Edward Norton is a very talented guy, and I’m pretty sure I’ve loved every movie he’s starred in, from “Fight Club” to the recent “The Illusionist”. But I’m also reasonably sure, despite never having met the guy, that Norton can be pretty tough to deal with when he thinks he’s right and you’re wrong. He seems to be the “my way or I’ll burn your car” sort of chap, which, hey, you can be when you’re a major Hollywood A-list star. Norton’s latest film clash involves himself and Marvel Studios over the final cut of “The Incredible Hulk”. I guess I sorta saw this coming after Norton bounced Zak Penn’s screenplay and took every opportunity to let people know that this Hulk was his vision.
Some insiders blame Marvel for not accepting Norton’s POV about the movie. “There’s a problem. Marvel won’t listen to Norton about the cut,” one source claims. Some blame Norton, known to be prickly. (Remember his problems with Paramount over The Italian Job and with director Tony Kaye over American History X?) “Never let an actor write a script,” one insider commented. “Marvel made a mistake letting the wolf into the hen house.”
Marvel is itching to resolve this in the back rooms because they’re afraid Norton won’t go out to promote the film if he’s not a happy camper. Which means they were probably hoping no one learned about this little feud, because once Marvel gives in (which they inevitably will), they’re going to look pretty bitch-slapped.
And the lesson? If you want an A-list star, you gotta be willing to deal with the A-list ego, too.