To the credit of Edward Norton, he's taking the high road.
Recently let go from The Avengers, and blasted by the movie studio for his lack of "creativity and collaborative spirit," the actor has posted the following message on his Facebook account.
In it, he expresses gratitude to his fans:
“As most of you know, I don’t like to talk much about the business of making movies because it means a lot to me to protect the audience’s fullest enjoyment of the “magic” that films can have. But I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from fans of the Hulk and the Avengers that I feel it would be rude not to respond. So here goes: It seems it won’t work out for me to continue playing Bruce Banner for Marvel in The Avengers.”
“I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn’t turned out as we all hoped. I know this is disappointing to many people and that makes me sad. But I am very sincerely grateful to Marvel for extending the offer and even more so for giving me the chance to be a part of the Hulk’s long and excellent journey.
“And I really can’t thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you’ve sent my way about what Louis [Leterrier, The Incredible Hulk's director] and I tried to do in our turn with the legend. It means a lot to me. I grew up with Banner and Hulk and have been a fan of every incarnation.
I’m really proud, and very blessed, to have been one of them and will be thrilled to see him live on through other actors. Hulk is bigger than all of us, that’s why we love him, right?"
With Norton out of the picture, attention now turns to which actor might take on this role in the 2012 movie. Rumored candidates include Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix and Billy Crudup.