When Marvel reacquired the rights to the Hulk from Universal and released The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton, it was thought the actor would reprise the role in sequels and The Avengers.
However, following alleged disagreements with producers, Norton left the franchise and Mark Ruffalo – who was actually the first choice for The Incredible Hulk’s director Louis Letterier – joined the MCU.
While you’d think Norton would be kind of bitter about the whole thing, it turns out he’s actually keen to return to the world of Marvel.
Norton spoke to Total Film about leaving Marvel as his vision for where the character would go was quite different from what Marvel had in mind. The actor wrote a script that was similar in tone to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight franchise and when they disagreed over how the film should feel, Norton left.
“I grew up on the Hulk, I loved it. And actually people really liked the movie. You know, kids love the movie. It’s another one of those things: the amount of noise that people whip up around it. It’s so silly. I couldn’t be more happy to have been part of that whole tradition,” Norton said.
“The script I wrote for them had a two-part almost Batman [Begins]/Dark Knight kind of vision… When it was like, ‘OK, that’s not what you guys are into doing?’ To me, it just becomes a pure thing of time and life,” he continues.
“You can’t do everything, and I wouldn’t have made Birdman and Grand Budapest, and I definitely wouldn’t have made [Motherless Brooklyn] if that [franchise] was filling up my time. It’s silly to manufacture negativity when it isn’t there. You know, I loved being a part of it, and I think [Marvel] achieved everything they wanted to achieve. So God bless.”
He added that he thought what Ruffalo had done with the character was “unbelievable”, and left the door open for a possible return to the MCU.
When asked about returning he said, “Maybe as a baddie? Maybe I’ll write my own,” he says. “I don’t know, I’m open to everything. I mean, I did Ask the StoryBots on Netflix.”
Norton has shown he has it in him to play the villain after starring in American History X and Primal Fear, so who knows – maybe he’ll make another MCU appearance in Phase Four or Five of the MCU?! Perhaps even in a Joker-style character study of a villain?