Director Louis Leterrier Not a Fan of Switching Hulk Actors
11.05.10 by Ryan
Ever since Edward Norton was replaced as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk in Marvel's upcoming The Avengers, there has been a variety of opinions on whether Norton should have been removed from the role, which ultimately went to Mark Ruffalo. Iron Man director Jon Favreau called the recasting a "tricky" decision considering that "breaking continuity is always a challenge and should be avoided whenever possible." In an interview with MTV, The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier revealed that he didn't like the casting change.
I like the continuity as a fan when I go to see these movies, so as a fan, I don't like it when actors get changed — especially when they're that good.
While Leterrier called Ruffalo an "absolutely fantastic" actor, he admitted that, despite being on the directing short list for The Avengers — a job that ultimately went to Joss Whedon — that he didn't know what happened between Norton and Marvel.
It's funny, because I speak to Edward often and I speak to the Marvel guys often. I'm like you in that I don't know what happened there.
Last time I talked to them about [directing] Avengers, I didn't get the job and I knew it — because I was finishing Clash [of the Titans] and they needed to move forward. When I didn't get the job, I told [Marvel president] Kevin Feige, "You should definitely get Edward in the movie — he's fantastic and he brought so much to it!" And Kevin said, "Yup, we're talking to him." So the talks were going on, and I thought, "Great, this will happen." I really don't know what happened in the end. In all honesty, I leave it between them.
When it was announced that Norton would be replaced, Feige said that the decision was not "based on monetary factors" but because Marvel needed "an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members." Norton countered by saying he was replaced because he and Marvel "couldn't work it out on a business level." Whether there is another reason that neither party will mention remains a mystery.