Long-forgotten Marvel Star Could've Returned in She-Hulk Finale
Marvel Cinematic Universe can boast – and quite deservedly – about consistency and proper timeline and storyline continuation, except for maybe a couple of bumps on the road.
One of those bumps was the replacement of Eric Bana (Hulk, 2003) by Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk, 2008) and then Norton by Mark Ruffalo ( The Avengers, 2012), who played the Hulk ever since. There was quite a debate among the fans on why didn't they keep Norton as the Hulk, but everyone fell in love with Ruffalo's version anyways. As it turns out, every fan who wanted to see 2008's version of the Hulk once again can sigh in disappointment, as we've almost had this dream come true.
For a long time, there was a debate on what actually happened that caused the change in the cast, especially knowing how well Norton was accepted by the audience. As we've later learned from the now deleted Kevin Feige's (Marvel Studious president) statement to Hitfix.com, Norton was replaced not "based on monetary factors" but his not being able to work as a part of a team. Here is the original statement via The Atlantic:
"We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. 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, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts."
Now, that was quite a slap in the face, which was later hushed.
Now that the last episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is out, we learned that Edward Norton was actually considered to be brought back to play Bruce Banner once again in the finale. Via The Direct, She-Hulk director Kat Coiro said that "There was a lot of talk about the fact that the last time they were together a different actor was playing the Hulk. And Mark [Ruffalo] made quite a few jokes about that. And we did entertain the idea of swapping Mark out for Edward Norton. But that did not come to pass."
It could have been a dream come true for some of the fans, but it didn't happen. But we know that Marvel has its way around making different actors playing the same role work. So maybe in the future, we will get the chance to see two different Hulks on screen at the same time.