So Edward Norton is out of the Avengers movie, but the Hulk is in. This is something of a slap in the face to those of us who watched and loved The Incredible Hulk, but then again, I’m sure Eric Bana fans said the same thing after Hulk came out and sucked.
But the news broke a few days ago that Norton was out of the movie, and I actually had the news scheduled to go up on Sunday, but another development caused me to pull the original piece in favor of this new one. Mainly due to the way they talk about the great Edward Norton in trying to explain why he’s no longer a part of this franchise.
The following is a statement by Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige:
“We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.”
So Edward Norton, one of the finest actors of the last twenty years, who delivered a character defining performance in The Incredible Hulk, who will be remembered for generations to come from his amazing performance in Fight Club, and his academy award nominated performance in American History X amongst so many other great roles. He’s a great actor, seriously, one of the best there are in Hollywood right now. And not just that, he’s got an incredible eye for film as he even co-wrote The Incredible Hulk, which I feel made the movie that much better.
How can letting him go be a gain to anybody? That would be like if Richard Donner had turned down having Marlon Brando in Superman 1 in favor of someone who was willing to do more takes. Or had Marvel settled on an actor other then Anthony Hopkins to play Odin in the upcoming Thor movie.
Or had they not gone the extra mile to cement Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in ALL of their movies.
Norton is the kind of actor who can only add to a project, his knowledge of film and storytelling, his uncanny acting ability, there is literally no downside to having him around.
So how this is anybody’s gain, save for whoever replaces him, is completely beyond me.
Tags: Avengers, Commentary, Edward Norton, Hulk, Marvel Movies, Movies, The Incredible Hulk