isn’t talking. Apparently Norton recognizes the value of Marvel’s more commercial edit of the film, however, and isn’t talking more out of a concern of being branded a “pain in the ass.”

Even though Norton isn’t making the rounds talking about the picture, he has issued an official statement about the film and the dispute with Marvel Studios, which you can read below:

Edward Norton’s Official Statement
"Like so many people I've loved the story of The Hulk since I was a kid, so it was thrilling when Marvel asked me to write and help produce an altogether new screen incarnation, as well as play Bruce Banner. I grew up reading Marvel Comics and always loved the mythic dimension and contemporary themes in the stories, and I’m proud of the script I wrote. In every phase of production, including the editing, working with Louis Leterrier has been wonderful...I've never had a better partner, and the collaboration with all the rest of the creative team has been terrific. Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other's opinions is the heart of filmmaking. Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them. All of us believe The Incredible Hulk will excite old fans and create new ones and be a huge hit...our focus has always been to deliver the Hulk that people have been waiting for and keep the worldwide love affair with the big green guy going strong.'' (EW.com)

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