ScreenRant’s documentary series tackles a topic that I’ve always wondered about…what the heck happened between Edward Norton and Marvel in regards to 2008’s Incredible Hulk?
Norton seemed like the perfect guy to play Bruce Banner. Certainly, via Fight Club he had the whole ego/alter-ego tension down flat. And I heard he was a comic book fan too, so it’s not like starring in a superhero movie was going to be a big “comedown” from his indie flick glory.
And yet even before Incredible Hulk hit theaters…the buzz was, something between Norton & Marvel Studios just didn’t gel. (This included Norton doing the unthinkable…refusing to go on a press tour for the movie) By the time casting news for the first Avengers movie rolled around…the actor & Marvel seemed clearly dunzo.
According to ScreenRant, part of the blame here seems to be squarely on Norton’s shoulders, and his feud with Incredible Hulk screenwriter Zak Penn. I know the “temperamental” actor gambit is a bit of a cliche, but it did seem as if Norton was all grabby-grabby about “control” on this picture.
ON THE OTHER HAND…it’s fucking Edward Norton. One of the greatest American actors of all time, in my opinion. So he wanted to better “define” the character as his own with script rewrites and etc.? I mean, he’s fucking Edward “Ed” Norton!
But…here’s the thing.
By the time Marvel’s Avengers 2012 came out, it was obvious what the #1 factor that really kept this whole “connected” universe thing going was cooperation. You can’t have this many high-profile actors in the same movies film-after-film if RDJ and Chris Evans are constantly fighting and shitting down each other’s throats. Period.
And…was Edward Norton going to really going to be 2nd fiddle at best all the way through 2019 co-starring/cameoing through most of these movies?
He didn’t have the…what do you call it, Mark?
And I don’t really have a dog or a norton or a ruffalo in this fight. I think they were both great as Bruce Banner, albeit taking the character in different directions. And fuck, let’s pour a little out for Eric Bana as well…I mean, he did the best he could.