It's official. Edward Norton will not be returning to the role of Bruce Banner / Hulk in the upcoming The Avengers movie.
Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige forwarded the following exclusive reply to HitFix from the set of Captain America: The First Avenger in London.
"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."
I saw some fan replies all over the internet and many are in agreement that Marvel is making a huge mistake by letting Norton go.
Though I understand that Norton was rather difficult during the filming of The Incredible Hulk, I know he wanted the movie to be as good as possible, and that's what probably irked the studio. Marvel does not want to have an actor in a big group like The Avengers try to control production - which is understandable.
Still, Norton was absolutely great as Bruce Banner and I feel that his absence will be much missed in The Avengers Movie.
As for Norton's replacement, it's possible the studio will use this upcoming San Diego's Comic-Con International to make an announcement as to who will be cast in the role, possibly during the Thor and Captain America panel that will take place Saturday July 24th from 6h00pm-7h00pm in Hall H.
What do you think of this news, do you believe Marvel is making a mistake by dropping Edward Norton? and who would you rather see in the role of Bruce Banner?