Edward Norton has officially been dropped by Marvel from The Avengers.
According to Norton’s agent, Brian Swardstrom, Norton was enthusiastic to return as Bruce Banner.
Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige at Marvel had this to say in response to the decision to replace Norton;
“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.”
Considering the wider picture there may be other prominent reasons for Marvels choice and Feige's declaration.
Norton was well known for his difficulty to work with on The Incredible Hulk, where a series of reports stated that he demanded script input and “complete control” over the final cut.
Rumors are circulating that Joaquin Pheonix is in talks to take on the role, a bold choice considering the Oscar-winner's bizarre retirement for a rap career failed to generate hits, laughs, or much positive publcity for the actor.
We'd like to see Sharlto Copley tackle the role, his dishevelled appearance a ringer for Bruce Banner in the Marvel 'Ultimates' comic on which The Avengers film will be based. He's also used to working in ensembles and is an easy going, universally-liked guy with incredible talent.
Adrien Brody is also a good fit - another Oscar-winning actor with team-playing credentials after Predators.
This is the second time Marvel Studios have recast a major character in one of their franchises, after replacing Terrance Howard with Don Cheadle on Iron Man 2.
Who do you want to Hulk out? Or is this a massive mistake?