Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic
Norton was slated to reprise his role as Bruce Banner and The Hulk in the upcoming flick -- which also stars Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson -- but was booted for not having a "collaborative spirit."
In a statement Marvel said: "We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. 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. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks."
Norton's rep didn't take kindly to the words used by the studio and released his own retort: "This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light... 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."
On Monday, Norton himself, who has won two Oscars and played The Hulk in the 2008 remake, took to his Facebook page to attempt to smooth over the nastiness and thank his fans for having his back during this mess.
"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," his statement began. "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 well as we 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."
See, he's not so bad when he's angry.
Who should take over the role of The Hulk now that Ed Norton is out? Chime in below!