Apparently, Marvel is ditching Ed Norton as the Incredible Hulk for the purposes of The Avengers, and it’s getting incredibly ugly. Norton’s reps say he had positive negotiations with Joss Whedon, and Marvel had made a financial offer, negotiations were tough, and they walked. That doesn’t surprise me. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if Marvel took a hard look at The Incredible Hulk and balked. Does anyone remember how dull this movie was?
Obviously, the Hulk is tough. Unlike most superheroes, the transformation leaves the Hulk looking and behaving totally different from Bruce Banner. Getting some kind of continuity across the two forms is physically impossible because of the bulking up involved, whether it’s achieved via CGI or makeup and prostheses. And emotionally, it’s not easy either. How do you convey what’s left of Banner’s personality afterwards? She-Hulk’s easier, since her transformation intensifies Jennifer and brings out parts of her personality she’s holding back on. But Norton was stuck with an extremely tough job. If no one’s going to be able to do it particularly well, I can see how it wouldn’t be worth paying his salary. Though slamming him on the way out the door does feel a tad gratuitous.