In a bold move that has got tongues wagging all across the internet, it appears that the iconic role of The Hulk/Bruce Banner will no longer be played by Edward Norton in Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie.
According to entertainment news site Hitfix, Marvel issued the following statement:
“We have made the decision to not bring Ed 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. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.” – Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President of Production.
In response to this rather harshly-worded statement, Edward Norton’s agent issued a rather lengthy retaliation, claiming that Norton was excited about the project and cast, had attended a successful initial meeting with director Joss Whedon and that financial negotiations had been entered into prior toÂ Marvel’s announcement of their intention to replace him.
Perhaps Edward Norton was getting asked a lot of questions about this, as he put up the following image over at his official Facebook page:
Whether the motivation for this is financial or due to creative differences, one thing is clear – fans have not been pleased by this turn of events. The ongoing filmic saga of the formation of the Avengers has been fascinating to watch, and swapping actors in such a vital role at this juncture will be absolutely fatal to the suspension-of-disbeliefÂ factor.Â It looked like it was all dove-tailing together quite nicely; now it seems the transition from many films to one will be more jarring than expected.
So now the hunt is on for a new actor to fill Bruce Banner’s easily-shreddable shoes.Â Already a casting rumour has surfaced – could Joaquin Phoenix be the next in what seems to be becoming a long line of one-hit Hulks? Who do you think should play The Hulk?
Sources: Hitfix: Marvel Statement