Well, if you were like me and hoping that Edward Norton would return to reprise his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in the upcoming Marvel film The Avengers, then you will be disappointed to hear that Marvel is going to replace the incredible actor with an unknown. There is a very interesting story behind this, and a big mistake.
Norton never made it clear that he would be up for working with Marvel again on The Avengers, after all the guy is pretty busy actor that's not really hurting for acting jobs. It all came down to what the story and script would be like. Would it surprise you to learn that Norton was actually excited about returning to reprise his role as the Hulk? Because it turns out... he was.
Joss Whedon has actually been meeting with the cast for The Avengers which includes Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), and even Edward Norton (Hulk). Whedon has been unleashing his plans for the film, and according to Hitfix, everyone is incredibly excited by what they're hearing. Even James Gunn and Nathon Fillion have heard the plans and were tweeting about how The Avengers movie is going to be insane.
Awesome! So Norton loved what Whedon's plans for the movie are, and they both went to Marvel and expressed their excitement for the film. Norton was ready and willing to return to the Marvel fold. It was reported that "Norton was making serious plans with his agency to keep his dates clear. And then... nothing. Marvel made a decision to hire an unknown, and they informed Norton that they won't be using him in the film. And that is evidently that."
What! Are they serious!? They have the opportunity to get the whole Marvel gang together and they pass up the opportunity to bring back a fan favorite!? Well that sucks. I was really hoping that Norton would return, and now that he wants to, Marvel isn't interested!? What gives?
So there are a few possibilities that could be a reason as to why Marvel wont be working with Norton again.
- They don't have the budget to bring in another big actor.
- They don't want another big actor ego on the set of the film.
- They had a bad experience working with Norton on the Hulk, and they don't want to go through that again.
- He offended someone.
There can be any number of reasons, but the fact of the matter is, from the very beginning, Marvel has been leading up to this Avengers film. This is something they planned for all along, and something that should have budgeted out. It seems like they've always wanted Norton to come back. They are in a place to do something no one has ever done before, and no other studio has been able to pull this off! They can bring together the casts of four different films from the same universe to create one big epic film. Now they're going to kill a part of that plan and cut Norton out.
I was really hoping that at Comic-Con this year Marvel would introduce the fans to the main cast of The Avengers, and I wanted to see Norton up on stage with Downey Jr., Jackson, Hemsworth, Evans and who ever else they plan on bring back on the film. Do you really want to see an unknown actor take on the role of The Hulk at this point? Norton was awesome as Bruce Banner!
Unfortunately from the sound of it Marvel has made their decision and they are moving on. But I seriously hope something changes, and it's not to late for Marvel to strike a deal with Norton, whatever the problem is I hope they can work it out.
In my opinion Marvel needs to step up and finish what they started, and they need to do it right. They have to keep the continuity flowing in these films. They can't drop the ball now and disapoint the fans that have been waiting for this epic movie event. Replacing Norton is a very big mistake. They have the opportunity to make one of the biggest films of all time and they're going to crap out? Come on. Really? I hope money or hurt feelings aren't keeping this from happening. Drew from Hitfix said it best with this comment,
"Avengers assemble" is more than just a nifty slogan for a ball cap. It's a call to arms for a one-of-a-kind movie event. Please... treat it that way. The rewards will be worth the effort
I couldn't agree more.
What do you all think about Marvel's decision to replace Edward Norton as Hulk with an Unknown?