Edward Norton Releases a Statement on Marvel and ‘The Avengers’

The actor posted a new note on his Facebook page concerning the recent news he won’t appear in the film.

Edward Norton reaches out to his fans
Edward Norton reaches out to his fans
We reported on Friday that The Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton would not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in the superhero ensemble film The Avengers. Earlier today, Norton responded to the situation by posting a note on his official Facebook page, which you can see in its entirety below.

"As most of you know, I don't like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audience's fullest enjoyment of the 'magic' that films can have. But I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from and of Hulk and The Avengers that feel it would be rood not to respond. So here it goes: It seems it won't work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in The Avengers. I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn't turned out as i hoped. I know this is disappointing to many people and that makes me sad. But I am very sincerely grateful to Marvel for extending the offer and even more so for giving me the chance to be a part of the Hulk's long and excellent history. And I really can't thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you've sent my way about what Louis and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It means a lot to me. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation. I'm really proud, and very blessed, to have been one of them and will be thrilled to see him live on through other actors. Hulk is bigger than all of us, that's why we love him, right?


Edward Norton"

The statement comes after Marvel's Kevin Feige confirmed to Hitfix, the site that broke the original story, that they would not bring back Norton for The Avengers with the statement below:

"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."

Norton's agent, Brian Swardstrom, promptly responded to Marvel's statement with a statement of his own to Hitfix as well:

"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.

Brian Swardstrom


We'll be sure to keep you posted with any further news surrounding The Avengers as soon as we have more information.

Marvel's The Avengers was released May 4th, 2012 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg. The film is directed by Joss Whedon.

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Comments (81)

  1. slysnide

    Hopefully Ruffalo will be as good. I liked him as Dave Toschi in David Fincher's "Zodiac," even though that was a completely different character.

    5 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  2. iatehisliver

    Chris E was annoying in FF and in every other movie he was in

    5 years agoby @iatehisliverFlag

  3. CBF

    Yeah well I get all that. I'm just saying this is Marvel's deal. Norton was cool with the offers, and was flexible when it came to his salary for this film. Dude even cleared his entire schedule. He was about to pick an offer when they booted him. And yeah I am positive there's a lot they are not telling us, the biggest being the reason they axed him. But I guarantee it was nothing Norton did/demanded. It was Marvel's decision. Who knows why. I may be wrong but I am just saying, Norton was passionate enough about this project, Marvel pursued him for 2 years to reprise his role as Banner for this, and he is a nice guy, he wouldn't do something to screw this up. Marvel's deal.

    5 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  4. slysnide

    But Marvel wouldn't axe him on a lie either. Given the success of "Incredible Hulk" at the box office and with fans, they'd not replace him so quick without due consideration. I know Norton isn't a prick like that either, but there had to have been something else they're not telling us for Marvel to just toss this moneymaking actor aside. And given that this will definitely be an ensemble piece, then they have to consider these angles even more than most typically would...to protect their investment in the film, and more importantly, the numerous franchises that this film must satisfy to keep them going. If "Avengers" turns out to be a hunk of garbage, then fans will have serious doubt in Disney's ability to keep the Marvel Universe thriving on the silver screen, and this will certainly be their biggest investment thus far, their 'make it or break it' film. So yeah, you can guarantee that they're putting a lot of thought into such decisions before making them.

    5 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  5. CBF

    No way, I heard that Norton was flexible with the offers on the table. That he was so willing to play this character and cared enough about the character that he was willing to no be paid a whole boat load, such as some of the other actors for The Avengers. So this is completely Marvel's fault. Norton was cool, and always has been, he's never been a prick like that. His reputation is solid. It's Marvel that has been flunking out recently, and this is just more icing on that cake for some.

    5 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  6. slysnide

    In any case, it seems Norton wanted too much money, as that's what negotiating deals typically revolves around. I agree with George C Scott that they're all overpaid. They're not changing the world or building Hoover Dam here, they're just being pampered to play someone on screen, and as Marlon Brando put it in his infamous interview: "It's not as hard or as 'crafty' as they want you to think." So yeah, this is Norton's fault too.

    5 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  7. Myluckyday

    It seems really weird, this whole thing. Especially the 'The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble' comment. They're all actors, how does that change how they act on screen? I don't get it.

    5 years agoby @myluckydayFlag

  8. Dfella504

    an f*ck joaqween phoenix p*ssy!

    5 years agoby @dfellaFlag

  9. Dfella504

    f*ck marvell that sh*t go f*cking flop!!!!!da fuking jla movie is set to come out at da same time so i hope dc rip there azz bitches at marvell specially kevin i was a big fan of his thats just no professional bitch!!!!!!

    5 years agoby @dfellaFlag

  10. Waynebruce

    Typical Marvel bullsh*t. They say they care about the fans, but all the people at marvel care about is MONEY. Thats why venom was rushed into Spiderman 3, and lok how that turned out. For me, Iron Man 2 was nowhere near as good as the first, but it made a toon of cash so the Marvel bigwigs are happy. Kevin feige, Avi Arad, Laura Ziskin, think beacause they work at Marvel they f*cking know it all, but this proves they know nothing. Ed Norton was brilliant in the Hulk, and if not for him, it could have been another let down. Someone who actually gave a toss about what was happening, unlike feige. Class act Mr Norton

    5 years agoby @waynebruceFlag

  11. Jay.A.Ottley

    This actually sucks, No Ed Norton is just a massive blow of suckage to Avenger and to think they want bloody Joaquin Phoenix.....

    Marvel i think you've lost the plot



    5 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  12. Diaigma


    You made me laugh, sir :P

    5 years agoby @diaigmaFlag


    @err hahaha nicely said

    5 years agoby @iamfratsonFlag

  14. Cineprog

    I think it's a shame that Edward Norton will not Reprise is role has Bruce Banner in The Hulk film, The Avengers film.

    5 years agoby @cineprogFlag

  15. the Narrator

    Lol @Err.

    5 years agoby @narratorFlag

  16. Err

    hyperbole can be a lot of fun.

    5 years agoby @err2005Flag

  17. Dan

    "if Joaquin Phoenix plays the hulk I will kill myself!"

    Oh come on now, some of these comments are absurd. It's just a movie. Does it suck they took Norton out of it? Yeah, but life fricken goes on, jeez..

    5 years agoby @dan1Flag

  18. Err

    oh don't kill yourself, just get drunk or something.
    or stoned, stoned is better because you won't wake up sick the next day.

    5 years agoby @err2005Flag

  19. Movie_jedi815

    if Joaquin Phoenix plays the hulk I will kill myself! It would ruin the entire movie for me. he is a terrible actor and is nowhere as talented as Edward Norton.

    5 years agoby @movie-jedi815Flag

  20. WongFu

    Great, I think I know what's going on and I don't like the idea. They weren't happy with the first film so they rebooted it, think about that for a second, unless they continue with someone else that might not fit the part.

    5 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  21. Replicant

    Feige is an *sshole, even before reading Norton's agent comment you can tell is bs, Norton is a great actor and he can work solo or ensemble. Lets hope this is the first and last screw-up of the the Avengers movie.

    5 years agoby @felipe-11Flag

  22. enock

    if the movie fails will have a name Kevin Feige

    5 years agoby @enockFlag

  23. Rufio

    @theFallen... agreed. i totally think the outrage toward Feige is merited (his comments were juvenile at best). i was just saying that Norton wasn't the angel he and his PR team are making him out to be and that his response is a cleverly devised attack plan on Marvel (pitting fans against the Machine by playing the sympathetic, victimized, but respectful-to-the-man-and-system thespian).
    to everyone else - get off the Lebron crap. it's not the same thing at all. stop whining about feeling like Cleveland.

    5 years agoby @rufioFlag

  24. Dparks

    I can deal with the fact that Marvel chose to go with another actor, but IMO Joaquin Phoenix ain't the guy for this particular job. As another poster noted, if anyone thought Norton was moody, broody, or a pain with which to work, I can't imagine them thinking the inverse of a nutjob like Phoenix.

    Minus the annoyingly obvious reconstructed hairlip scar they now try to pass off as a "birthmark", who ever heard of Johnny Cash want SMASH?!!

    5 years agoby @dparksFlag

  25. Fry_3000

    f*ck you marvel, for once an actor who actually gave a sh*t about his character, and you let him go. even chris evans doesn't have as much apprication on who he's playing, doesnt even read comics. >:

    5 years agoby @Fry-3000Flag

  26. Iwannagofast42

    so is it because they couldnt afford him and all those other actors to be in one movie? Or what..

    5 years agoby @iwannagofast42Flag

  27. Dan

    I know I'll still be there when Avengers comes out, but as others have said, I'll be wishing in the back of my mind that Norton had been part of the project. I hate that politics have prevented him from being in it.

    5 years agoby @dan1Flag

  28. Brainiac

    agreed Samfisher, he is an *sshole

    5 years agoby @thebdFlag

  29. Dr.Carter

    I wonder if Disney had any thing to do with this? LoL!!

    5 years agoby @dr-carterFlag

  30. MrJangles

    I'm getting really tired of Marvel's mentality at this point. Edward Norton is an actor who takes his craft seriously and only wants the best for his movies and his fans. Which is pretty much the reason we all love the guy. To keep recasting actors in important roles for financial or creative reasons in a universe that promotes continuity is really f*cking up their integrity. Thank God, Nick Fury didn't also have to be recast.

    5 years agoby @mrjanglesFlag

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