"Step Away From The Purple Pants!" – Ed Norton Out As Hulk In THE AVENGERS

incredible-hulk-FL-03Yesterday, HitFlix reported that Marvel will indeed be releasing THE AVENGERS movie in 2012, but will be doing so without Edward Norton. According to Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige:

“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. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.”

(Read the rest of the HitFlix report here)
It seems no one can find a home in Hulk’s size 67 pants. No doubt the search is on for the next Bruce Banner. Until then, let the speculation commence!

'Avengers' & 'Capt. America' Casting

jeremy_rennerAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios is in negotiations with Jeremy Renner (28 WEEKS LATER, THE HURT LOCKER) to play the role of Hawkeye in THE AVENGERS.
Marvel’s interest in the actor is not news, online sources have mentioned the rumors since last fall, the piece notes.
Hawkeye is the purple & blue-clad Clint Barton, master bowman, simliar to DC’s Green Arrow. Though not a founding member of the group, Hawkeye — a misguided villain-turned-hero — actually joined The Avengers fairly early in the book’s run. (Avengers #16, 1965)
THR believes the Joss Whedon-helmed film will feature Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), War Machine (Don Cheadle), The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Having War Machine AND Iron Man seems redundant, as they’re both guys is different colored high-tech armor. Perhaps Tony Stark will be an advisor, as suggested in IRON MAN 2, and not suit up until the final battle.
The Hulk may appear, though no deal with Ed Norton is known to be in place. Since the Hulk is essentially a CGI character, it may not be necessary to see his alter-ego Bruce Banner in THE AVENGERS.
In other Marvel movie casting news, Neal McDonough (TIN MAN) NUP_106739_0036 is said to be in talks for the role of “Dum Dum” Dugan For CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger.
Dugan was the red-haired, handlebar mustache-sporting, bowler hat-wearing right hand man of Nick Fury’s WWII ‘Howling Commandos’ in the comics.
How the film with handle any time period/continuity troubles is anybody’s guess, at this point.

Updated Info on Marvel's Ant Man

Marvels comic book hero Ant Man
Marvels comic book hero Ant Man

SuperHeroHype have been talking with Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige, on the eve of IRON MAN 2’s release and he has some new information about one of the studio’s smaller properties, ANT MAN. Apparently Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ) is still directing the comic book adaptation and is set to start work on it once SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD is released.
In the Marvel comics ANT MAN had several incarnations; first was Dr Henry “Hank” Pym, whom invented the various methods for someone to reduce their size and assume the identity of ANT MAN and then there was Scott Lang, a thief who was reformed with the aid of Pym and Iron Man and became the second ANT MAN. Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have written several drafts of the film adaptation but SCOTT PILGRIM had put the project on hold. With PILGRIM almost finished Feige reveals,

“Edgar was in LA last week, we sat down, and we started working on a calendar of when to get him back into it once he finishes promoting Scott Pilgrim, so I think towards the end of this year, early next year we’d start looking at early prep for that, but certainly for a release date after The Avengers.

So even though ANT-MAN is a long way off (I’d wager on a 2013 release being planned) it is still happening. Edgar Wright is a more than capable director and based on the PILGRIM teaser trailer, looks as if he can handle a larger budget superhero film such as this.