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Incredible Hulk: Marvel vs Edward Norton Explained

Edward Norton and Marvel famously clashed on The Incredible Hulk, and here's what happened that led to their falling out. Marvel Studios is currently reveling in the record-setting success of Avengers: Endgame's opening weekend, and someone who would originally be part of the giant team up was Edward Norton. The acclaimed actor joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe early on to be their Bruce Banner. He starred in The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and was supposed to be around for the future.

However, the production process on The Incredible Hulk broke the relationship. Norton signed on to star in the Louis Leterrier directed film, which was written by Zack Penn, but wanted to make changes of his own. He continued to push his own vision for the film and Banner, resulting in production shooting Penn's original script, as well as the additional and rewritten scenes by Norton.

Related: The MCU Didn't Have A Good Plan At First - And Incredible Hulk Proves It

In a new edition of Screen Rant Docs, we tackle the production on The Incredible Hulk and what happened between Norton and Marvel. Not only did the production evolve constantly as Norton and Marvel's visions grew apart, but Norton also eventually wasn't asked to do much press for the film based on how bad the relationship became. Get a full breakdown of the events by watching the video featured at the top of this post.

Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk and Marvel Studios Logo

Instead of reprising his role as Hulk for The Avengers in 2012, Norton was recast and replaced by Mark Ruffalo. The MCU has not missed a beat without Norton, as Ruffalo stepped in and has filled the role in his own ways. Even though Ruffalo has never received a solo film like Norton, he's continued to return, be part of the character's evolution, and the growing possibilities of Hulk thanks to advancements in motion and performance capture.

On the other hand, Norton has done just fine for himself - even if he still takes shots at Marvel from time to time over his experience. Unsurprisingly, he has largely stayed away from going back to franchise films, other than a role in The Bourne Legacy and a surprise role in Alita: Battle Angel. He has instead continued working with Wes Anderson in Moonrise KingdomThe Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs, and joined awards-caliber projects like Birdman - where he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work. Even though the partnership between Marvel and Norton didn't last beyond The Incredible Hulk, at least both sides have largely figured out how to move on.

MORE: Marvel's Original MCU Phase 1 Plan Ended With A Very Different Avengers

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