When we last heard from Edward Norton, he was waging a creative battle with Marvel over the theatrical cut of this summer’s just OK The Incredible Hulk. Apparently Norton was displeased when some of the character stuff was jettisoned in order to get the movie’s runtime under two hours. When the film was released, Norton decided to forsake his promotional duties, shrug his shoulders, and disappear into the wild.
Well, as you know, The Incredible Hulk made its smash and grab attempt at box office green and ended up doing about the same numbers as Ang Lee’s much derided 2003 version. Hopefully we’ll get to see the Norton approved cut (Captain America cameo, Bruce Banner suicide attempt, Hulk punching a sonnet into a boulder) somewhere on the 3-disc special edition that comes out in October. (That really sucks that they couldn’t find enough material for that fourth disc, by the way.) Aside from the oft delayed and supposedly great Pride and Glory, which finally hits theaters in October, fans of the tortured artist might be wondering what the actor is doing next.
And real fans might already know. Lost in the much reported scuffle between Norton and Marvel was news that the picky and prickly thespian was circling a duel role in Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass. Nelson wrote the movie specifically with Norton in mind, and he is very excited at the prospect of butting heads with the actor during the editing of the film. The Hollywood Reporter proclaims that Norton will be portraying twin brothers, one an Ivy League philosophy professor, the other a small-time and brilliant marijuana grower. The professor is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown for a doomed scheme against a local drug lord that unravels his life.
With Norton onboard, the movie is quickly gathering other cast members. Devin puncher Richard Dreyfuss has just signed on to play the local drug lord, and Susan Sarandon will, of course, be playing the mother of the double Norton. Kurt Russell is in talks to take on a girlfriend role.
Make that Keri Russell.
Nelson is a really interesting writer/director/actor that has been focusing on acting for the last few years. I thought he struck the right notes with his small role in The Incredible Hulk, where he and Norton must have become all buddy-buddy and shoulder rubby. Nelson made the little seen gem Eye of God – a movie I always talk up to anyone who will listen. All you Martha Plimpton non-believers, rent it and watch your world cave in. I dare ya!