CONFIRMED: The Avengers Will be Assembling a New Hulk/Bruce Banner

Update: Marvel Studios has confirmed that Edward Norton won’t be reprising his role as The Hulk in “The Avengers”. This from Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige himself:

We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. 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. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.

So there you have it. For the third time in three movies, Bruce Banner aka The Hulk will be played by a completely different actor.

Update 2: Edward Norton’s agent Brian Swardstrom has responded to Marvel’s decision to re-cast The Hulk in Joss Whedon’s upcoming “The Avengers”:

This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project. Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith. This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.

We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige’s mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige’s statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans.

Who to believe? Does it matter? The end result is the same: Edward Norton is no longer Bruce Banner. Although it would have been pretty damn awesome to see all the actors on the same stage with Joss Whedon at Comic Con…

Update 3: Edward Norton has posted his official statement about being kicked to the curb by Marvel on his Facebook account. Norton seems to be playing the good cop to his agent’s bad cop (above):

Update 4: Is Mark Ruffalo Edward Norton’s replacement?

–Original Post Below–

That’s the word from Hitfix, who cites “Marvel sources” as saying that the company have decided to part ways with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner aka the Hulk, and will instead be hiring an unknown to play the role for Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers”. Of course, like a lot of Marvel films nowadays, it’s all just conjecture and unnamed sources until the studio comes out and says it, and let’s face, there has been plenty — and I do mean plenty — of rushed “exclusive scoops” when it comes to Marvel movie casting, and this could very well be one of them.

Again, until Marvel makes it official via one of the trades, it’s just another Internet rumor, and should be treated as such.

What we do know is this: Robert Downey Jr. will definitely be playing Tony Stark aka Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth will definitely be playing Thor, Chris Evans is definitely Captain America, Samuel L. Jackson is definitely Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson is the Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner is most definitely Hawkeye.

The Hulk? Well, that’s up in the air. And in case you’re keeping count, if this turns out to be true, the Hulk will have gone through three actors since it resurfaced as a movie franchise in 2003. That is one confused superhero.

'Hulk no like constant cast changes! Hulk angry!'



About Nix

View all Posts

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

Cool Stories From Zergnet

  • Brian

    Bad move Marvel, bad move

  • ULIK

    LOL! Hmm… It's sounds like somebody is penny pinching here again and I hope Disney isn't forcing this situation either. Norton played an excellent Bruce Banner and Marvel needs to appreciate his rendition as well as the fans approval of Norton. The Hulk could have not made it into the Avengers if it wasn't for Norton's performance. If it would have failed again even under Marvel Studios,then people wouldn't have wanted to see Marvel's Giant again for a while. Norton played a big part in the creative process of The Incredible Hulk and that's part of the reason why it did so well among other things. Not just fans but the average movie goer will notice the change and it looks very bad as well as lower the potential quality. Marvel execs needs to put their egos to the side and admit that having Norton was the best thing they could have done to save the Hulk's rep. MARVEL,show some respect,integrity and class,re-cast Norton

  • Csaver99

    I am really hoping this is just a swerve before Comicon.

  • kenneth

    i really hope edward norton returns, everyone wants him, even he says he would like to be back, so why not, i know there may be a budget for him, but its worth the big bucks for marvel in the end, so i say edward norton has to be back, afterall, he is part of the puzzle, and without that peice, it won't fit into place

  • ULIK

    It's official….he aint coming back. Marvel execs, your really fu*(ing up! I don't know what happened behind closed doors but this is starting to look very cheesy,unprofessional,and dirty.

  • Wintersouljah

    Bad cheap move MARVEL! When of these fools going to try to stop fixing stuff that aint broke!?!

  • obi

    Norton has a history of being difficult to work with. Reading Marvel's statement they sort imply that by saying that they want someone who would work well in an ensemble and not be the high maintenace drama queen that Norton has a reputation of being.

  • kenneth

    then y the hell cast him to be hulk in the first place! they should have not done that

  • Mandi

    ok so im extremely upset with this decision. ed norton most definitely portrayed an excellent renditon of the hulk. ed norton has amazing talent, i can honeslty say i have loved every movie i have ever seen him in. very bad move made by marvel execs.

  • Brian

    marvel does realize recasting characterss every movie takes the audience out of their suspention of disbelief right?