Norton Smash Puny Rumors!

Published 7 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 6:50 am,

ed norton hulk Norton Smash Puny Rumors![This post has been updated with new information. See below.]

It was a double-edged sword when Edward Norton (American History X and Fight Club) was cast as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.

On the one hand, the guy’s a brilliant actor; arguably one of the best of his generation – up there with Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale in my opinion.

On the other hand, he’s had a well-known (and publicized) reputation for being “hard to work with” – to put it nicely, ladies and gentlemen.

So it was only a matter of time before rumors surfaced about problems with Marvel Films’ second attempt at producing a Hulk franchise.

According to a new article by Entertainment Weekly, Norton and director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) wanted a “longer, more detailed film.” While Marvel wants a tighter (i.e. under two-hours), action-packed genre film.

Not surprisingly, Marvel got their way.

And now, Norton won’t come out and promote the film.

Instead he’s sent this pre-written statement to EW on the matter:

“Like so many people I’ve loved the story of The Hulk since I was a kid, so it was thrilling when Marvel asked me to write and help produce an altogether new screen incarnation, as well as play Bruce Banner. I grew up reading Marvel Comics and always loved the mythic dimension and contemporary themes in the stories, and I’m proud of the script I wrote. In every phase of production, including the editing, working with Louis Leterrier has been wonderful…I’ve never had a better partner, and the collaboration with all the rest of the creative team has been terrific. Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other’s opinions is the heart of filmmaking. Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a ‘dispute,’ seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them. All of us believe The Incredible Hulk will excite old fans and create new ones and be a huge hit…our focus has always been to deliver the Hulk that people have been waiting for and keep the worldwide love affair with the big green guy going strong.”

It certainly doesn’t help matters when the film is only two months away from release and we’ve seen little from it – aside from a trailer (recently unveiled to mixed fan reaction) and a one-sheet.

Screen Rant‘s own Niall Browne brought up a number of excellent points in his article earlier this week.

UPDATE: April 17th – Vic Holtreman

According to the oft-maligned but well-connected Nikki Finke, Marvel and Norton have settled their issues. According to an anonymous source:

“What people will see is Marvel’s cut of the movie. This is not the Edward Norton cut by any means. His opinion is their cut is valid because probably it’s going to make a lot of money. And, he recognizes that, if you’re a businessman, that makes sense. But he would have released something a little longer, a little more character driven.”

Apparently the “no promoting the movie” rumor got started based on his refusing an interview with Entertainment Weekly. I don’t know why he decided not to interview with them, but I would think it’s his prerogative to decide who he wants to interview with, or not. Finke believes Norton will be doing very little promotion for the film.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly, DeadlineHollywoodDaily

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. It seems to me they are really cutting things down to the wire. I wouldnt be surprised if the release date got pushed back last minute.

    Marvel wanting to shorten the film is a bad sign to me. Is it not good enough to run the length?

  2. Jamie,

    I actually took Norton’s comments to be quite positive and didn’t take away from them that he’s refusing to promote the film.


  3. This is probably economics talking shorter movies translates into more showings and bigger box office. It could be because you can also stretch a story so that sequals become easier to produce. Sequels are expensive if you have to rebuild everything from scratch. All movie fans want to see their favorites at their best. If you write one incredible quality long story divide into three or more parts, I think its perceived better than what most expect to happen. The first story is good. The sequal is ok and the third movie sucks. Fear of making the same mistake twice is also a factor, especially on a reboot franchise like this. One could argue that their is more risk up front doing things this way because, if the first part of the story tanks you’ve lost 2 times more than doing a single self contained movie. Ultimately it’s a business and reducing the odds of losing is paramount. Whether “The Hulk” turns out this way is questionable but a good talking point never the less. The up and comming new “Dune” movie will be done this way, if the studios have learned anything in 24 years.

  4. Ouch, double post on a long-thread 4min apart?. Old man,
    You know some times they just get a script and a budget and shoot the film…:-)

    Nortons obviously spinning this into it was a “no big feud situation”.

    I’m allmost sure now that the lack of promotion was because the studio wasn’t sure Norton was going to calm down.
    Just incase Norton flipped they could pull the release date back and spin damage control.

    Wow this film should be interesing.
    I bet we start seeing some trailers very soon.
    And I’m sure there will be one attached to Iron Man.

  5. I hope its a good film.
    its hard to tell from Nortons statement
    if the media has exaggerated this or is that the spin?
    I cant imagine them putting out a statement that
    acknowledges they have been having problems with each other.
    I also sincerely hope internal problems or not , that unlike the last film this adventure of the Hulk has an ending that makes sense.

  6. It really annoys me that – for the most part – people would rather assume the behind-the-scenes shenanigans instead of take a step back and think it over. Is it really so hard to believe that this was a simple creative disagreement that was exacerbated by bad press?

    A disagreement over the film’s length needn’t be a case of good film vs. bad film. That’d be like saying one version of the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ films were better the others (ie. Extended vs Theatrical) when, in reality, they’re just plain DIFFERENT.

    I get the impression Marvel may have hired Edward Norton under certain pretenses – knowing who he is and embracing that – but got scared when internet buzz was indifferent about the film. Rather than risk a lengthy, “meditative” film once again, thy may only now want a quick, ‘Fantasic Four’-style popcorn flick to sooth the ever-negative fanboy community.

    Hard to say but… if we’re gonna make assumptions… I’m choosing to avoid tabloid-style, controversy-for-controversy’s sake judgements and give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt.

    At the end of the day, I WANT Marvel Films to succeed… and if that means supporting ‘The Incredible Hulk’ no matter what, I WILL.

    What a shame if we, as fans, let this fledgling studio fail because of some potentially unfair gossip.

    And as for Norton… would people really rather an actor like those in ‘Fantastic Four’ who DON’T stand up for their art and mindlessly tour the world pushing films you end up hating?

  7. Kane,

    I have to agree with you here. My spin on this article would have been different. Seems to me he came out to try to clarify things. I believe that he wants what’s best for the film.

    Personally I’m really pulling for this one and I hope it’s good and does well.


  8. if the dispute is about a “longer more detailed
    Film ‘ as opposed to one dominated by action, then to me its about more then just length
    its about the films tone.
    ultimately the finished product will tell the tale.

  9. also I think the studio might want to have more action because they felt Ang Less approach was very thought provoking but it wasnt always fun,
    So, this time they want to balance it out a little more.
    We are always saying we would like studios to learn from their mistakes.
    maybe thats exactly what they are trying to do.

  10. If you guys are still following this story, I’ve updated it with new information.


  11. Sounds to me like this situation may well be similar to the one the Daredevil movie had. The director wants one movie with the character development and story intact, while the studio wants a different movie, one with a higher ration of action to running time, thereby dropping a good chunk of story and character development.

    Hopefully this will all work out come DVD time, and they’ll release both versions. Then the fans can decide which version they like better.

  12. That is a good idea FlameStrike,
    I would certainly like to see both versions.

  13. Sorry 790… got carried away.

    I guess I like to theorize..

  14. Naw TheOldMan, my ignorent remark. I like your theories. (I was having moodswing).

    Keep um comming.


  15. ˙ʎɹƃuɐ s,ǝɥ uǝɥʍ pɹɐʍpǝ ǝʞıl ʇ,uplnoʍ noʎ
    ˙ʎɹƃuɐ pɹɐʍpǝ ǝʞɐɯ ʇ,uop

  16. Wtf Jim?

  17. The pictures on all of the posts never fully load, I only get the top part..this happens on both my computers but not for any other website. Does anyone else have this issue?

  18. Thanks for the feedback. I see that sometimes on the homepage when I use IE, but I haven’t noticed it on interior pages.


  19. now hold on. i am glad for one that marvel has finally stepped up to the plate to demand what it wants from movie execs who want to make big bucks from marvel characters. i just hope that this move by marvel is a good one. frankly, i understand…marvel has no say in the casting of any of it’s characters (the x-men flicks are a perfect example of that), so they are probably drilling home whatever power they have when they signed the dotted line to make the hulk. if anyone knows about a character it is defintely its creator(s), not the filmmaker. besides, all marvel can do is let the studios know the type of film they want. whether the movie ends up being a hot one or not solely resides on the shoulders of the filmmakers and the studios hiring them. i mean if i go into a barber shop, i can only tell the barber the type of cut i want. it’s up to him to deliver. so if my cut looks bad, it’s totally his fault…100%.

    whose to say that when studio execs don’t get their way they tend to not put a full effort in the film, thus causing a lousy box office draw.

    to hear the director say he wanted a more detailed oriented film…i mean what does that mean: detailed oriented? you want to go as far back as when banner was a kid in junior high picking his nose, and then when he is a teenager being picked on because he is somewhat of a nerd, and then show us when “thunderbolt” Ross first joined the military and received a gunshot wound to his arm and saved the lives of 2 of the men in his platoon, then go back to banner, this time introducing all the girls he ever had a crush on in college, and blah blah blah blah blah. i think all that detail is not necessary. peter david, the best hulk writer ever would probably agree that it is best to make your “point known quickly and come out fast.” and i think that is exactly what marvel is doing: following their own mantra for a successful story. Besides, they are probably still upset with ang lee, and many of us marvel fans. i support their move.

  20. Well, what about “Lord Of The Rings?” I enjoyed Tolkien’s story as much as anybody, but after sitting through about 90% of the third movie I thought to myself, you know, the characters could probably have invented a blast furnace that could generate hotter temperatures than mount doom to melt the ring down by now, instead of going thru all this. Of course the real story, The Journey, wouldn’t have been as interesting. Can you imagine the outrage of fans if some director had put that up on the screen? Cutting a movie can be a tricky thing. How much story is in the minds of the movers and shakers too? A $200m franchise or maybe it’s a $1b? Since Lucas and Spielberg showed visions like that are possible, yeah who can say?

  21. old man, i’m assumeing that you disagree with me. if you are, remember, in LOTR it was already said that the only way for the ring to be destroyed was to plunged the ring in the fires of mount doom itself, the very place where it was made. so even if the characters could have made a blasted furnace 50 times hotter than that of mount doom itself, it still would not destroy the ring because, as stated before, the ring could only be destroyed by the place and in the place where it was made.