Edward Norton is out as the green, gentle giant.
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios' president of production, sent a message directly to HitFix.com that confirmed the cast change for the part of Bruce Banner in "The Avengers," leaving Norton out of the Marvel character team movie.
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," Feige said. "'The Avengers' demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.
The move to change actors for an existing role is reminiscent of the decision to replace Terrance Howard with Don Cheadle in the role of Lt. Col. James Rhodey Rhodes in the Iron Man franchise. Feiges statement suggests that because the "Avengers" film is an ensemble piece, there were concerns with Nortons ability to work well with others.
Norton took to his Facebook page to release a response to the outpouring of fan support he received. In it, he thanked his fans and thanked the studio for the opportunity to be a part of the franchise. Although he expressed hope to be a part of the ensemble, he wished the next person to portray Banner well.
At the end of his note, Norton took on a playful tone. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation. Im 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, thats why we love him, right?
The studio will conduct its search for the new Bruce Banner to take part in "The Avengers," which will be directed by Joss Whedon. As of now, the cast still includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
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