Meeee-ow! Looks like we’ve got ourselves a good old-fashioned catfight! Except instead of two hot women scratching and clawing, we’ve got an agent from William Morris pissing and moaning about some dork at a comic book company. Actually, that doesn’t sound like a catfight at all. It sounds a whole lot sexier!
On Friday, Marvel announced that Edward Norton, who clashed with the studio during the making of The Incredible Hulk, will not be part of The Avengers. The press release stated that the decision was not monitary, but was instead “rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.” For those of you who don’t speak Hollywood, that roughly translates to "go f**k yourself, you insufferable twit."
Not one to take things lying down, Norton responded like any other red-blooded male, and quickly had his agent, Brian Swardstrom, issue a strongly worded rebuttal. Swardstrom attacked Marvel head on, using big words like defamatory, mean spirited and accusatory. That’s right, accusatory!
I haven’t seen a war of words like this since Biggie and Tupac. If cooler heads don’t prevail, I fear someone might get their glasses broken, or maybe even work themselves up into an asthmatic frenzy. (Collider)
Read the strongly worded letter from Edward Norton’s agent in its entirety after the jump.
“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.