Edward Norton Fired As The Hulk, Will Not Appear In ‘The Avengers’

The studio says 'Thanks' but 'No Thanks'

Back in April we learned the amazingly FANTASTIC news that director (and god among men) Joss Whedon has been hired to bring the Marvel comic book series The Avengers to the big screen and since that news came out, there has been some behind the scenes action in regards to who will be cast to play which superheroes in the film. Thus far, we know that Robert Downey, Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man for the film and he will be joined by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Today we learn the not totally surprising news that Edward Norton, who played Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk will NOT be featured in The Avengers movie — a new actor will be hired for the role. Essentially, the studio decided not to work with him again … hinting that he is too problematic to work with:

As HitFix exclusively reported yesterday, Marvel Studios has now confirmed that it is moving forward on development with their summer 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers,” and they have decided not to cast Edward Norton in the key role of Bruce Banner, aka The Incredible Hulk. In a statement sent in direct response to yesterday’s story from the set of “Captain America” in London, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige forwarded the following exclusively to HitFix:

“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.”

And that, as they say, appears to be that.

From what I understand, Edward Norton is notoriously difficult to work with … especially when it comes to the Hulk movies. Earlier this year, Edward put the kibosh on plans for a sequel to The Incredible Hulk … which I’m sure pissed off the studio because another Hulk movie could’ve been tied into The Avengers movie. I suppose it’s possible that the studio could go back and rehire Eric Bana who played The Hulk in the disastrous 2003 Ang Lee film Hulk — at least the audience would get a recognizable actor to play the role. Tho, it seems more likely that they will just hire someone new … someone who would be willing to make a new franchise of Hulk films. Welp, it’s goodbye Ed and hello new guy … we’ll just have to wait and see who the new guy will be.

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  1. Marvel can say whatever petty shit they want about Norton, but my man ALWAYS delivers the goods. I’d rather have a sassy Norton make a good Hulk movie any day. How much would he really have been in the film anyway? It would have been good to see him as Dr. Banner for 10 minutes or so. Too bad it could not be.

    • @baroness — True, he is a fantastic actor. But to be honest, I believe the talk that he is difficult to work with but honestly, all the great ones are.

  2. Janelle

    I mentioned this to my boyfriend, how he’s a pain in the ass to work with but but at least he’s trying to do something by being a dick, lol

  3. alicia

    omg ang lees hulk was so bad it was the only movie i ever walked out of before it ended, it was AWFUL but mr norton did such a good job! ah well mr norton does not strike me as the sequel type so sad he couldnt have made a quick cameo :(

  4. keeyoun

    Wait Scarlett who? Johansen or in reference to the scarlett witch?

  5. J

    Eh, I just wish Marvel let Hulk go. I don’t ever see it being a successful franchise like Iron Man or Spiderman. Just let it go. Whilst it would look embarrassing to rehire Eric Bana, it would probably be their smartest decision. He didn’t wreck the first Hulk movie and I really don’t wanna see some young Hollywood actor getting cast. The role of Hulk for me, is someone grown up and mature.

    But since Hulk plays a fairly pivotal role with the upcoming Avengers movie, Marvel are gonna KEEP on thinking he’s an important asset and try to do a third movie. Perhaps they should do a Ghost Rider 2, the first was actually kinda awesome!

  6. JeN

    booo!! I love Edward Norton and I loved him as Bruce Banner

  7. Juneh

    Aww too bad. I agree with baroness. He may be hard to work with, but he delivers some amazing work. I’d rather have that than someone who’s easy to work with and totally sucks. Oh well, let’s just hope for a good replacement!

  8. …but Edward Norton is so CUTE!!! *stomps foot*

  9. dq

    that sucks edward norton’s hulk was surprisingly amazing

  10. laura

    http://www.hitfix.com/articles/2010-7-11-exclusive-edward-norton-s-agent-responds-to-marvel-ceo-s-statement?m=k

    whedon and norton met apparently and had a great talk about the movie. two sides to every story. i just hope whedon gets to make the film the way he wants to since he is an effing genius.

  11. Liza

    Eric Bana is cute too – not as good an actor but he’s good. I HEART Ed Norton though.

  12. I’m calling right now, people. Neil Patrick Harris will be Banner.

  13. Heather

    I heard peeps that Mark Ruffalo has the part of Banner. I absolutely loved the Incredible Hulk! It’s like my drug and it really annoyed me knowing that Norton won’t be playing the part again. Why do they keep changing the actor? Norton made me believe he really was Banner. Yeah, he may have been notorious and obnoxious, but he is smart and is a good communicator. If they had listened to him, they could’ve seen it. NORTON 4EVA <3

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