Eric Bana on Marvel's "Hulk Debacle" and Missing Out on The Avengers
10.14.10 by BJSprecher
During the "Hulk debacle" leading up to the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con that resulted in Marvel Studios unceremoniously ousting Edward Norton as the "Jade Giant" in favor of Mark Ruffalo, the studio did not win over very many fans when it heaped insult upon injury by saying the decision to drop Norton was borne out of a "need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members," a very overt dig at Norton's ability to be a team player. Norton took the high road and did not strike back at Marvel for dissing him, and Ruffalo has generally avoided the subject, but did admit that he disagreed with the way Marvel handled it, saying that it wasn't "a great way for all that to go down." Now, the first actor to "Hulk out" on the big screen, Eric Bana, star of Ang Lee's The Hulk, has weighed in on the change in actors and confessed that he might be a little jealous that Ruffalo gets to star in The Avengers instead of him.
Bana admitted that he is out of the loop when it comes to the decison-making process at Marvel, but said that he feels that switching Hulk actors will help to keep the character "fresh."
I don't know the details of how it went from Ed to Mark, but there was certainly nothing weird about the process for going from me to Ed. Personally, I think it's really exciting that the Hulk seems to be mutating into different actors as it goes along. It keeps it fresh, it keeps it interesting. And just the caliber of those two guys is awesome. I'm a huge fan of both of them. I think it's fantastic and I look forward to seeing the movie. I hope fans feel the same way about that kind of freshness.
Bana went on to say that acting in big-budget, effects-driven movies like The Avengers is not always fun, but that he would be jealous of Ruffalo if he ends up having a great time making the movie.
The obvious potential there is those movies can be a lot of fun to make. But then sometimes they're not. I would be jealous if it turns out they just go off and have a good time.