Edward Norton says he would be open to an MCU return as a Marvel movie villain. The actor, of course, was part of the franchise in its earliest days, starring as Bruce Banner in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. That was his lone appearance in the series, as creative differences between Norton and Marvel proved to great to overcome. Mark Ruffalo took over the role beginning in 2012's The Avengers and instantly became a fan-favorite, reprising the part in five additional films over the past handful of years.
Post-Marvel, Norton's kept himself busy with several projects, most notably becoming a recurring member of Wes Anderson's trusted troupe of actors. He also earned an Academy Award nomination for his turn in 2014's Birdman, and is currently prepping for the theatrical release of his directorial vehicle, Motherless Brooklyn (which he also stars in). One would think after things fell apart with Marvel, Norton would just keep following a different path, but he hasn't shut the door on an MCU comeback.
Speaking with Total Film (hat tip Games Radar), Norton was asked about stepping back into the world of Marvel. Check out his comments in the space below:
"Maybe as a baddie? Maybe I’ll write my own. I don’t know, I’m open to everything. I mean, I did Ask the StoryBots on Netflix."
Given the self-deprecating nature of Norton's response, this shouldn't be taken as anything definitive or a sign something's in motion. He's simply saying that if the right opportunity presented itself, he would sign on for another Marvel movie. It's smart of Norton to not burn that bridge down; there's always the possibility the two sides patch things up after all these years and find a new collaboration that's a better all-around fit. Norton playing Banner in The Incredible Hulk wouldn't necessarily preclude him from taking on another character. There are multiple examples of actors playing multiple roles in the MCU, most notably Mahershala Ali as the new Blade (after being Cottonmouth on Luke Cage) And Norton's such a gifted actor, viewers would probably be willing to overlook his previous appearance in The Incredible Hulk to watch him bring another Marvel figure to life.
A villain might actually be a strong fit for someone like Norton. There was a time when the MCU villains were generally the weakest aspects of the movies, but that's changed in recent installments. The likes of Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Josh Brolin, and Jake Gyllenhaal have done a tremendous job playing MCU antagonists, crafting characters that are well-rounded and impactful. Perhaps Norton could come in and have a one-off role as a compelling villain, leaving his mark on the franchise he helped kick off more than a decade ago.
Source: Total Film (via Games Radar)
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022