by: the Moleman source: HitFix
Edward Norton’s agent, Brian Swardstrom let it be known this weekend how Marvel Studios smiled while stabbing them in the back.
Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige officially announced & confirmed this past Saturday that they are looking to re-cast The Hulk/ Bruce Banner role for the Avengers. This is strange when prior to this Norton had been making it known that he was more keen on reprising his role, especially since the person he had issues with at Marvel had since departed. Add to that his recent meeting with Joss Whedon regarding the project and the both were super enthusiastic about the upcoming movie. So much so apparently that it brought Norton to the bargaining table to a point that they were dealing. It almost looked like the fanboy wetdream of the Avengers movie was going to come true. Then out of left field came the announcement from Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige that they’re going to re-cast… WTF?!?
According to Marvel’s statement they indicated their decision was not about salary, as sources had indicated to HitFix originally,, but “instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.”
Talk about a slap in the face. Hey, I’m just calling it like I see it. A back handed compliment is still just an insult no matter how you slice it. Alluding to shit can be an insult too, which is what he did here.
Brian Swardstrom (Edward Norton’s Agent) of WME responds with the following:
“This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project. Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith. This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.
We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige’s mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige’s statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans.
There is no official statement from Edward Norton at this time, but he is expected to comment on the matter eventually.
We’ll see how this plays out. I wonder if the studio will change it’s mind considering Comic-Con is only 2 weeks away and they plan was to sell the Avengers movie there to the fans. I’m sure there will be considerable fan outcry. We’ll keep you posted.
To read the original article in it’s entirety click here.