'The Incredible Hulk': Behind-the-Scenes Drama

Liv Tyler, Edward Norton, ...
Image credit: Michael Gibson

On April 14, after more than a month of negotiations about whether Norton would or would not be interviewed for this story, the actor's publicist e-mailed EW an exclusive 257-word statement, approved in advance by Marvel and Universal (read the full text below). ''Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed, and respect the validity of each other's opinions, is the heart of filmmaking,'' he wrote, in part. ''Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen.'' Maybe that's for the best. The Hulk wants to be a movie star, and he doesn't take disappointment lightly. —Additional reporting by Sean Smith and Nicole Sperling

THE FULL TEXT OF EDWARD NORTON'S E-MAILED STATEMENT
"Like so many people I've loved the story of The Hulk since I was a kid, so it was thrilling when Marvel asked me to write and help produce an altogether new screen incarnation, as well as play Bruce Banner. I grew up reading Marvel Comics and always loved the mythic dimension and contemporary themes in the stories, and I’m proud of the script I wrote. In every phase of production, including the editing, working with Louis Leterrier has been wonderful...I've never had a better partner, and the collaboration with all the rest of the creative team has been terrific. Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other's opinions is the heart of filmmaking. Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them. All of us believe The Incredible Hulk will excite old fans and create new ones and be a huge hit...our focus has always been to deliver the Hulk that people have been waiting for and keep the worldwide love affair with the big green guy going strong.''

Originally posted Apr 16, 2008 Published in issue #988-989 Apr 25, 2008 Order article reprints
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