The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier on why he believes Edward Norton fell out with Marvel after his one and only MCU appearance.
After playing Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton had a pretty public falling out with Marvel Studios over the final cut of the movie and was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for all subsequent appearances in the MCU.
The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier recently sat down with Josh Horowitz for Watchalong, a Happy Sad Confused spin-off in which Horowitz watches an entire movie alongside a filmmaker. During the watch, Leterrier shed a few more details on Edward Norton’s premature exit from the franchise, and he believes issues about the soundtrack may have played a part.
“Frankly, it’s maybe [because of the soundtrack],” Leterrier said. “I don’t remember if it was the teaser or the overall soundtrack, but Edward is great friends with Thom Yorke and he wanted Radiohead to do the music and that was genius, but we know what Radiohead sounds like and I think Marvel was pushing for a little bit more of a typical Hollywood soundtrack and we thought a compromise, not a compromise, but the elegant in-between was to find [composer] Craig Armstrong who had worked with Massive Attack to create a soundtrack which is haunting.“
Edward Norton’s vision for The Incredible Hulk was much more serious, and although Louis Leterrier agreed, he knew that certain elements of Norton’s script would never fly, including keeping Hulk out of the movie for nearly 40 minutes. “You don’t wanna wait for the Hulk and look at your watch and think, ‘When is the Hulk coming?’” Leterrier said. “You want to love the movie with Bruce banner and everyone else and actually fear the moment when the Hulk arrives. So you have this dichotomy of these two movies that are fighting with each other.“
The director admitted that he was “surprised” when he was told that Edward Norton wouldn’t be returning as the Hulk, but said he just wanted the actor to be proud of the movie. “I don’t know if he thinks I was part of the other guys… whatever,” Leterrier said. “I was neutral. I was literally like, let’s just make the best movie possible, and even after he was gone I was asking him what he thought about some ideas, so I just wanted him to be proud of this movie.“