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    11 Movies That Replaced Their Star For The Sequel

    Bringing the Hulk to the big screen was quite the rocky road. In 2003, Ang Lee directed The Hulk, starring Eric Bana, but it was a box office disappointment. So when Marvel reacquired the rights to the character, they decided to do a reboot starring Ed Norton. Unfortunately for Marvel, this reboot wasn’t a (Hulk) smash, either, grossing only slightly more than the first movie. 

If Marvel didn’t love the box office returns, they also reportedly didn’t love squabbling with Norton over the final cut of the film. Norton wanted a 135-minute version, while Marvel wanted the movie under two hours. Making matters worse, the studio’s plans to shorten the movie included cutting a lot of the scenes Norton himself had written. Later, when it came time to promote the film, Norton was often unavailable.


Despite the drama, Marvel initially looked ready to move forward with Norton as the Hulk in The Avengers and beyond and began negotiations. Those came to a crashing halt, though, when Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige released a statement reading in part, “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.” Ouch.

    Norton’s agent, Brian Swardstrom, fired back, saying, “Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss (Whedon, director of The Avengers) 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’s talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans.”

    Whoever is to blame, I suppose it only makes sense that, in the making of a movie about a character who can’t control his anger, all the creative parties seem to have lost their cool too.

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