(“I F*CKING HATE CHAIRS!!”)
I think an Avengers movie is more trouble than it’s worth, and that Marvel could sacrifice a little continuity to make better stand-alone movies. Easily the lamest parts of Iron Man 2 were the parts involving Captain America’s shield and Thor. Since no one cares what I think, they’re going ahead with the Avengers with Joss Whedon at the helm. Hitfix was recently trying to find out if Edward Norton would reprise his role as the Incredible Hulk. Long story short, Marvel said no, and they were a little bitchy about it.
[Emphasis added] 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 [Hemsworth – Thor], Chris E [Evans- Captain America], 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.”
It’s a little weird that they’d so openly bash their actor, considering studios will usually just say it’s a scheduling thing in order not to step on anyone’s toes in public, like Dreamworks did when Sharlto Copley wanted to wear alien ears (despite their denials, my source stands by the original story, by the way). Also, when did Kevin Feige turn into a kindergarten teacher? “Edward N just isn’t a team player like Chris H and Chris E. He won’t share his blocks and pretends to be asleep so he can peek up my skirt during nap time.”
I don’t trust a grown man who would publicly refer to another grown man as “Chris H.”
Norton’s agent has since responded. You can read the whole thing over at Hitfix, but the gist of it is that the decision seemed to be financial and Norton’s people were a bit blindsided.
This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.
Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige’s statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory.
It’s certainly unprofessional. That doesn’t mean I believe an agent. Anyway, I hope Channing Tatum has his Hulk hands ready. “Yo, girl, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry or whatever.”