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Edward Norton Misses out on Avengers

The Columbia native was not asked to reprise his 2008 Hulk role in 2012's smash hit The Avengers.

The Avengers is estimated to be the biggest opening weekend in movie history, pulling in a whopping $205 million, according to Marvel/Walt Disney Studios, the makers of the film.

The film stars superheroes who themselves have been the subjects of recent movies.

There is Robert Downey Jr., who played Iron Man in 2008 and the sequel in 2010. Chris Hemsworth, who took up the hammer in 2011, plays Thor. Chris Evans, who played Captain America in the 2011 film, was also invited back for The Avengers.

However, not reprising his 2008 role as The Incredible Hulk is Edward Norton, the grandson of Columbia’s founder James Rouse and a native of Columbia. The role of Bruce Banner/ The Hulk is played by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers.

Should Norton have been The Hulk in The Avengers? Tell us in comments.

In 2010, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige addressed the Norton issue as casting for the Avengers was underway: 

“We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner [The Hulk] 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…”

About a week after Feige’s statement, Norton responded on his Facebook page.

“It seems it won’t work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in ‘The Avengers,’” wrote Norton. “I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn’t turned out as we all hoped. I know this disappointing to many people and that makes me sad.”

Norton’s agent Brian Swardstrom called Feige's explanation "offensive."

“This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light," wrote Swardstrom

"Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast… and both sides started negotiating good faith," Swardstrom said.

Swardstrom wrote the deal fell apart in what “seemed to us to be a financial decision. ... Mr. Norton’s talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans.”

Compared to the other recent films by actors in the Avengers, Norton’s Hulk drew the least in gross revenue, according to IMDB statistics.

Migmig Johnson July 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Exactly. The real reason people are aroused over Ruffalo's performance with The Hulk isn't a very obvious one. It's not about Ruffalo being superior in any way than Norton because that's highly debatable. If anyone knows anything about Joss Whedon's talent, it's that he has the ability get an oscar winning performance out of a potato, no offense to the new Ruffalo fans. If he had Edward Norton to deal with, we probably would've had a Bruce Banner/Hulk which would be much more comfortable with verbal confrontations and gotten more of a spotlight, perhaps even rivaling Robert Downey's.
Gilberto Edwards August 10, 2012 at 08:24 AM
Edward Norton will return because he still in The Incredible Hulk 2 said the producer Gale Anne Hurd in October 23,2008.www.MTV.com
Gilberto Edwards August 10, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Edward Norton will return because he still in The Incredible Hulk 2 said the producer Gale Anne Hurd in October 23,2008.www.MTV.com
Marco Breddin September 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I do not understand why another actor replaces norton as hulk. As an old comic-fan I was very positively surprised about the great and deep performance of norton's hulk. Even more I can tell, that the movie itself really captures the spirit of the original comics. The same applies to the first three spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire! I do not understand this new version... It's so sad that marvel only looks for more profit and does not perserve a good concept, especially while they earn enough. Edward Norton is the one who gives the man behind hulk real deepness and credibility.
Allen Eric Wright September 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Im starting a petition to bring Ed Norton back, if your in email me at Marvel.Wright@gmail.com & please speard thr word!

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