Not 24 hours after he broke the rumor of Edward Norton being bounced from The Avengers, he gets an exclusive confirmation from Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige–on a weekend no less!
Yes, Edward Norton and the role of Bruce Banner have parted ways. The is what Feige told McWeeny, and what McWeeny told his readers at Hitfix:
“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.”
Reading between the lines, they are looking for an actor who will fall in line and play ball like a good boy, not extensively re-write the script and butt heads with the director as is rumored that Norton did on the set of Incredible Hulk. Also, Scarlett Johansson will be a part of The Avengers. Which is a good thing.
It also puts to rest the part of the rumor where they were supposedly were to go with an unknown in the role–the only part of original rumor that didn’t sit well with me.
Now let the speculation on who will step in to the role begin. Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Cool seems to want Nathan Fillion in the role. Two thing make this unlikely, 1) he’s all but confirmed for the role of Ant-Man and 2) he’s would bring much more to the role of Hank Pym. Having Fillion dampen his natural charm and sense of humor to play the tortured and conflicted Banner woudl be like hiring Picasso to paint your house. Could they do it? Yes, but it will really take away from their strengths.
I wonder what Eric Bana is doing right now?
Anyway, as Marvel Studios panel for San Diego Comic Con was announced today, we might find out more answers at 6 p.m. PST on Saturday, July 24 in Hall H.