Edward Norton showed a ton of class this week after Marvel Studios announced he won’t reprise his role as the alter-ego of the Hulk in their upcoming Avengers film.
And that’s good, because you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Over the weekend, Marvel president Kevin Feige said the character would be played by “an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.”
Norton’s response, issued via Facebook, was to apologize to fans that “it won’t work out” for him to play Bruce Banner again, reported The Associated Press. He then went on to say that he was proud of his work on the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, which was produced by Fiege and co-written by Norton himself.
The Avengers, due in summer 2012, will be directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Iron Man director Jon Favreau. It stars a hodgepodge of Marvel character such as the Hulk, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
Before Norton, Eric Bana (Star Trek, The Time Traveler’s Wife) played Banner in 2003’s Hulk. It remains to be seen who will go green this time.
In even more comic-book-movie-casting news on the DC side of things, director Christopher Nolan says he will not re-use the character of the Joker in his next Batman film. The villain was played memorably by the late Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight.
“For me, Heath was the definitive Joker,” Nolan said in an interview with AP to promote Inception, his sci-fi thriller opening Friday. “It wouldn’t feel appropriate to readdress that character.”
Ledger died of a prescription drug overdose before The Dark Knight was released. He won a posthumous Oscar for best supporting actor for the role.
Nolan didn’t reveal the identity of the villains who will face Batman (Christian Bale) in the as-yet-untitled film, due in July 2012.