Hulk Mad! - Marvel and Norton Wrangle Over Final-Cut
It's certainly odd timing that with the long-awaited debut of The Incredible Hulk trailer tonight, we receive word today from Deadline Hollywood that Marvel Studios and Ed Norton are having less-than-amicable discussions as to the film's final cut. The marketing for the film has certainly been slow compared to the likes of Iron Man and The Dark Knight, considering Hulk is due out June 13th of this year. Not only that, Norton needs to overcome the bitter-taste of Ang Lee's 2003 rendering. And now today we hear that "There's a problem. Marvel won't listen to Norton about the cut." The Hulk certainly has some heavy lifting to do.
But is anyone really surprised by this latest news? Norton not only rewrote the script but he is also the lead in the $150+ million production, playing the same role assumed by Eric Bana in 2003 as Bruce Banner. Couple this with the actor's deep, personal interest in the film - we outlined that in our Comic-Con post from last year - and you have someone with a strong, vested opinion. It only stands to reason that there would be involved discussions when the inevitable time came to reconcile Norton's vision with Marvel's. That time is today, apparently.
Save for the fact that the movie is due out in almost exactly three short months, I would speculate that there's little to worry about with this news. True, Norton has a reputation for having some heavy-handed opinions (The Italian Job, American History X); but, really, what big-name wouldn't if they were writing and starring in something as mammoth and challenging as the Hulk?
Nikki Finke from Deadline Hollywood quotes an insider who seems a bit hyperbolic, stating "Never let an actor write a script. Marvel made a mistake letting the wolf into the hen house." Really? The "wolf?"
Personally, I like Norton a lot and am really looking forward to his take on the Hulk story. As he mentioned earlier this year, "to me the whole thing was to envision it in multiple parts. We left a lot out on purpose. It's definitely intended as chapter one." The first step is always the hardest. To read more about the battle, head over to Deadline Hollywood.
Watch the trailer tonight and let us know what you think!