Hot off the heels of Wesley Snipes talking about his scrapped Black Panther film, Edward Norton has revealed what he had hoped to do with the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Incredible Hulk is considered the black sheep of the MCU, a film that has largely been forgotten in the wake of the MCU’s success and recasting of Bruce Banner. It’s also the lowest grossing MCU film, and beyond Tony Stark making a brief cameo, no character (other than Banner) was seen again until William Hurt returned for Captain America: Civil War as Thunderbolt Ross in 2016.
Norton was originally set to reprise his role as Banner/Hulk in Marvel’s The Avengers, but he dropped out due to creative differences. He was replaced by Mark Ruffalo who has starred as the character ever since 2012.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Norton discussed what he was looking to do with the Hulk, specifically to make it darker and more serious like The Dark Knight trilogy.
“I loved the Hulk comics. I believed they were very mythic. And what Chris Nolan had done with Batman was going down a path that I aligned with: long, dark and serious. If there was ever a thing that I thought had that in it, it was the Hulk. It’s literally the Promethean myth. I laid out a two-film thing: The origin and then the idea of Hulk as the conscious dreamer, the guy who can handle the trip. And they were like, ‘That’s what we want!’ As it turned out, that wasn’t what they wanted. But I had a great time doing it. I got on great with Kevin Feige.”
I enjoy The Incredible Hulk quite a bit, and certainly don’t view it as the worst installment in the MCU. Norton’s take on Banner is an entirely different take than Ruffalo’s, and I have to say I would have been interested in seeing Norton’s more serious take on the character interact with the more light-hearted and joking natures of Tony Stark, Hawkeye, Thor, etc.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever see Norton as the Hulk again, let alone another solo Hulk film (thanks a lot Universal!). Thankfully, Ruffalo’s take on the character is just as interesting, especially since post-Endgame introduced us to Smart Hulk. With She-Hulk set to make her debut in Phase 4, Hulk’s story is far from over.
Would you have liked to have seen Norton’s original two-film vision happen? Are there any Incredible Hulk fans out there?