Yesterday, I read online snippets from an SFX Magazine interview with Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige where he talked about Marvel Studios establishing their key characters on their own and how they were fortunate that it worked beautifully for Iron Man, their first self-financed film. This was of course absolutely necessary for the plans of a lead-up to the Avengers movie to be made a reality for Marvel Studios.

In his discussion, Feige continued to explain that once each character is known and bankable on their own to mainstream movie-going audiences, only then can they come together to save the world in what might be one of the most ambitious film projects ever: The Avengers. Better yet, in listing the characters such a project would include, he seemingly confirmed that the Hulk is the fourth Avengers team member. This is something that he hinted at last summer and something I’ve been saying would happen for the last year and a half.

“My only concern is that when we launch a franchise–whichever character’s franchise that may be–it should stand on its own two feet… So by the time ‘The Avengers’ comes in 2012, it’s not just a team superhero movie with a bunch of characters with powers. It’s three people – four including the Hulk; five including Nick Fury – who you’ve seen before in other movies, coming together for the very first time.”

Now, assuming Hulk does appear in The Avengers, to what extent will his role be and will Ed Norton be involved? In my mind, he has to be. Marvel Studios forced in a Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. cameo into The Incredible Hulk with good reason and I can’t imagine that being thrown to waste. Hulk is too important with his movie being the second ever Marvel Studios production.

They did a great job with The Incredible Hulk, especially considering what it had to recover from while at the same time paying enough respect to the character’s origins. I don’t know about you, but I really want to see Ed Norton share some scenes with Robert Downey Jr.

MTV caught up with director Louis Leterrier recently who said Norton would definitely be up for more Hulk action if the story was good and fresh. He re-affirms that Norton is a huge fanboy but that he simply wouldn’t want to do the same thing over again with the character.

“It can’t just be ‘Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry… That would be a problem if you do the same thing over and over again. Edward’s never done the same movie twice, so I don’t think he would do that.”

“…I’m sure he would [be back]… He’s a fanboy. He’s as big a fanboy as you and me, maybe even more.”

And for the Hulk fans, there’s still the possibility for The Incredible Hulk 2, but that would have to happen after The Avengers when Marvel Studios hopes to push production up to four films a year instead of two. They have plenty of other characters they want to bring into the live-action film world including Iron Fist, Black Panther and Ant-Man.

Now I wonder if this means that old rumor of Ed Norton appearing in Iron Man 2 (Norton had shot it down) will come to fruition…

What do you think of this?

Source: SFX Magazine (via SHH)