Hero Complex reported yesterday that Marvel Studios dropped Ed Norton from its “Avengers” movie plans. Now Norton is telling his side of the story. Here’s his statement, as posted Monday on his Facebook page:
“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 audience’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 many 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 [Leterrier] and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It means 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?”
— Jevon Phillips
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Photo: Edward Norton in “Incredible Hulk” (Universal and Marvel Studios).