Ed Norton dropped from Marvel’s ‘Avengers,’ very bitchy press release issued

Celebs attend The Kids Are Alright screening at the Sunshine Theater in NYC, NY on June 30, 2010. The film staring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening showcases the chaos ignited when the children of a middle aged lesbian couple seek out their biological father, played by Mark Ruffalo. Fame Pictures, Inc
Ed Norton was in talks to reprise his role as The Hulk in the upcoming Marvel film The Avengers, written & directed by Joss Whedon and starring Chris Evans (Captain America) Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow). It was thought that Norton would play Bruce Banner as he did in 2008’s commercially successful The Incredible Hulk. Talks fell through however, and instead of issuing a vague press release wishing Norton well, the President of Marvel Studios made it clear that it was Norton’s bad attitude, not his salary requirements, that made it impossible to grant him the role. This statement is really bitchy and speaks to some serious problems with Norton:

“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,” said Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige in a statement. “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.”

[From E! Online]

In response, Norton’s rep called Feige’s statement inaccurate and defamatory and said that it was salary, not any personal issues, that led to a standstill in negotiations:

“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

[From HitFix.com via WeSmirch]

I am so team Norton on this one. I know we’ve heard stories about how Norton is difficult to work with and egocentric, but even if it went down as Feige claims he shouldn’t have mentioned it publicly. It’s just unprofessional as Norton’s rep states.

I think the guy is hugely talented and hope that Marvel’s president issues an apology for talking so much smack. Again, whether it’s true or not it’s not something you say in a public statement.

In related Ed Norton news, he recently co-founded a social networking site to encourage people to get involved with charity.

NEW YORK - JUNE 21: Actor Edward Norton speaks at the 11th Annual Friends of the High Line Party and Summer Dinner at the High Line on June 21, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Actor Edward Norton poses for a portrait during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival in this September 14, 2009 file photo. Norton, who has a commitment to philanthropy is launching a website May 12, 2010 to encourage charity fundraising. Norton, 40, joined forces with a couple of Internet savvy friends to create Crowdrise (http://www.crowdrise.com) that gives people a free way to create their own fundraising pages to share through social networks, winning points and prizes along the way. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SCI TECH)

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39 Responses to “Ed Norton dropped from Marvel’s ‘Avengers,’ very bitchy press release issued”

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  1. Dorothy says:

    I am sooooo disappointed! I thought Edward as the hulk was one of the best movies ever! He is such a great actor and brings credibility to EVERYTHING he does! I might skip the Avengers now. 🙁

  2. malachais says:

    Edward Norton pissed me off ever since American History X was released, then up to Incredible Hulk. He is always bitching about production and wanting to get involved in the film’s creative process, to the point where the annoys the f-ck out of the production staff. That is how it has always been played out with the media, so it may be exaggerated.

    He is an incredible actor but keeps backtracking his career by makes these moves. I understand it is important for actors to involve themselves in every aspect of the film’s creative process, but he keeps screwing himself and his career. I wish he would just pick movies he genuinely likes, complete them, and stop trying to be the director, although I think he has directed/produced a few movies.

    I am still Team Edward on this one, he shouldn’t have gotten removed from the film because of salary reasons, if that is the case. Best of luck to him, I have been waiting for Edward to release a great comeback film.

  3. carrie says:

    he was very nice in Hulk

  4. DD says:

    Although I like Ed Norton’s work, I wonder about someone who can be a close confidante to Courtney Love.

  5. Sara says:

    Let’s all pity this overpaid HW actor who wants to stay true to his ART.LMAO

  6. bite me says:

    American History X is the shit…that shot of butt was so yummy *droll*…Team Ed 😀

  7. jones says:

    Feige is wrong one on this one. As if he’s never dealt with celebrities before. Every other celebrity has an ego and an attitude. For some reason, he got upset with Norton and publicly wanted to tarnish Norton’s reputation. If they were in negotiations and they didn’t agree on something, then that needed to stay under the radar. That’s why they are called negotiations. Feige probably got pissed off cause Norton didn’t want to play by his rules and became a crybaby and issued a negative press release.

  8. tooey says:


    Norton is too good for this crap so I’m glad he’s off of it.

  9. gabs says:

    Im Team Norton. Maybe he was a whiny little bitch about money, but the press release was so unprofessional. I dont blame him for countering with his own.

    Also, for the sake of continuity they should give him what he wants and let him stay as the hulk. The movie is already going to suck with chris evans as captain america. I mean reallly can you actually buy chris evans ordering around Robert Downey Jr? NOT CONVINCED. And Scarlett Sucked as the black widow. Yeah she was hot as hell, but also blank and boring.

    sighh..the only thing to give hope is RD JR

  10. a says:

    team norton.

    it’s probably for this best, somehow the combo of other actors seems off.

  11. mollyb says:

    I love, love Edward Norton as an actor but I try to avoid reading anything about him as a person! I think learning what a diva he is would really take away from the yum factor for me!

  12. Johanna says:

    I love Edward Norton & the fact that he was with Salma Hayek for so long gives me the indication that he has a soft side for the latinas 🙂 But then again Salma Hayek is always the exception 🙁

    Anywho, why shouldn’t he get paid a lot of money for a movie that is likely to make millions of dollars & make the studio rich? I hope the movie flops!

  13. Snarf says:


    Ed Norton acted like a colosal ass regarding The Incredible Hulk, and when people wouldn’t play his way, he acted like a petulant child refusing to promote the film. Why on earth would they give him a second chance? All Marvel did was clarify the situation. Is it unprofessional to call someone out on their unprofessionalism?

  14. KsGirl says:

    Yeah, I’m with Snarf. Sure, there are a ton of other HW acTORs who think their job entails directing, writing, lighting etc., but that doesn’t make it any less obnoxious. Nothing is more tedious to a production team than an actor like this, and most of the time it’s only worth it because of the press/box office a big name will bring. I guess this time it wasn’t.

  15. di butler says:

    I think it is well-known that he has lost roles due to his attitude, but he is really talented. If you haven’t seen his latest movie, then I urge you to go. I really liked it. I couldn’t care less about the Hulk, but I told my 20 yr old son this last nite, and he said he wouldn’t even bother to see the new one now.

  16. lrm says:

    oh,he was w/salma?
    then, he must have a huge ego, to mathc hers.
    she is abhorrent to me in her bi*chy, arrogant, conceited manner….she truly thinks she is upper class, insead of just an actress and celebrity.
    Maybe she came from money, like GOOPY-and these people forget that actors and entertainers are not upper class.

    i dont know why i dislike her so much. lol
    i cannot even recall seeing any movie she has been in.

    she and penny cruz can have each other.
    not feeling them at all, as actors. though PC is not of the same general attitude as the salmanator, so i can handle her better.

    norton-wow-i had no idea he was amazing as an actor. i’ve never seen anything he’s been in. yea, i don’t get out much. (:

  17. denise says:

    Edward Norton is one of the actors that I actually like.

  18. Johanna says:

    #16 For someone who claims to not have seen anything with Salma or Edward you sure seem to think you know them very well. One would think you even know them personally (of course, we all know better). You seem to be so attached, lol. Calm down, breathe… the world turns with or without them.

  19. Renee says:

    I think he’s better off. This movie needs him more than he needs it.

  20. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    Just because Norton is into charitable causes doesn’t mean he isn’t a spoiled actor with an ego problem.

  21. bellaluna says:

    I was forced to endure the first Hulk movie (with Eric Bana) yesterday, and I wanted to stab my eyeballs with a fork! If I’d paid to see it in a theatre, I’d have walked out and demanded a refund! I finally went to my room to read a book.

    I’ve seen the Hulk movie with Edward many, many times, and it was so much better than that stinker.

  22. Dizzybenny says:

    Team Bite Me!!

  23. Eve says:

    I’m with Snarf and KsGirl on this one. I LOVE Edward Norton, he’s one of my top favorite actors. I couldn’t be happier when I heard he was going to play Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk (I even felt like it was an apology from Marvel for that heinous 2003 film). But as soon as I read about him behaving like a pain in the a** during the filming, I smelled troubles ahead — and they ended up happening.

    But as someone above stated, for the sake of contuinity they (at Marvel) should keep him as Banner, so I can only hope they will find a way to work things out.

  24. Eve says:

    Bellaluna, same thing happened to me. That movie with Eric Bana is atrocious! The only difference is that I FORCED myself into watching the whole thing…hating every second of it.

  25. Maritza says:

    So what, they don’t need Edward Norton they can hire Eric Bana, he played the Hulk before. That movie was really bad but it wasn’t his fault, they used some cartoonish Hulk, that’s what killed it. Anyway at least the role will stay with a previous Hulk actor.

  26. Schozzle says:

    Ed Norton doesn’t deserve anyone’s sympathy. One of my good friends was a PA on Hulk and he was an absolute misery to be around. Sure he’s a fine actor, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s a giant dickhead to most of the people he works with.

  27. Mentok the Mind Taker says:

    @tooey —


  28. d says:

    His doing charity work may just as easily been a move for better PR because he’s such an a**. Apparently. He’s a great actor, everything I’ve seen him in, including his first (?) with Richard Gere in that crime/courtroom drama, has been great. But that doesn’t mean he’s great to work with. And that’s what a lot of companies consider: you may have all these skills and are talented, but what are you like to work with and can you take supervision, etc., etc. He may be one of those guys that needs to work for himself.

  29. Tia C says:

    Chances are very good that he deserved the bitchy release. He has always seemed enormously overrated to me. This doesn’t surprise me at all.

  30. bellaluna says:

    @ Maritza –

    No, trust me, it wasn’t the “cartoonish Hulk” that ruined the first movie. As I was just recently subjected to it, I speak the truth.

    I also grew up watching the series, and even the TV show wasn’t as bad as that stinker! 😉

    @ Eve – You poor thing! Wasn’t it awful?

  31. Relli says:

    Bad move Marvel, Bad move.

    Continuity = 0.

    Come on the whole opening scene of the The Hulk has the Avengers in it!I live with a comic book nerd and he HATES the hulk movie with Bana, its gets him SOOOOO angry.

  32. Kim says:

    Why do i hear from so many people what a total egomaniac ahole Ed Norton is? He has that reputation & i think there is some truth to it. A studio would just saywe didnt have the financing so i dont think it was a financial decision.

  33. Beth says:

    I’m surprised that Edward was asked to do this movie. Supposedly he was a nightmare during the Hulk and demanded complete control. The statement was unnecessary. I don’t think it’s fair to say anything about personality problems. A problem with one person could be absolutely nothing to another. Feige may be overrecting.

  34. Liana says:

    Ed Norton doesn’t deserve anyone’s sympathy. One of my good friends was a PA on Hulk and he was an absolute misery to be around. Sure he’s a fine actor, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s a giant dickhead to most of the people he works with.

    I had a friend on the set, too, and he concurs that Norton was a colossal pain in the ass.

  35. Nikki Latte says:

    Dang! I like Ed norton. He is a genious, multi-faceted actor. Most movies that I watch are because of who is starring in them, not becauseof the plot. Surely he would have made the movie more interesting. Se la vie.

  36. Anony Mous says:

    I love Edward Norton as an actor. Shame if he’s a diva in real life, but I have to say I think it’s not such a great loss for him not to participate in The Avengers. I’m so over comic based movies. Just explosions and CGI anyway.

  37. Chris says:

    I am Jack’s crying bank manager.

  38. Eve says:

    @ Bellaluna

    Yes, it was indeed awful. I love how Marvel’s executives tried to downplay the fact that the first atempt to make a Hulk film was a complete and utter disaster by saying “We love Ang Lee’s version but…”. Well, they loved it so much they felt the need to spend 150 million dollars on a reboot (in order to save the franchise).

    *I think the tv series were actually quite good, considering the special effects available during that time and its budget. I absolutely love Bill Bixby as Banner and was moved with the little homage paid to him in The Incredible Hulk (Edward-Banner is watching tv and there’s a scene featuring Bixby).

  39. Sns02215 says:

    A friend of mine from film school had the ‘pleasure’ of working with this overrated ahole on not one, but TWO films. And in both cases, he was incredibly rude, condescending and patronizing to everyone in sight from the makeup people to the grips to the producers on the set.

    Oh yeah. And that freakin’ ANNOYING voice of his? Pass puberty already dude!