Artificial Continuum

Monday, July 12, 2010

After the rather disastrous Hulk film original released in 2003, Marvel released a tentative reboot in 2008. Titled the Incredible Hulk afte the classic comic series, the film placed Edward Norton (Fight Club) as the title character an was critically acclaimed but only enjoyed modest financial success. Due to plans announced prior to the film's release, it was assumed that Norton would continue his role into future films, including 2012's Joss Whedon directed Avengers adaptation. However, this no longer appears to be the case.

Originally announced by HitFix and later Marvel studios, Edward Norton will not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Marvel executive Kevin Feige issued the following statement about the announcement: "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 [Downey], Chris [Hemsworth], Chris (Evans), Sam [Jackson], Scarlett [Johansson], 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 is also reported that a replacement is to be announced at this year's San Diego Comic Con.

However, this statement was not well received by Norton and his agent, Brian Swardstrom. Swardstrom offered this rebuttal: "We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige's mean spirited, accusatory comments. 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. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel's fans."

While it is uncertain where exactly the debate will go next, Marvel is beginning its search for a replacement actor. CHUD claims that Marvel has approached Gladiator and Walk the Line acotr Joaquin Phoenix to play the tormented scientist in the upcoming Avengers film.


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