Or maybe you would.
After Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios’ president of production, badmouthed Ang Lee’s Hulk during last year’s Iron Man set visit, I made a snap-judgment: this guy wouldn’t know a quality movie if it chased him into a shed. So I’m actually inclined to take Edward Norton’s side if it’s true that he’s battling Feige (and the rest of Marvel) over the final cut of The Incredible Hulk.
Nikki Finke is reporting that Norton, who’s apparently quite the comic book geek himself, was granted “tremendous involvement and access” in the development process (i.e. he got to rewrite Zak Penn’s script), and that he’s now concerned with the shape of the finished product. Though Finke’s story has plenty of comments from anonymous inside sources, it’s also very short on actual detail; the best she can do is that the disagreement is a matter of “what’s in the film and what’s not going to be in the film”. That helps. More generalities: it’s either a spoiled actor throwing his weight around, or a case of Marvel not listening to Norton’s suggestions.
The timing on this story sucks for Marvel and Universal. The theatrical teaser is scheduled to premiere tomorrow night on a whole mess of MTV outlets, and the fans have grown mildly suspicious of the silence surrounding the project. Compared to the very positive buzz surrounding Iron Man and The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk seems in danger of becoming the forgotten comic book movie of 2008. This makes the teaser premiere all that more critical. One plus: Norton assisted with the cutting of the trailer and is reportedly happy with it. If the teaser works, why not give him what he wants?
The Incredible Hulk smash June 13th.