1. Rumor hits the web that Edward Norton will not reprise his role as the Hulk in The Avengers movie.
2. President of production for Marvel, Kevin Friege releases a statement about why they chose to "fire" Norton.
3. Norton's agent releases a statement defending his client and calling Friege's comments "mean spirited".
Now Norton's statement, my thought's after:
As most of you know, I don't like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audiences's fullest enjoyment of the 'magic' that films can have. But I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from fans of the Hulk and the Avengers that I feel it would be rude not to respond. So here goes: It seems it won't work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in "The Avengers". I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn't turned out as we all hoped. I know this is disappointing to may people and that makes me sad. But I am very sincerely grateful to Marvel for extending the offer and even more so for giving me the chance to be a part of the Hulk's long and excellent history. And I really can't thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you've sent my way about what Louis and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It emans a lot to me. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation. I'm really proud, and very blessed, to have been one of them and will be thrilled to see him live on through other actors. Hulk is bigger than all of us, that's why we love him, right?
I'm really surprised, pleasantly, by Norton's response to the whole thing. He's seems at peace with what's taken place, and calm about it. Other actors would have gone OFF! I think this is the best move possible by Norton. This turns Friege's comments on himself; all of a sudden Friege looks like the jerk in this whole thing. I still think all the stories about Norton are true, he's difficult, he has an attitude and ego that very few in Hollywood can match. But damn the man can act. Stay tuned in the week leading up to Comic-Con, when it's expected Marvel will announce Norton's replacement.
By the way, if you've been reading other blogs today, you read the rumor about Joaquin Phoenix getting an offer to play Bruce Banner... yeah, ummmm... that's not going to happen. Let's hope not anyway! Remember what I said... Cillian Murphy.