Edward Norton elaborates on original plans for Hulk in the MCU: "The script I wrote had a two-part Batman Begins/Dark Knight kind of vision"

(Image credit: Marvel/Universal)

Edward Norton's time as The Hulk was notoriously difficult. The actor marks one of the few people to withdraw from the MCU after just one appearance (another notable person is Terrence Howard, who played War Machine before Don Cheadle took over). But what exactly happened on The Hulk that made Norton want to leave behind the character?

"The Hulk was… I felt sad that what [director] Louis [Leterrier] and I set out to do, in terms of taking more of a Chris Nolan approach to making something that was a little more dark and serious, they ended up sort of neutering," Norton tells our sister publication Total Film magazine in the new issue.

"I wanted to make a big CGI movie and learn and see stuff. I grew up on the Hulk, I loved it. And actually people really liked the movie. You know, kids love the movie. It’s another one of those things: the amount of noise that people whip up around it. It’s so silly. I couldn’t be more happy to have been part of that whole tradition. 

Norton goes on to talk about Mark Ruffalo's "unbelievable" work with Marvel, before discussing the script further. "The script I wrote for them had a two-part almost Batman [Begins]/Dark Knight kind of vision."

"When it was like, 'OK, that’s not what you guys are into doing?' To me, it just becomes a pure thing of time and life," he continues. "You can’t do everything, and I wouldn’t have made Birdman and Grand Budapest, and I definitely wouldn’t have made [Motherless Brooklyn] if that [franchise] was filling up my time. It’s silly to manufacture negativity when it isn’t there. You know, I loved being a part of it, and I think [Marvel] achieved everything they wanted to achieve. So God bless."

Would he return to Marvel now? "Maybe as a baddie? Maybe I’ll write my own," he says. "I don’t know, I’m open to everything. I mean, I did Ask the StoryBots on Netflix."

Norton went on to discuss Motherless Brooklyn, the upcoming movie he has directed, as well as his time on Fight Club and his cameo in Alita: Battle Angel. You can read the entire interview in the latest issue of Total Film magazine , available on store shelves October 18. Meanwhile, Motherless Brooklyn reaches cinemas November 22.

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Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.