It's Official: Edward Norton is No Longer Bruce Banner / Hulk
We have full confirmation on the surprising news that broke late last night courtesy of HitFix. The same site has received an official statement from Marvel Entertainment confirming that Edward Norton will no longer be playing Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, and that Marvel is looking for an "unknown" to use in The Avengers. We've "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."
Marvel president Kevin Feige, who wrote the message published on HitFix, adds: "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." So that means we will find out at Comic-Con who will be in The Avengers line-up, including who will be replacing Norton in the role of Bruce Banner. So there we go. Even though I thought Norton did a damn good job his Hulk movie, he's being replaced. Thoughts?
Reader Feedback - 75 Comments
David on Jul 10, 2010
Well maybe it's for the better. Maybe they will find someone better. Gotta look on the bright side.
Daniel Felts on Jul 10, 2010
Not surprising, actually. E. Norton stated this would happen shortly after the release of the last Hulk. In fact, I believe he stated he'd be shocked if he was brought back. Marvel and Ed N. are a very bad combination. Both love to fully control the projects they're a part of. That's fine by me. Both Ed N. and Marvel delivered a very average Hulk film, so no love lost. I actually believe the film with Eric B. was superior on most levels. I know I am in a minority.
Andrew Mills Hanke on Jul 10, 2010
my only thought is they are NOT going to find a better actor. norton is one of the best today..............however, it sounds like what happpened here was behind-the-scenes personal differences between the actor and people associated with developing the film.
beavis on Jul 10, 2010
tragic. Norton was extremely good as the Hulk...well we'll see that's all we can do.
Xerxex on Jul 10, 2010
good. cuz, as much as i loved him as The Hulk, he would have tried to rewrite THIS script just like he does every other script, and, honestly, this movie doesn't need that kind of drama
josh on Jul 10, 2010
That's some pretty strong indirect criticism of Norton. Actually, it was pretty direct.
Creighton on Jul 10, 2010
OH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAAWD. Oh well maybe he can be in some more films for grown ups now. Just kidding.
Crapola on Jul 10, 2010
I agree with #7. I'm a bit suprised, I think that Norton would have no problem working with the other actors in The Avengers. Oh well, pretty excited to see who the next name actor will be.
Big r on Jul 10, 2010
I have to agree Marvel are unlikely to find a better actor than Norton for the Hulk. However, Norton did not display his acting chops as the Hulk/Banner, already. It doesn't matter how good an actor he is if he is phoning his performance in. This is one of the areas I feel Ang L.'s Hulk triumphed. Eric B. gave a much better Bruce Banner. I am saddened, however, we'll have to, once again, get use to another actor as the Hulk.
Andrew Mills Hanke on Jul 10, 2010
The producers of The Avengers keep taking one step forward and 10 steps back. This is shaping up to be one hell of a shambles of a movie. All The Avengers needs now is M. Night to direct it and really finish it off. Here's one that's no longer going to follow this mess.
Hattori Hanzo on Jul 10, 2010
well, it will probably be a minor role anyway, i have a feeling we will see more of the hulk than bruce in the avengers. yeah, i always wondered why it was common knowledge that norton rewrote the hulk script but wasn't credited. he must have really pissed off some execs. oh well, more power to him. norton's movies are usually good, hollywoods movies are usually crap
John Stamos on Jul 10, 2010
okay. what this really means is that Marvel just isn't interested in SCREWING AROUND with Norton, or any actor that A) isn't one hundred percent committed to this movie and the demands that it will require, and B) won't give them a hard time (PERIOD) in any way during the process. to be frank, I always thought that Norton was the weakest link here, and I'm glad to hear he's not involved. it's hard enough to make a movie, it's harder to make a super hero movie. harder still to make it good, "believable", surprising and fresh and whatnot. and even more hard when you've got a $#!T-ton of money and unrealistic expectation riding on it. you can't, with any smart sense, invite MORE TROUBLE, by having one of the actors (no matter how good) be on board that will only cause trouble, grief and problems that will only translate to blocking the progress of the production. I think they're making the right choice. as for casting and the "who", let's also check the fanboy cries of woe and worry at the door. I remember years back when EVERYONE OUT THERE b!tched and complained about Heath Ledger getting the job as Joker ("the gay cowboy as Joker? bring back Nicholson!"), and even when Robert Downey, Jr. was cast as Tony Stark/IronMan many complained... UNTIL THEY SAW IT. let's let the talented filmmakers make their movie. we know they care. we know they're good. we know that they've been waiting for an AVENGERS movie as long as we have, and believe it: THEY REALLY WANT IT TO BE GOOD. so let's have faith, and in the summer of 2012, be ready to kick back and enjoy the hell out of whatever offering they deliver. my guess is Joss and Company will knock it out of the park and the film will do gangbusters.
dave on Jul 10, 2010
Well that was stupid considering Norton was excellent as bruce banner. He would have fit right in with the Avengers Crew. O well, marvels loss, hopefully DC pics him up as one of there heroes, One mans trash is another mans treasure and that would be DC treasure if they get there hands on him. Maybe Nolan could pick him up for the next batman.
Rooney on Jul 10, 2010
That sucks. He was great as Banner. "embodies the creative spirit" - That wasn't evident as he was a major part of producing the incredible Hulk? Come onnn, they just want a Yes-man that will shut up and do his job. It makes it more difficult for the audience to attach to these characters and relate all these movies together.
Nick Sears on Jul 10, 2010
thanks god!!! he was a tragedy in HULK 2! this is better he spend his energy in other rules,but eric bana was great. edward norton is not good for hulk at all,what kind of donkey brain choosed him for hulk???
Pandora on Jul 10, 2010
People that use the word "choosed".
Soxtrot on Apr 14, 2011
Let's face the facts here. The underlying messages of this statement are: 1. Marvel can't handle top billing actors, b/c they can't handle top billing directors to corral them into delivering quality performances, unless there's a high degree of improv & they legitimately have something to prove. (Downey Jr. in I.M.1) 2. Marvel can't AFFORD top billing actors or directors. (Branagh doesn't count. As excited as I'd like to be about THOR, I think I'm more nervous than anything b/c why haven't we seen any type of coordinated hype built up? Instead we as fans get the - "Door's shut! Do not disturb!" treatment. Count me as braced but - with this specific announcement - kind of nervous.) 3. The "Plan" of building up to the Avengers in the first place wasn't based on any type of a) film-making genius, b) Realistic numbers or budgeting projections, c) well-researched awareness campaign into who 'Out There' actually CARES about the Avengers, in the first place. In my eyes, the Smartest thing for Marvel to do - as a BRAND - would be to hit the dugout & put their AVENGERS Plan on HOLD - and instead use the Capital, Buzz, & Momentum that they DO have to somehow prove that they're capable as a STUDIO of putting out productions that can execute a couple solid Scores; BEFORE attempting to knock it out of the park w/ a Triple Play or a Home run like Avengers. It occurred to me that if Marvel looked at themselves & their properties as something else than strictly Superhero Origin stories , and instead created some TV Shows exploring the variety of their catalogue w/ Shows based off of TALES to ASTONISH, TALES of SUSPENSE and even "WHAT IF?" (done more as a Twilight Zone type show, but raising the awareness of the Brand, "What If?", and thus, raising awareness of Marvel as a brand.) Honestly, it looks like this might very well be what they're doing. Focusing after Captain America & THOR on cultivating some of their lesser known properties & characters. LUKE CAGE : HUGE Potential if they build the right team & hire the right director. Heroes for Hire. Dr. Strange. Tales of the Iron Fist. Cloak & Dagger. Runaways... these could all become great shows, if teased as shorts before their upcoming films (as has also been recently announced). So to focus back on this announcement, I'd say Marvel should look to find an actor who can elevate the Incredible Hulk's brand awareness through some kind of emotional involvement with the character, in the long run - i.e. Bill Bixby. Hell - they should try to create a new Incredible Hulk TV show, w/ a new green-painted body builder showing up at the 15 & 45 minute marks of an hour long show. (Predictability helps build brand awareness, as well. Something to keep in mind...) But for this Avengers movie? How about this: Don't even BOTHER worrying about who will play Bruce Banner, until you can prove you've got some other solid Hitters in your roster. B/c realistically, if Marvel CARED enough to learn the craft of Film-making & Film production, they'd know that a solid run w/ THOR & CAP would build enough credibility to win back Ed Norton, both financially & w/ enough of a leash on him that he'd do as he's told. Overall - this looks like a vote of low confidence for their upcoming films. Doncha think?
Christopher Nolan on Jul 10, 2010
What really sucks is that now they are going to have to reboot the whole "Hulk" franchise again, resulting in having to tell the same story that nobody will want to see again so the boxoffice sales will be even lower then before. Meaning they will never go in depth with the Hulk character and his story. As far as the avengers part, I thought he would of done well.
The_Phantom on Jul 10, 2010
I doesn't look like a vote of low confidence, it looks like Edddy Norton found someone who wont put up with his Douche Baggery. Be fore I get bitched at I agree old Eddy is a fantastic actor! but he is also a Douche bag, and like someone pointed out before him and Marvel are oil & water. My opinion is Oh Well! there are others out there who can do just as good at Bruce/Hulk, Hell bring Eric Bana back that guy is just as good as norton, the only reason the first Hulk sucked is because Ang Lee is a douche bag also.
Jimmy Love on Jul 10, 2010
What douchebaggery? They allowed him to rewrite the script then didn't put the deeper aspects in the film. They said that the audience would have to wait too long to see the Hulk, which is nonsense. Marvel doesn't care about depth in their characters, they just want wisecracking smartass who blow shit up
Rashad on Jul 10, 2010
In other words, the Hulk is going to be a minor character in The Avengers and we don't need Ed.
Kevin on Jul 10, 2010
Well, Norton is a good actor but I didn't know he was a prick when it came to the material he was given to work with. I'd say cast someone else, because, yeah, the cast now is a crowd he probably wont fit in too well with. And he did seem just a tad out of place for the hulk to begin with in my opinion but it was a good movie. Good discussion.
Eli on Jul 10, 2010
Jeez, I think we'll see a new actor playing Hulk in each movie from now on....
David Banner on Jul 10, 2010
Booooooooo!!! I'm really getting sick of this shit... All this rebooting and actor changing. I mean look, the Eric Bana Hulk was boring as shit. Ghost Rider was utter crap. So sure, make reboots. Spider-man hit a trilogy stage, so by all means, if you run out of ideas for any more movies, then go for a reboot.... One day! But it seems like every fucking thing Marvel is doing, there is an actor changing or a reboot happening. Do they (whether it be Marvel, Disney, Sony..) think the audience is that fuckin stupid? I guess the majority of the Western world is being intentionally dumbed down, so maybe many do fit this description but look, if it's that damn hard to keep actors on for whatever pathetic reasons, just stick to animated films cos the animated versions of Planet Hulk, Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2, etc are amazingly good. Changing the voice of the character isn't such a big deal but changing the voice and look and other characteristics is just going too far!
Higher IQ than You on Jul 10, 2010
Norton did amazing job and captured the character perfectly. Sad to see him go and the continuity... 🙁
reeft on Jul 10, 2010
Marvel dont give shit about fans
none134 on Jul 10, 2010
From what I recall, Norton was trying to make changes to the Hulk movie while he was making it. This could mean Marvel is simply getting rid of a nuisance. Basically, Marvel knew this would probably piss off a lot of the dedicated fans but not keep them from going to see the Avengers movie... and the masses won't care one way or the other. I think this is a big mistake. Norton would have greatly enhanced the ensemble cast. Constantly replacing a critical Marvel character like the Hulk with different actors only creates an aura of failure, and fans sense this aura of failure like someone could sense moisture by stepping outside into a downpour. Apparently Marvel is okay with this. This practice Marvel has embraced sickens me, but as they have guessed... it will not keep me from seeing their movies. It's money that drives them and their actions, it has nothing to do with making a good movie... despite that horsecrap quote about Norton's dismissal as not having anything to do with "monetary factors".
Chris H. on Jul 10, 2010
feeheeheeheeny on Jul 10, 2010
Really did not care for the second Hulk movie. Found it to be boring. Norton is a great actor, but they have not got the Hulk formula down yet.
goudos on Jul 10, 2010
Sounds like Marvel can't handle their own properties. I thought being a separate studio was supposed to eliminate this type of problem. The Ang Lee Hulk sucked goat ass, by the way. The Norton film was miles ahead of it.
Dave Lister, J.M.C. on Jul 10, 2010
Maybe if they make Bruce Banner CG and bring back Lou Ferigno as The Hulk, Marvel might find what they're looking for. Personally, I liked Ed Norton's portrayal of Banner...but, if Marvel is truly looking for "an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members," I would suggest they call Ben Stiller.
Morlock on Jul 10, 2010
he was great but from reading that it seems like Norton himself jacked this up
Antoni05 on Jul 10, 2010
"From what I recall, Norton was trying to make changes to the Hulk movie while he was making it. This could mean Marvel is simply getting rid of a nuisance." No; he rewrote the script and then they took out the deeper things about Bruce's motivations. They wanted more Hulk fight scenes and said "suicide was too dark" for the audience
Rashad on Jul 10, 2010
Another reason the Avengers is going to suck.
Vold on Jul 10, 2010
it's ALL about the money
Lew on Jul 10, 2010
After I think about it I don't really care about who is Bruce Banner since all I really want to see is the Hulk smashing stuff. I just hope they don't change the Hulk's appearance very much, since his look in Incredible Hulk was super freaking cool.
imthinking.tyler on Jul 10, 2010
5 Years ago all this new Marvel thing looked so badass with Norton and RDJ and possible Brad Pitt etc etc etc etc. Now, with the Iron Man II and several casting disappointments along with Spiderman reboot and some other shit, the whole superhero franchise looks plain boring and predictable. Pass on Thor, Avengers, Spiderman and whatever shit DC can spew out with their lame Superman and Batman reboots.
Shige on Jul 10, 2010
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were lame? As far as I am concerned, they're the only time we have seen Batman done correctly.
Andrew Mills Hanke on Jul 10, 2010
@ Rashad NO! Norton wouldn't do the movie unless he could write parts of it and change things to suit himself, Like he does with every film he's in that = Douchebaggery I don't blame Marvel for not wanting him around. Nortons like that quasi friend and when he comes around moans and complains that what everyone's been doing for years is stupid and wants to change it, and then when he does then suddenly no one is interested in doing it any more. If Norton wants to write so damn bad let him go write his own film then. Its one thing to be collaborative and work with others, but demanding and whining well thats douchebaggery!
Jimmy Love on Jul 10, 2010
So Ed Norton is a fantastic (I mean, world-class fantastic) actor who actually has a passion for his roles and the projects themselves. This is a pretty rude jab to his talent. It pains me to think of all the awesome that Ed Norton added to the most recent Hulk film (suicide, deeper shit), and the studio thought it was too dark. Then comes The Dark Knight... and what do you know... superhero films CAN be deep and dark and painful. Lots have said it above me: They won't find anyone better than Norton. Maybe, but not likely. God damn it. Seriously.
Cracky on Jul 10, 2010
The most recent Hulk movie had its share of problems, but Norton was not one of them. This is sad news indeed.
Craig on Jul 10, 2010
Yes Ed Norton is an awesome actor, but this is actually good news. Norton is definitely not a team player. He likes to make things go his own way and though it somewhat worked for The Incredible Hulk (marvel did release their own cut), imagine if they take him on board for avengers and he tells joss whedon "lets sit down and re-write the script." If they are casting relative unknowns its kinda obvious that well see much less of bruce bannor and more of the hulk. If i had my way i would take Sharlto Copley. He totally resembles the ultimate universe bruce bannor and that is what the marvel movie universe is closest to.
Logan on Jul 11, 2010
Sucks really because Norton pulled off the difficult Banner character quite brilliantly. Also sucks because that press release reads like Norton's either not a team player or wanted a more substantial role. And finally it sucks once more because it means we will end up with probably another Hulk reboot. The only possible positives is that they've decided not to bother with Hulk movies because they are too difficult to get right and so the hulk will be a minor character in The Avengers movie and so doesn't need a face to carry it off.
Andy on Jul 11, 2010
maybe the ted dude from himym or nathan fillion if he isnt already hank pym
kirbyfan on Jul 11, 2010
I think that the producers held a grudge with Norton when he tried to rewrite the script. Too bad since they have yet to release the supposed "directors cut" with a lot more backstory that was written by Norton for Banner.
notalent on Jul 11, 2010
Man Avengers ... is really going to suck.
sb on Jul 11, 2010
Norton is a great actor. But Bana was the better Hulk in my opinion - and that movie didn't feel as "average" as Nortons film. I have more respect for Ang Lees film, even though it has many... many flaws. Bana/Connely > Norton/Tyler.
ryderup on Jul 11, 2010
And also, didn't the statement feel like Norton was being a bitch and can't be part of an ensamble? 🙂
ryderup on Jul 11, 2010
I said it as soon as I heard they cast him in the remake. You can't build a franchise on Edward Norton. He's a truly remarkable actor but he just is too damn difficult.
Jake on Jul 11, 2010
The hulk film he was in was crap in anyways. Edward norton has only bein in one great film in anyways american history x and he nearly screwed with that one too. So all the credit he gets he's still living on that performance and wo'nt be missed in the avengers.
stefinn on Jul 11, 2010
"instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members." Well that is a dumb reason......who's talented????the only talented actor in that lot is robert downy jr,having ed nortan would have been huge asset,its a pity.....I thought the hulk film was well made n ed nortan was a perfect banner(da personality suited well)it deserves to have a sequel than crap movies like wolverine origins but what to do ppl didn't embrace it. the avengers just became a little less interesting to me.............but @ least it will have downey jr.so thats something.
nali on Jul 11, 2010
judas on Jul 11, 2010
Bring back Bana!!!!!! Bring back Bana!!!!!!
LinkfX on Jul 11, 2010
#50 claims that Edward norton has only bein in one great film in anyways american history x and he nearly screwed with that one too. With all due respect #50, what in the fuck do you call Primal Fear?
Hattori Hanzo on Jul 11, 2010
Ed Norton might be a problem creatively, if you consider a talented actors creative input a problem, but he's angel compare to Joss Whedon. I think Norton and Whedon on the same set was a major confrontation waiting to happen.
Baron the Curse on Jul 11, 2010
Creative input is one thing but demands tantrums and such are the complete opposite. He's a Douche bag I'm glad he's gone
Jimmy Love on Jul 11, 2010
I say bring in Matthew Fox as Bannner!!
ddot3 on Jul 11, 2010
Fucking great! First, Brandon Routh is no longer "Superman" and now this.
Film Fan on Jul 11, 2010
John on Jul 11, 2010
Banner will spend most of his time in the Avengers as the Hulk anyway. He isn't a major character, so why cast someone well known. I didn't think Norton was coming back anyway.
Tim on Jul 11, 2010
all this means is that the hulk will be in the avengers, but banner will not. duh. nigga.
Spencer on Jul 11, 2010
Of all the stupid moves a company can make.... I guess I should be use to stupid moves I live in Seattle where the Mariners traded away Cliff Lee. STUPID MOVE MARVEL!
yaten24 on Jul 11, 2010
i do think tho that BOTH hulk movies were flawed, and by the looks a decision has been made to cover up that fact. ed out means a fresh start for the franchise, norton and the studio. this is what its like now days kids. NO stickability and your backs not covered.
blair twitch on Jul 12, 2010
i definitely preferred Norton's Hulk to the Ang Lee one but when it comes to the Avengers movie we will probably see more of the hulk and not really have a big need for the Bruce Banner in the Avengers anyway.
wtf on Jul 12, 2010
Notron put on all those Hulk tv series references in the movie. If Hulk was allowed a second movie, it might have got off the ground. However like Punisher War Zone, certain characters are not Titanic size block busters. marvel needs to accept that if you made your money back and have change left over it is a success. By judging the Hulk with Iron Man was/is unfair. Both movies were released in the same summer, only one did better than the other, that is life it happens. I agree Marvel may find someone better, but I am tired of switching characters in mid stream. Look Marvel has committed to the Avengers without seeing what Thor and Capt can do. I don't want to be a director with that kind of burden. Norton may have company have this is all settled with.
MJ on Jul 12, 2010
ryderup if Norton got his way his Hulk would have went from bland to great, but alas Marvel exes don't care for quality, they know how to put asses in seats. They understand the american audience, and know most of us will flock to the lowest common dominator. Its like that scene in Dodgeball, after the credits, you know "Don't make me think"?
Xerxex on Jul 12, 2010
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUFUFUFUFUFUFU part II This was a personal attack that was unjustified. He's friends with a lot of the cast. They just want to underpay actors like the one for Captain America.
franklin williams on Jul 12, 2010
The biggest issue here is that Marvel once again is not paying attention to character development. Hulk is a decent part of the Avengers and by changing his persona through multiple actors, you undermine his character and the idea of what he is/becomes/stands for. Marvel, for the most part, got it right in IM:1 and had a decent start in Incredible Hulk. However, Marvel failed miserably in IM:2 by turning away from the Stark-centered saga and went full force into a "filler" for the Avengers. They completely ignored what made the first movie a success and instead marketed to filling the seats with big names and a few unimpressive explosions. The Avengers is slowly working its route to become just that - and it's upsetting because there is so much ridiculous potential. It's been mentioned a thousand times by so many and it remains the ultimate representation of a super hero franchise - Christopher Nolan's Batman. Marvel, take a hint.
Sota-POP on Jul 12, 2010
Its pretty simple. marvel is used to characters that shut up and just lie there on the page. actors have ideas and input into the process becuase a movie is a collaboration and reflects on the actor as much as the director. this is too messy for them and so they deal with these actors as easily as they can. if you cant shut up. ill get another one that will do your job for less and that looks pretty much like you. i'm not interested in your input. just hit your marks and say you lines. Edward Norton is one of the best actors in hollywood today. there are few that can do better than him. his david banner was well played and i really dont like the hulk. I find it unlikely that this has anything to do with him as much as it does Marvel.
goliad on Jul 12, 2010
WOW! If it wasn't for Norton, not one person in this thread would be interested in seeing the HUlk again after the first one. Someone start a petition for Norton, because I'm not going to see this without Norton as Hulk.
Black Dynamite on Jul 12, 2010
This is absolute bullshit!! What the F!! is wrong with Hollywood?! Why cant they ever do anything right?? First Chris Evans (Human Torch) as Capt A, then this?? SERIOUSLY, BOYCOTT THIS F'ING MOVIE!!!!
Black Cool on Jul 12, 2010
@39... how do you know? Are you involved in movie making somehow that you have first hand knowledge and proof of what you are saying? Or are just spreading false rumors and gossip like so many people love to do? "Believe nothing you hear and half of what you see" You apparently believe everything you hear and add about 95% more B.S. to it jus to spice it up, right? Well you know what I heard, I heard you've been arrested for trying to solicite sex with a minor and that you beat your wife. Hey everyone, #39 tries to solicite sex with a minor and beats his wife!!
mR aWESOME on Jul 12, 2010
Edward Norton is a good actor but he was not a good banner. Also, he would not have gotten along with all the other guys in The Avengers movie. I am glad they are replacing him. I just hope it is someone that looks and can play the part.
JOJO on Jul 15, 2010
What the fuck, Norton played the best Banner role, and he is one of the most talented actors of our time. this is bullshit.
Shaggynoodle on Jun 28, 2011
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.