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Edward Norton’s involvement in the world of Marvel superheroes has always been problematic, to say the least. Even before his Incredible Hulk reboot was released, there were problems. There were rumors of a disagreements between Marvel and Norton while the movie was being made. He wanted the movie to focus more on character, they wanted to just throw a bunch of CGI punching at the screen. In the end, the movie we got never really performed as well as Marvel had hoped.
Now that Marvel is making the Avengers they’ll need to resurrect Hulk. Earlier this weekend Marvel announced that when they bring back the big, green, behemoth he won’t be played by Edward Norton. When they did it they were, well, kind of bitchy about it. They said they wanted “an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit” in other words something Norton is not. And now Edward Norton is mega-pissed.
His agent has now released what is basically a tirade to the media, flinging accusations in Marvel’s direction. Norton’s agent claims he was offered a part in the Joss Whedon directed Avengers movie and even met with Whedon to discuss it. But then he says, “this past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.”
Norton’s reps claim he did everything right and that “Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige's statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel's fans.”
Somehow I doubt Norton was the angel his agent paints him as, but Marvel’s statement did seem unnecessarily catty. They asked for it, didn’t they? Except it all seems sort of irrelevant. He's not even the only person to play the character recently. Bana did it before him and was at least as good. It seems clear by now that the role is sort of interchangeable. Norton was a serviceable Bruce Banner but all anyone cares about is watching the Hulk, and that’s all CGI and has nothing to do with Norton anyway. How much room will there really be for his puny alter-ego Bruce Banner in an already jam-packed Avengers movie anyway? I’m guessing not much. Moving on.