Marvel Studios will not be casting Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, in the upcoming Avengers movie, even though Norton played Banner in the Hulk film and The Avengers is a superhero team-up that includes the character. Why? Not because they can't afford him, but basically because they don't like him! Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained:
"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."
Well, then! This could have something to do with the time that Edward Norton reportedly "slipped off to a desert island rather than do publicity for the movie he stars in and nominally wrote" after feuding with Marvel Studios over the editing in The Incredible Hulk. (After Norton had rewritten the Hulk script, he allegedly threatened not to do interviews for the film if he wasn't happy with its final cut, which he wasn't.) Now, along with whoever will play the character, the winner of this new industry face-off is yet to be seen — but it's giving The Avengers added publicity, the very thing Norton tried to steal from The Hulk, so point Marvel.