Cast your mind back to last year, and the muddle that Marvel got itself into with the casting of The Incredible Hulk for its upcoming The Avengers movie. The thinking was that Edward Norton would be reprising the role of the Hulk, only for Marvel to very publicly dump him from the role.
You might recall that Marvel CEO Kevin Feige issued a statement saying that the firm was hunting for an actor who “embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members”.
It wasn’t Feige’s wisest move. A very public slight against Norton, it wasn’t just the actor who wasn’t best pleased with Feige’s statement, as much of the collective might of the Internet seemed lined up against how Feige had gone about his business.
A year on, there’s an interesting interview with Norton over at The Independent, where he looks back at just what happened.
“I found it a cheap and unnecessary representation that it was about things other than money,” Norton told them. “They came to me avidly to talk about it and then, at the end of the day, it was just flat out a business decision.”
The Independent reports that Norton called Marvel’s approach to releasing the news “low, unprofessional and dishonest”, although it doesn’t appear to have caused the actor too much trouble.
“I would say that blew back on them much worse than it blew back on me,” he correctly notes. “I couldn’t have been happier with the experience that I had making the film [The Incredible Hulk], but nor do I feel any kind of intensity about doing it again. A really good friend of mine’s going to do it now [that’d be Mark Ruffalo] and he’s awesome! Marvel’s going to have to deal with their own karma. They’ve got bigger problems than me.”
Ouch. But he might just be right with regards to the problems facing Marvel. For where, exactly, does it go with its movies once its heroes mash-up, The Avengers, is out of the door? We’ve got news of Iron Man 3, and there’s talk of Ant-Man finally going into production. But it’s resting a lot on the shoulders of both Thor and Captain America this summer, in the hope of launching a pair of new franchises.
Fortunately, in the case of Thor, the film itself is really very strong, as you can see in our review, here. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a tough sell, in an ever-competitve blockbuster market, one with no shortage of other franchises and sequels.
You can read the Edward Norton interview here.