Edward Norton is no longer the Hulk. Guess who might be. Plus: Caine pegs Batman 3 start date. Wright says Scott Pilgrim is complete. Green says Darkchylde has potential and more! Ripping out your spine and placing it on the mantel, it's your Comics2Film 10.7.12!
Via, Twitter, director Edgar Wright suggested to his followers on Thursday that Scott Pilgrim vs The World was nearing completion.
"If all goes well. May finish the film today," Wright tweeted.
Then, early yesterday he added, "'...it's finished.'"
So it seems Scott Pilgrim is locked and ready to screen. If only there were some upcoming event where fans could see it.
The first footage from the upcoming animated feature Superman/Batman: Apocalypse has arrived online. This appears to be an illicit leak with Warner Bros pulling it off YouTube as fast as they can, so watch it while you're able:
Fans headed out to Comic-Con will get a chance to see the Street Angel short film based on the comics by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca.
The Motion Captured blog at Hitfix landed a major scoop on Friday and sparked an incendiary news cycle that burned through the weekend.
In a Friday afternoon report, Motion Captured reported that Marvel Entertainment had been negotiating with actor Edward Norton to reprise his role as Bruce Banner for the upcoming Avengers movie. Norton had met with rumored director Joss Whedon and reportedly, all parties were excited about getting the band together.
Then, according to the initial report, Marvel broke off negotiations due to monetary concerns and had decided to cast "an unknown" to replace Norton. Marvel has gained a reputation for playing hardball with salaries, so the notion that it was about money wouldn't have surprised anyone.
However, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige refuted some aspects of the story. He sent an exclusive communication to Motion Captured confirming that Norton is out, but denying that the decision was based in company finance.
"We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers," Feige is quoted as saying. "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. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by [Robert Downey Jr.], [Chris Hemsworth], [Chris Evans], [Samuel L. Jackson], [Scarlett Johansson], and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks."
Frankly, Feige's public statement is eyebrow-raising, at least in the way it points the finger at Norton. C2F's experience with Feige is that he's fairly cautious and measured in the way he presents Marvel to the press. While the statement isn't worded all that strongly, it's definitely pregnant with the implication that Norton is seen as uncooperative, and gives credence to past reports that Marvel found Norton to be combative with regards to The Incredible Hulk.
We weren't the only ones taken aback by Feige's remarks. Norton's reps at the William Morris Endeavor seemed quite incensed by the statement's implications. Brian Swardstrom of WME dashed off an email to Motion Captured defending his client:
"This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project. Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith. This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.
"We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige's mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige's statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel's fans.
Regardless of who said what behind the scenes, Norton is officially done with Bruce Banner and the Hulk, both in The Avengers and any possible sequels. Feige admits they'll be casting a known actor to be the third Bruce Banner in nine years. So now we can expect the internet to start offering up a laundry list of candidates for the 2012 movie.
First up is CHUD, who claims that Marvel is already favoring an actor. Their sources claim that Joaquin Phoenix has been offered the role in the Avengers but has not yet accepted the part.
Phoenix has largely been in a bizarre form of self-exile of late. In 2008 he announced his retirement from acting and began pursuing a career as a hip-hop artist. As unlikely as the move seemed, nobody's really sure if Phoenix is serious about being a rapper, or if its some sort of performance hoax. The events are chronicled in a documentary called I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix, which currently lacks a distributor. Potential buyers were reportedly still puzzled over whether the movie was a gag or not.
Hoax or mid-life crisis, the foray into rap hasn't helped Phoenix, who had peaked just years earlier with Walk the Line. Getting into a high-profile, low-workload movie like The Avengers, with a shot at future Hulk features could be a way to clear the slate and restore some of the actor's lost luster.
What do you think, Maniacs? Did Marvel misbehave? Is Norton a prima donna? Would you like Phoenix in the role? If not then who? Post your comments below...
Rob M. Worley is the writer and creator of the all-new, all-cat kids comic book series Scratch9. He would love for any Maniacs bound for Comic-Con in San Diego to stop by, shout "Litter Bricks" and check out the new comic! Click here for the Scratch9 Comic-Con Schedule.