This isn't too much of an update, but it definitely follows that path of Ed Norton that we've become accustomed to in reference to his future with Marvel Studios as Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
Capone at Ain't It Cool News had a chance to interview the talented and hands-on actor/producer for his work on the documentary, By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, where he was specifically asked to talk only about that project. However, Capone was able to get in a few questions for the fans and that meant a question or two about The Incredible Hulk 2 and The Avengers.
Like I said above, we seemingly get an update from Ed Norton every few weeks about his involvement with Marvel's future films, alternating between positive and hopeful, to negative and unlikely. This week's update fall under the latter.
Norton and The Hulk made quite a few headlines in August and September when rumors surfaced that Norton as Banner as well as their green alter-ego would make a guest appearance in Iron Man 2, repaying the favor for Robert Downey Jr. appearing as Tony Stark in The Incredible Hulk and referencing The Avengers.
In response, Norton shot down the Iron Man 2 rumors stating that he knew nothing about it, but later discussed how he thinks having Hulk be some sort of villain in The Avengers would be fun. Following that, he said that The Hulk's return is only "a function of time" which seemingly hinted that he may be back in 2012 for a role in the most epic movie of all time.
With all this back and forth and absolutely no confirmation either way, it's hard to gauge what The Hulk's status is or more importantly, why it's being kept so secret. On that note, here's the latest from Norton in response to a question from Capone:
"I don't… Knowing you guys, you will probably have updates on that quicker than I will, so if you find out, call me! [Laughs] I actually don’t know. I’m not even sure deep inside the minds of Marvel how they are planning to string that stuff out, but I don’t think there is any if it is imminent, I don’t know."
Following that, Capone asked if he's at least still interested in Marvel's plans or coming back to play Bruce Banner again.
"Things like that to me are always completely dependent on what they make of it. You know what I mean? It’s like anything can be the crappy version of itself or the great version of itself and if it’s the great version of itself, then that’s one thing. If they don’t get it right, then I don’t know, then I think… A lot of it depends on what they come up with."
In my mind, everything out of Marvel Studios has been so positive and on the up-and-up. Their first two movies were awesome and Iron Man 2 promises more of the same. On top of that, fans including myself couldn't be more excited with everything coming out of director Kenneth Branagh's camp for the Thor movie and we're all waiting in anticipation for updates on Joe Johnston's The First Avenger: Captain America.
With the studio intentionally crossing over characters, notably the Tony Stark appearance in Hulk's latest movie, how can they drop the ball and not have Norton involved in The Avengers? I can't even imagine how disappointing that would be. Even if he's in a lesser role than the other three, to me it is imperative that Banner/Hulk is a part of that.
I'm holding on to my hopes of Norton actually appearing in Iron Man 2 and fans going absolutely nuts at that revelation which would confirm the four mainstays of The Avengers roster.
What do you think?
The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.