Edward Norton Releases a Statement on Marvel and ‘The Avengers’

The actor posted a new note on his Facebook page concerning the recent news he won't appear in the film.
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Edward Norton Releases a Statement on Marvel and ‘The Avengers’

http://movieweb.com/person/edward-norton/Edward Norton reaches out to his fans We reported on Friday that The Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton would not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in the superhero ensemble film The Avengers. Earlier today, Norton responded to the situation by posting a note on his official Facebook page, which you can see in its entirety below.

"As most of you know, I don't like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audience's fullest enjoyment of the 'magic' that films can have. But I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from and of Hulk and The Avengers that feel it would be rood not to respond. So here it goes: It seems it won't work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in The Avengers. I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn't turned out as i hoped. I know this is disappointing to many people and that makes me sad. But I am very sincerely grateful to Marvel for extending the offer and even more so for giving me the chance to be a part of the Hulk's long and excellent history. And I really can't thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you've sent my way about what Louis and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It means a lot to me. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation. I'm really proud, and very blessed, to have been one of them and will be thrilled to see him live on through other actors. Hulk is bigger than all of us, that's why we love him, right?

Sincerely,

Edward Norton"

The statement comes after Marvel's Kevin Feige confirmed to Hitfix, the site that broke the original story, that they would not bring back Norton for The Avengers with the statement below:

"We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks."

Norton's agent, Brian Swardstrom, promptly responded to Marvel's statement with a statement of his own to Hitfix as well:

"This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project. Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith. This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.

We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige's mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in The Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige's statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel's fans.

Brian Swardstrom

WME"

We'll be sure to keep you posted with any further news surrounding The Avengers as soon as we have more information.

Marvel's The Avengers was released May 4th, 2012.

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81 comments

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  • slysnide • 5 years ago

    Hopefully Ruffalo will be as good. I liked him as Dave Toschi in David Fincher's "Zodiac," even though that was a completely different character.

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    • iatehisliver • 5 years ago

      Chris E was annoying in FF and in every other movie he was in

      reply

      • comicbookfan • 5 years ago

        Yeah well I get all that. I'm just saying this is Marvel's deal. Norton was cool with the offers, and was flexible when it came to his salary for this film. Dude even cleared his entire schedule. He was about to pick an offer when they booted him. And yeah I am positive there's a lot they are not telling us, the biggest being the reason they axed him. But I guarantee it was nothing Norton did/demanded. It was Marvel's decision. Who knows why. I may be wrong but I am just saying, Norton was passionate enough about this project, Marvel pursued him for 2 years to reprise his role as Banner for this, and he is a nice guy, he wouldn't do something to screw this up. Marvel's deal.

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        • slysnide • 5 years ago

          But Marvel wouldn't axe him on a lie either. Given the success of "Incredible Hulk" at the box office and with fans, they'd not replace him so quick without due consideration. I know Norton isn't a prick like that either, but there had to have been something else they're not telling us for Marvel to just toss this moneymaking actor aside. And given that this will definitely be an ensemble piece, then they have to consider these angles even more than most typically would...to protect their investment in the film, and more importantly, the numerous franchises that this film must satisfy to keep them going. If "Avengers" turns out to be a hunk of garbage, then fans will have serious doubt in Disney's ability to keep the Marvel Universe thriving on the silver screen, and this will certainly be their biggest investment thus far, their 'make it or break it' film. So yeah, you can guarantee that they're putting a lot of thought into such decisions before making them.

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          • comicbookfan • 5 years ago

            No way, I heard that Norton was flexible with the offers on the table. That he was so willing to play this character and cared enough about the character that he was willing to no be paid a whole boat load, such as some of the other actors for The Avengers. So this is completely Marvel's fault. Norton was cool, and always has been, he's never been a prick like that. His reputation is solid. It's Marvel that has been flunking out recently, and this is just more icing on that cake for some.

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            • slysnide • 5 years ago

              In any case, it seems Norton wanted too much money, as that's what negotiating deals typically revolves around. I agree with George C Scott that they're all overpaid. They're not changing the world or building Hoover Dam here, they're just being pampered to play someone on screen, and as Marlon Brando put it in his infamous interview: "It's not as hard or as 'crafty' as they want you to think." So yeah, this is Norton's fault too.

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              • myluckyday • 5 years ago

                It seems really weird, this whole thing. Especially the 'The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble' comment. They're all actors, how does that change how they act on screen? I don't get it.

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                • dfella • 5 years ago

                  an f*ck joaqween phoenix p*ssy!

                  reply

                  • dfella • 5 years ago

                    f*ck marvell that sh*t go f*cking flop!!!!!da fuking jla movie is set to come out at da same time so i hope dc rip there azz bitches at marvell specially kevin i was a big fan of his thats just no professional bitch!!!!!!

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                    • waynebruce • 5 years ago

                      Typical Marvel bullsh*t. They say they care about the fans, but all the people at marvel care about is MONEY. Thats why venom was rushed into Spiderman 3, and lok how that turned out. For me, Iron Man 2 was nowhere near as good as the first, but it made a toon of cash so the Marvel bigwigs are happy. Kevin feige, Avi Arad, Laura Ziskin, think beacause they work at Marvel they f*cking know it all, but this proves they know nothing. Ed Norton was brilliant in the Hulk, and if not for him, it could have been another let down. Someone who actually gave a toss about what was happening, unlike feige. Class act Mr Norton

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                      • jayaottley • 5 years ago

                        This actually sucks, No Ed Norton is just a massive blow of suckage to Avenger and to think they want bloody Joaquin Phoenix.....

                        Marvel i think you've lost the plot

                        BTW PEOPLE INCEPTION PRIMERE REVIEW IS UP :)

                        ENJOY AND I'M BACKKKKKK :D

                        reply

                        • diaigma • 5 years ago

                          @Err

                          You made me laugh, sir :P

                          reply

                          • iamfratson • 5 years ago

                            @err hahaha nicely said

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                            • cineprog • 5 years ago

                              I think it's a shame that Edward Norton will not Reprise is role has Bruce Banner in The Hulk film, The Avengers film.

                              reply

                              • narrator • 5 years ago

                                Lol @Err.

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                                • err2005 • 5 years ago

                                  hyperbole can be a lot of fun.

                                  reply

                                  • dan1 • 5 years ago

                                    "if Joaquin Phoenix plays the hulk I will kill myself!"

                                    Oh come on now, some of these comments are absurd. It's just a movie. Does it suck they took Norton out of it? Yeah, but life fricken goes on, jeez..

                                    reply

                                    • err2005 • 5 years ago

                                      oh don't kill yourself, just get drunk or something.

                                      or stoned, stoned is better because you won't wake up sick the next day.

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                                      • movie-jedi815 • 5 years ago

                                        if Joaquin Phoenix plays the hulk I will kill myself! It would ruin the entire movie for me. he is a terrible actor and is nowhere as talented as Edward Norton.

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                                        • instead8909 • 5 years ago

                                          Great, I think I know what's going on and I don't like the idea. They weren't happy with the first film so they rebooted it, think about that for a second, unless they continue with someone else that might not fit the part.

                                          reply

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