October 26, 2016
        Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams        

So what was the point of that again? Marvel to not hire Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

By Scott Mendelson

hollywoodnews.com: Two summers ago, Marvel rebooted a franchise that grossed $245 million on a $130 million budget (funded by Universal). Said reboot, intended to be a more audience-pleasing (ie – dumbed down) variation on a the Incredible Hulk, ended up grossing just $263 million worldwide on a $160 million budget (this time funded by Marvel itself). But that was ok, because now we had a Hulk cast that could seamlessly blend into the new Marvel movie universe and could fit right in with the eventual Avengers film, right? Right? Oh… right.

Drew McWeeny of HitFlix broke the story yesterday, and Marvel confirmed it today. Edward Norton will not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

The official statement denied that it was a money issue for the notoriously cheap Marvel Studios, but rather a creative one. The key passage below:

“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. 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.”

Ouch. So basically Marvel has refused to allow Edward Norton to come aboard because he’s not a ‘team player’. I’m sure this has much to do with the public fight that took place in summer 2008, when director Louis Leterrier and star Edward Norton battled the Marvel suits over the final cut of The Incredible Hulk. Leterrier and Norton wanted a real movie with character development and drama, Marvel wanted 105 minutes of fight scenes with a bare minimum of connecting tissue and character work. What’s ironic is that this was the rare occasion when Edward Norton was not accused of taking over a film from the director, but rather fighting with the director for the preferred artistic vision.

Also ironic is that it pretty much negates the whole point of rebooting the Hulk franchise in the first place. Heck, the second picture climaxed with a Robert Downey Jr. cameo for goodness sake. With Norton out, the expensive and not particularly profitable redo will be rendered just a curiosity in the dustbin of comic book films. It’s not as ambitious or as artistically inspired as Ang Lee’s flawed but fascinating tone poem, and it’s no longer a key rest stop on the road to The Avengers either.

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To read more go to MENDELSON’S MEMOS

About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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