What did Norton add to Hulk?
With The Incredible Hulk already out in cinemas, we are finally finding out exactly what Edward Norton added to the film. And what went on with his missing writing credit.
It's pretty interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes. And it would appear Marvel weren't willing to give Norton the input that he perhaps had in mind.
We recently found out that Edward Norton wouldn't be receiving a credit for writing The Incredible Hulk. But we weren't too sure what the rules were on that one, now Thompson on Hollywood through Cinematical has cleared things up a little.
It seems when Edward Norton was first approached to do The Incredible Hulk he refused, but he then met with the director Louis Leterrier and pointed out some things he's like to do with the film, but at this stage Zak Penn had already written his script and was off the film. Marvel hired a screenwriter to work with Norton on his changes. So what did he add to Zak Penn's version?
Norton mostly changed dialogue, filled in gaps of motivation and developed character. For example, the scenes in Brazil about finding a serum in the Amazon to cure him, and Banner's emails with Tim Blake Nelson, were Norton adds. Marvel agreed to shoot Norton's script.
And when it came to The Writers' Guild deciding who got the credit that wasn't enough:
The Guild tends to favor plot, structure and pre-exisiting characters over dialogue. Given the final version of the movie, they gave the sole credit to Penn. (Another early writer was seeking story by credit and didn't get anywhere.)
But surely if you've amended that script in some way then you deserve something? Apparently not. And despite the appearance of more input it didn't really help in the edit either. We know a lot ended up on the cutting room floor, well Norton was the one who wanted a longer cut, one which might be less commercial. Marvel wanted a more commercial version, following Ang Lee's Hulk.
A collision was inevitable...Marvel had final cut, not Norton. He did not get his way. Some 50 minutes of outtakes will turn up on the DVD.
So it looks like Marvel got Norton on board with promises of creative involvement, which maybe turned out to be less than he thought. But at the end of the day it is Marvel's film I suppose, so how much can he really argue. I guess we will have to wait for the DVD to find out what Norton wanted to put in there. The question is, will Norton be up for a sequel if he feels really hard done by? Not to worry though, Norton is currently working on Motherless Brooklyn, which he is directing, writing and acting in. Not many arguments there then...