‘Transformers 3’ Set Pics and Vids, Norton Addresses Hulk Issues and ‘Spider-Man’ Casting Rumors

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Obviously over the weekend the news Edward Norton won’t be playing the Incredible Hulk in Marvel’s The Avengers got a bit heated as Marvel Studios’ President of Production Kevin Feige said one thing and Norton’s agent said another. Well, today Norton has replied via his Facebook page in a statement that pretty much dowses the fires allowing things to move on…

As most of you know, I don’t like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audience’s fullest enjoyment of the ‘magic’ that films can have. But I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from fans of the Hulk and the Avengers that I feel it would be rude not to respond. So here goes: It seems it won’t work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in “The Avengers.” I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone but it hasn’t turned out as we all hoped. I know this is disappointing to many people and that makes me sad. But I am very sincerely grateful to Marvel for extending the offer and even more so for giving me the chance to be a part of the Hulk’s long and excellent history. And I really can’t thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you’ve sent me way about what Louis and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It means a lot to me. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation. I’m really proud, and very blessed, to have been one of them and will be thrilled to see him live on through other actors. Hulk is bigger than all of us, that’s why we love him, right?

Sincerely,
Edward Norton

So that pretty much ends Norton’s involvement and it wasn’t long before rumors as to who would be replacing him began to fly as CHUD reports none other than Joaquin Phoenix has been approached for the role.

Reliable sources tell me that Marvel has already put out an offer, and the actor they’ve spoken to is Joaquin Phoenix, believe it or not. Phoenix is taking time to mull over the offer and the bigger implications – Marvel may yet resurrect the Hulk franchise – but Marvel hopes to have him in place by Comic Con, which is when they want to announce their new Bruce Banner.

As of right now treat this as a rumor, as I was unable to get solid confirmations or denials (it’s the weekend!). Phoenix might very well turn the studio down – I’m hearing that whoever plays Banner will be the lowest man on The Avengers pay totem pole…

As Devin Faraci at CHUD points out, “if Feige is moving past Ed Norton because he’s tough to work with, will he have better luck with Phoenix?” It’s a worthwhile question and if he’s going to be paid peanuts to play the role does it make any sense at all?

Keeping in the superhero realm, The Playlist noticed on IMDB‘s page for Marc Webb’s Untitled Spider-Man Reboot one time Peter Parker contender, Anton Yelchin, is listed as being rumored for the role of Harry Osborn. Yelchin, who played Chekov in last year’s Star Trek seems as decent a choice as anyone, but you have to wonder just what kind of bread second fiddle to Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man is going to earn the actor that plays Osborn. After all, Garfield is only receiving a reported $500,000 for his part in the film and he’s the lead.

The Playlist also noticed actress Elena Satine (pictured just above) tweeting after Garfield’s Parker announcement saying, “Garfield is Spidey!!!! Now Alden Ehrenreich should get a nice consolation prize (cough HARRY cough) and we’re rolling. How about MJ? Hmm…” Satine is campaigning to fill Kirsten Dunst’s shoes as Mary Jane Watson and adds Ehrenreich (Tetro) to the Osborn fold.

Of course, none of that is confirmed and just like the casting of Peter Parker (wasn’t that supposed to go to Logan Lerman Josh Hutcherson?) perhaps none of it will come true.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Tyrese on set of Transformers 3

Finally, the Internet has been swarmed with pics and videos from the set of Transformers 3 now filming in Chicago. The pic above comes from Tyrese Gibson’s Twitter account and you can get several more right here. The videos below come from all over.