July 13th, 2010
09:55 AM ET
“As most of you know, I don't like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audience's fullest enjoyment of the 'magic' that films can have,” Norton said in the statement.
But, he added, “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 we all hoped.”
Norton’s representative wasn't as kind in his reaction to Marvel's announcement, saying that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tried to paint Norton in a negative light.
“Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the ‘Avengers’ cast, many of whom are personal friends of his,” Norton’s rep said. “Feige's statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory.”
If Norton himself agrees with that, he didn’t let it come through in his response. “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,” Norton said before also thanking the fans who’ve supported him as he tried on the iconic role.
“I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation,” Norton said. “I'm 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, that's why we love him, right?”
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