On Saturday I posted the recent news (via HitFix) Marvel had decided they were going to cast ‘an unknown’ to play Bruce Banner and The Hulk in the upcoming superhero ensemble feature The Avengers as opposed to bringing Edward Norton back to reprise the role he played in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. In the post I asked readers what they thought of the decision and already 868 people have voted with 777 of you (89%) saying “yes” you want Norton back in the role to maintain franchise continuity. Well, it looks like the 91 people that either voted “no” or that they didn’t care won out.
HitFix’s Drew McWeeny has been all over the story and received updates from both Marvel Studios’ President of Production Kevin Feige (read here) as well as Edward Norton’s agent, Brian Swardstrom of WME (read here). I will start with Feige’s email as forwarded to McWeeny and we’ll go from there”
A friend sent that above statement to me late last night and in his email he wrote, “Marvel was passing on Norton, okay. But look at the WAY they’re passing. It’s a big FUCK YOU to Norton.” It seems Norton’s agent felt the exact same way, but Swardstrom was a little more verbose… Have a look:
The Avengers will be directed by Joss Whedon (Serenity) and it sounds like the Comic Con crowd may get the first introduction to the complete cast on July 24th in San Diego. Right now Feige and “special guests” are set to present Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America to the Comic Con crowd that night at 6 PM and it would make for a perfect opportunity to reveal the rest of the Avengers cast as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Norton will be on stage with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and/or whomever else is invited to attend.
The Avengers is already set to be released on May 4, 2012 with production expected to begin sometime early next year. I did a massive update on the Avengers film status following Comic Con last year (read that here) and at the time Feige was quoted by Collider when asked if Norton would be in the film and he said, “I think he will be [in it], absolutely.” My, what a difference a year makes.
Of course, there were always reports of tension between Norton and Marvel prior to the release of Hulk, which Norton did virtually zero publicity for all while releasing a statement disputing all the nasty rumors.
Any of you have any thoughts on the matter?