A hot topic for Marvel movie fans ever since The Incredible Hulk debuted the same summer as Iron Man in 2008 is whether or not Edward Norton would be back to reprise the role in a sequel, or more importantly, The Avengers. There were some widely publicized disagreements between Norton and Marvel about what version of the film made the final cut and ever since then, it’s been unclear on his future with the studio and their franchise plans.
MTV had the opportunity to speak with Ed Norton about his new charity project, Crowdrise.com, and took some time to discuss the Marvel movie universe. While he said he hadn’t yet seen Iron Man 2 – a movie he was once rumored to cameo in – he did leave the question about his return open to the fans.
“Well, if people want it all to come together, they’ve got to email Marvel and say, ‘This is what I want,’”
I feel like we’ve already been doing this for two years. I don’t get it; Why is this still unconfirmed?
The four key characters that will all have had their own interconnected solo movies out in time to lead in to The Avengers are the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. We all know that, we all saw the movies and they made them that way intentionally. Yet ever since The Incredible Hulk came out and the news of disagreements between Norton and Marvel about the script and story, there’s really been nothing official on the Hulk’s role in The Avengers.
In my opinion, Hulk needs to be a part of that movie and Edward Norton needs to be Bruce Banner. His acting skills and his portrayal of Bruce Banner would make for brilliant chemistry in conjunction with Robert Downey Jr.’s wit, the God of Thunder’s stature and the 1940s charm of Chris Evans’ Captain America.
As far as I’m concerned, Norton is either in or out and according to him, he doesn’t know anything about it. So, this is either a big secret to be revealed later, or Marvel is holding off as long as they can to drop the biggest, fattest piece of disappointment from their studio to date.
Sadly, this back and forth on Norton’s involvement with The Avengers has swayed from likely to unlikely for far too long. Last Fall, things seemed on the positive side with Norton saying that the idea of Hulk being partially a villain of sorts, or at least a high-tension character in The Avengers would be “fun” like it was in the comics (he’s a reader and a big fan) and he even went as far as saying the Hulk’s return was “only a matter of time.” Two months later, in interviews he seemed less enthusiastic again about the idea and that was it until Marvel President Kevin Feige dropped Hulk’s name as one of the characters involved when discussing The Avengers.
Was that a confirmation then that Hulk would be an Avenger? With the way things had been going we still couldn’t say. But things got even better when Norton revealed in March that his agents were talking with Marvel. That was the last we heard so it seems there’s definite interest from both parties. We know from what Norton’s said in interviews that he would only play along if his character has a meaningful role, something that developed the character beyond how we saw him in The Incredible Hulk where he’s finally learned some control over his other (larger and greener) self.
This task of giving each superhero in The Avengers a significant part is a monumental undertaking for Joss Whedon and company. And while Norton says he’s not yet met Whedon about the movie, I hope that changes soon.
As for Norton’s statement, yes, we all want you to play Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Marvel, make it happen.
What do you think about Ed Norton’s future with The Avengers?
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Iron Man 2 is currently in theaters everywhere; Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012