Edward Norton has written a 257-word statement (approved by Universal and Marvel) and sent it to EW. Apparently Entertainment Weekly have been trying to get an interview with Norton for some time, but due to his problems with Marvel, he has decided not to do any promotional work up until this point. The problem seems to be that during post-production Marvel wanted a more commercial film, keeping it under two hours with lots of action and effects. However, Norton and director Louis Leterrier wanted the keep the film at 2 hours 15 minutes. As Marvel are the ones financing the movie, what they say goes. This annoyed Edward Norton, so he has decided to not help promote his own movie…he wrote the damn thing!
“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.”
The movie has been getting negative buzz recently, with the backstage issues overshadowing the cool trailer we got last month. If Norton continues his anti-Marvel campaign it will hurt The Incredible Hulk. It is the equivalent of Hugh Jackman not promoting the X-Men movies, Tobey Maguire deciding not to market Spiderman and Johnny Depp boycotting interviews for the Pirate movies.
I just hope Liv Tyler can handle jet lag well because it looks like she may be getting Norton’s share of the promotion!