Hey Gang! As you know Marvel will officially be replacing Edward Norton as The Hulk in The Avengers movie. A move that me, and the rest of the fanboy/fangirl community think is utter bull crap, especially since Norton wanted to be a part of the film!
The drama continues to unfold as Edward Norton's agent, Ben Swardstrom, from The William Morris agency has released the facts about what's been going on, and also acknowledges Marvel President Kevin Feige's "offensive" comments about Norton. Here is the official statement...
This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project.
Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith.
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.
We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige’s mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, 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.
I'm siding with Norton on this one folks. Marvel reached out to him, Norton was ready and willing to do what he had to do to be a part of the movie, they were on the road to making a deal, then all of a sudden they drop him and release a statement painting him in a bad light. This just doesn't make sense.
Norton has yet to comment on the matter, but I'm sure he'll speak out about it soon. I guess we can all hope that this is just a publicity stunt, prepping up for the big reveal at Comic-Con that Norton will actually be a part of the film. It doesn't really sound like that's what's going down though.
What do you think of Ben Swardstrom statement?