Norton talks Hulk Avengers
The other day the Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that Edward Norton was not returning to play the Hulk for The Avengers film, or any other film for that matter, and the comments he made were rather uncomplimentary towards Norton, or rather they pointed that way with a very big arrow.
Now Edward Norton has come back and been very professional and courteous towards the fans of the franchise about it all, but it still looks like we're going to see a recast Hulk for The Avengers film.
”We have made the decision to not bring Edward Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.”
Now reading that, if I was the person it was talking about, I'd be a little miffed. For it does plainly insinuate that I wasn't collaborative with other actors, nor was I creative, there's even a sniff of saying that I wasn't as talented as the other actors. Ouch.
I wouldn't mind so much if those things had been said to my face in closed meetings and I lost the job, being a huge actor like Edward Norton is, I would just walk away and onto my next project, a more serious one that demanded a little more creativity. However the comment was made in a very public place.
So it wasn't long before Norton came back with his own comments, and why not? The comments had already been made in a public forum, and you wouldn't want your reputation to be harmed, not that the reputation of Norton would be harmed by comments made about a Hulk film.
Respond he did, and L.A. Times Hero Complex has the story once again:
”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.”
You have to give the guy a lot of respect for that straight away, while I don't always agree that talking about films can ruin the magic of them, after all I wouldn't do this if I thought that, you have to respect the way he wants to protect the audience.
His comment, which I feel I can't fully copy from the source article as it would be taking all their thunder, goes on to say that he is really appreciative of the fans and their support, of the chance to make the Hulk, and thanks everyone involved, he even comments on how he's been a fan of every incarnation of Hulk to date – well said, I still like Ang Lee's version. He even says he'll be happy to see other actors play him.
Not a drop of anger, bitterness, or response to the previous comment from Marvel. Perhaps Feige needs the PR people that Norton uses?
He closes with this quote:
”Hulk is bigger than all of us, that's why we love him, right?”
It's a nice statement, and it makes you wonder what the real problem was. Let's face it both Hulk films gathered close to the same amount of profits and both are good, and it does make you wonder why the openly negative comments from Marvel were needed, why couldn't they just have said “The rumours of Edward Norton leaving the Hulk films are, unfortunately, true. Marvel and Hulk have both enjoyed their time with Norton and the rumours that monetary issues have caused the departure of the star are unfounded. With The Avengers it's time to find a new face for the Hulk to hide within...” and so on.
Now I'm no PR person, but even that sounds a lot better than the actual comments.
All that aside, the question is whether Hulk will survive another actor change. I personally don't think that's an issue due to the very nature of the character. Hulk is always there, the focus of the films is to see the Hulk come out, and while they've tried to concentrate on the Banner side of the character, that hasn't always been successful with audiences.
I actually find that a shame because it's what I loved about the television series, it wasn't all about the Hulk, it was about Banner trying to rid himself of the Hulk.
So with the focus being the big green guy, the changing face of the man behind him doesn't really become an issue I think. What do you think though?