We sometimes forget that Bruce Banner has not always had the face of Mark Ruffalo. Remember, in 2008, it was another renowned actor who lent his features to the Hulk in the second MCU film, available since today on Disney +.
If the role of Hulk has been associated with Mark Ruffalo for 10 years, it was not he who interpreted the character in the first and only solo film devoted to the scientist exposed to gamma rays in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Indeed, while the MCU was in its infancy, it was Edward Norton who had been chosen to succeed Eric Bana, the interpreter of Bruce Banner in Ang Lee’s Hulk released in 2003 and not included in the continuity. Marvel. Directed by Frenchman Louis Leterrier (now at the helm of Fast X), The Incredible Hulk was released a few months after Iron Man and is considered the second episode of the MCU.
In this feature film, where the protagonist desperately searches for an antidote to the gamma radiation that created the Hulk while General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt, who we will see later in the MCU) and his right arm Blonsky (Tim Roth ) dream of using it for military purposes, Bruce Banner therefore has the face of Edward Norton, known for having played in several unforgettable films such as American History X, Fight Club or The 25th Hour.
Thanked after just one movie
However, the collaboration between the actor and Marvel on The Incredible Hulk was so stormy that the studio preferred to part ways with him and replace him for the Avengers movie, released in 2012.
In a press release, producer Kevin Feige then explained: “Our decision is definitely not based on financial considerations, but in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and the spirit of collaboration with our talented actors. Avengers is asking for comedians who enjoy working together (…).“
This is how Mark Ruffalo inherited the role, which he has since played many times, but never in a solo film! And if no new Avengers film has yet been announced, the actor will once again take on the role of Hulk for the Disney + She-Hulk series, dedicated to his cousin.
While waiting for its release, (re)discover The Incredible Hulk on Disney+.