At first it was just a crazy rumor going around Hollywood. We’ve definitiely heard this kind of thing before. But now it seems as though that was just wishful thinking. Marvel Studios has announced that Edward Norton, one of the best actors of my generation, will not play Bruce Banner/The Hulk in Marvel’s upcoming Avengers movie as he did in 2008’s Incredible Hulk. This means that whoever plays Banner/Hulk in the upcoming Avengers movie will be the third actor in the last decade to play the not-so-jolly green giant after Norton and Eric Bana. Marvel had said they wanted an unknown actor to take on the role, but that has now been ammended, and Marvel says that they will be announcing a name actor in the role soon.
This really comes as a surprise as it was generally known that Mr. Norton had had a very successful meeting with Avengers director slash geek icon, Joss Whedon, and everybody was happy. Norton wanted in Avengers and didn’t want to futz with the script like he did in The Incredible Hulk, and Whedon wanted Norton. But then Marvel went and did this. The question everyone is asking is: Why, Marvel? Why dump one of the best actors in the medium for an unknown? Surely it’s not something like bankroll? We all thought continuity amoung the Marvel Studios movies was important to Marvel. What’s changed? No word yet on who will play Hulk in Avengers, but supposedly we can expect an announcement during the San Diego Comic Con.