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July 14, 2010

So what's up with The Avengers and The Hulk?

Well, allow me to vent about that for a second."The Avengers" hits theaters summer 2012, and will bring together all the stars of Marvel Studios films from the recent past and near future including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America (the latter two coming next summer) and allegedly Black Widow and War Machine (from "Iron Man 2"), Loki (from "Thor") and Nick Fury (who may get his own movie, at some point). Also, allegedly, would be Hawkeye and possibly Ant Man (who also has a solo movie scheduled for after "The Avengers" hits theaters). Most importantly, the Hulk, who has had two different movies made about him in the past couple years (2003's "Hulk" and 2008's "The Incredible Hulk"). I really thought the marginal success of "Iron Man 2" was going to hurt "The Avengers," or possibly every film leading up to it being directed by different people or the combination of so many expensive and well known actors being squished into an ensemble cast. Nope, turns out it's going to be the executives at Marvel being complete idiots and no one appreciating Edward Norton's performance in "The Incredible Hulk." To be honest, it didn't get the most attention, but how could it? It was a more serious take on an introspective superhero who is often mistaken by his peers as a menace, which came out in the summer sandwiched between "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight." It was already alleged back in that summer after the credits of "The Incredible Hulk" that it would be tied in with the other Marvel movies, and I guess that's still the plan. However, Marvel has decided to not include Edward Norton in this plan. If you read the many articles online about the situation, it was sudden to Norton's people, who assumed it had to do with salary issues, when according to Marvel, it had to do with finding an actor they felt would fit better in the ensemble cast, basically saying Norton can't work well with others. Norton has an Oscar nomination under his belt, has always been very professional in his work and the eye of the public and is supposedly personal friends with several stars in the upcoming Avengers film. Marvel's people should know better than anyone how hard it is to please comic book fans when it comes to making movies, and recasting a major character because of their own reasons rather than the actor's is just asking for massive backlash. In my opinion, Norton did a fantastic job as the scientist-turned green monster and I'm really not looking forward to seeing a character show up four years after his introduction as someone else. It's going to throw off the chemistry of the entire film, much like both Joel Schumacher Batman films.
IMDB has been blowing up with news articles from various entertainment sites all day with speculation that Mark Ruffalo will be the new Hulk in "The Avengers." This more than a disappointment to me, basically because I'm really not a fan of his work. He's mostly been seen in indie films, often in smaller roles, but he's very recognizable in feature films as well. Not necessarily a bad actor, but something about him bothers me. Plus, he looks nothing like Norton and acts nothing like him as well. Not a smooth transition, even though it will be a great role for his career. I think if you're going to get rid of Norton and you want to keep the Hulk, keep the Hulk, but only in Hulk form. Don't confuse things so much. Maybe find a new way to work him into the plot. Trouble is, I'm pretty sure the script is already written. It's just a big mess.

If that wasn't bad enough, I'm hearing now that both Marvel productions for next summer, "Thor" and "The First Avenger: Captain America," will be in 3D. I'm pretty sure that Marvel's plan here is to see how much time and money it takes to make one major disappointment of a film. Four years of films are building up to what? I guess we'll have to wait and see.


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