The Incredible Hulk Producer Addresses Creative Issues on Edward Norton Film

It's no secret there were some creative differences in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially as it relates to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Universal's The Incredible Hulk was one of the first movies in the MCU, following Iron Man, and it featured Edward Norton playing Bruce Banner. Marvel ultimately went in a different direction with the character after that film, not only changing up how he was depicted, but who played him in the MCU. Mark Ruffalo took over for Norton in 2012 and has played Hulk ever since.

Norton and Marvel didn't see eye-to-eye when it came to Hulk in the MCU, a point that was made clear after Norton was replaced by Ruffalo. According to The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Norton was constantly trying to make changes to The Incredible Hulk throughout the production. He was supposed to write a draft of the screenplay ahead of production, but a limited amount of time kept that from happening. That led Norton to making changes to the script as filming went on, ultimately causing a contentious dynamic on-set.

There were several producers on The Incredible Hulk, including MCU architect Kevin Feige, but only one of them was actually on-location at all times. Stephen Broussard moved out to location to be on-set every day, hoping to gain experience the same way Feige did on the X-Men set.

"Kevin [Feige] would come as much as he could, but there were many days where you're the only guy on-set," Broussard said. "You're the voice of the producers, but I was the youngest person in the room by far. I always felt like I was going to be turned to at any moment and told, 'You can go now. Let the grown-ups have it."

"I could facilitate change in a way that was helpful to the movie and helpful to [director Louis Leterrier]. I remember feeling like this is the job of a producer. It's, on one hand, helping the director realize their vision," Broussard continued. "But it's also challenging the story. Never in a confrontational way, but saying, 'What about this?' or 'Let's look at this from this way?' A little bit of creative butting heads, which all sounds negative, is healthy."

1comments

Everything ended up fine for Marvel, as the MCU still telling Hulk stories more than a decade later. And fans love what Ruffalo has done with the character over the years. Unfortunately for Norton, it seems like the character needed to move on without him to thrive in the franchise.