The one actor BANNED from returning as character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
There is one major star who will never be asked to return in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The MCU is littered with A-listers like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L.Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch among many, many others.
However, there is one who will not be asked back under any circumstances - Edward Norton.
In 2008, Norton replaced Eric Bana as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in order to star in The Incredible Hulk. By all accounts, it was a troubled production and Norton apparently rubbed some people up the wrong way.
Joanna Robinson writes in new book, MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios:
“If the Inhumans could be rehabilitated, apparently everyone in MCU history was on Feige’s call list—except Edward Norton, the franchise’s first Bruce Banner, and Joss Whedon, whose Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters remained in limbo."
The Avengers are an extraordinary team of superheroes. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global security, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of the international peacekeeping force SHIELD, needs a team to save the world from destruction. This team consists of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Captain America (Chris Evans).
Mark Ruffalo would eventually replace Norton as Banner for the first Avengers movie. Before that went into production, Marvel executive Kevin Fiege released a statement which read:
“We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.”
Joss Whedon, as also mentioned by Robinson, directed the first two Avengers movies, but he has been blacklisted by Hollywood after several accusations of on-set abuse emerged from cast members of The Justice League and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Action / Fantasy
2019 • 182 minutes
Incredible Hulk, The
Action / Scifi
2008 • 112 minutes