Cue The Sad Piano Music, Edward Norton Will Not Play The Hulk Again.

Rumors have been going around the net for the past week that Marvel Studios has possibly made a choice not to bring The Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton back to play Bruce Banner in The Avengers. What it looks like they’d rather do is go out and find an unknown actor to take on the part, a move that to me looks like the wrong one.

Now with this rumor turning into fact, it seems things are getting ugly between Marvel head Kevin Feige, Norton’s agent Brian Swardstrom and even Edward Norton himself.

Let’s take a look shall we! First we have this from 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

Then Brian Swardstrom fired back:

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.

And now it looks like Edward Norton responded via his Facebook page:

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 par of the Hulk’s long and excellent history. And I really can’t thank the fans enough for how much enthusiasm you’ve sent my way about what Louis 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?

S.H.I.E.L.D Headquarters or The Best Zombie Apocalypse Hideout?

Actually neither, it’s a half-billion dollar spy blimp the size of a football field!

From Wired:

The military already employs a fleet of blimps to look for enemies and relay communications. But none of them are as big, as high-flying, or as far-seeing as this Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV. It’s supposed to float at 20,000 feet for up to three weeks at a time, snooping on absolutely everything below with a variety of sensors.

“Basically what we see it as is an unblinking eye,” LEMV project manager Marty Sargent tells Inside Defense.

Sargent figures it would take as many as 12 of the military’s advanced Reaper surveillance drones “to do the same mission that the LEMV would do.”

The first airship is supposed to be inflated around 10 months from now. Eight months later, the Army hopes to have the first LEMV flying over Afghanistan. On that day, the clouds will part, the sun will shine, and the cherubs will sing as the unblinking eye begins looking for Taliban.

Ok so if zombies do attack it’s the perfect place to be I’m sure.

Whedon In Final Talks to Direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’

Joss Whedon, the writer/creator/producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse is currently in final talks with Marvel to direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, a film that would amount to an all-star team of Marvel superheros, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) plus I’m sure a host of other heroes (wish Hulk was on that list!).

While Whedon has been rumored for this job for awhile, and is high on the fanboy wish-list. He’s an interesting choice: despite his writing/producing TV series resume, and genius writing skills, he has only directed one feature in his career — 2005’s Serenity. He has, on the other hand, directed many television episodes, including 22 episodes of Buffy, 7 episodes of Angel, 3 episodes of Firefly, 3 episodes of Dollhouse, and even episodes of both The Office and Glee. Oh, and let us not forget Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Marvel Studios has apparently realized this faithful following and how much Whedon is just a geek and fanboy himself. According to Deadline Hollywood, the maker of epic comic book movies is in final negotiations with Whedon to direct The Avengers, which is the film that will bring all of these massive characters and storylines into one film.

After Iron Man 2, Marvel has three pictures left on a distribution deal with Paramount before it moves to Disney, and the studio has been churning them out. Iron Man 2 gets released in May, Captain America will begin shooting this summer in Europe, Thor is in production, and Marvel Studios just set Pete Sollett to direct Runaways, based on the comic book series created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan. Whedon has written installments of the latter, so he knows how to make those superheros fly. Marvel has considered all of the individual superhero movies to be an intro to The Avengers, so the wanna-see on this one will be huge. The film will be released in the first weekend of May, 2012.

Iron Man 2 On The Set Footage and Hulk Movie News

ETonline has a behind the scenes look at Iron Man 2, including slow-motion scenes of Scarlett Johansson strutting in a tight outfit for like 2 seconds. See new footage, new carnage, explosions and hear from the entire cast.

Edward Norton may not be guest-starring in Iron Man 2, but Norton has an idea about when his gamma-powered alter ego should come back to movie theaters… and it’s one that will please old-school Marvel Comics fans.

Asked by MTV whether the Hulk could show up as the villain in 2012’s Avengers movie, Norton said,

In the comics, there was always a tension between [the Hulk and] the rest of the superhero community and he was always this problem… They treat him as this problem. I think that’s a fun way to go with it.

That’s a much more positive response than he gave to a similar question this summer, but that may be because Marvel Studios president has strongly hinted that the Hulk will likely appear in the movie. Here’s hoping he’s the unwitting foil of Thor’s half-brother Loki, as per the original comics…

Speaking of Hulk, really you should check the Stylin site, we have an insane about of Hulk Shirts currently up with a good amount of Hulk T-Shirts on sale.

Marvel Announces The Avengers Line-Up

Got this from I09

Kevin Feige talked about the interlaced comic book plots that are tied to Iron Man 2, spurred by the Nick Fury cameo by Samuel L. Jackson, and Tony Starks cameo in the Hulk movie.

Do you know what heroes are we going to be putting in The Avengers? How close are you to discovering who the core characters are?

I think we know. I think it’s going to be Iron Man and Thor, Captain America and Nick Fury. I think it’s safe to assume that there will be some members of the Hulk universe in the film as well. In terms of the additional I think Black Widow, sure. The SHIELD organization for sure. What’s exciting, for me, about The Avengers movie is seeing those four characters interact with each other. I think anywhere from the first issues of The Avengers to Civil War the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is just awesome, it’s fascinating. It brings out sides in others that won’t be brought out in the other franchises. Going forward with the mix is a whole other thing, I think it will be cool. So to pile on another 15 or 10, frankly more than four would be too many.

Is the Hulk in it?

Zak Penn is outlining it as we speak, so we’ll see.

Are you going to test potential Captain America people against Robert knowing they’ll have work together at some point?

We’ve already been doing a little bit of that, to an extent. We’re certainly casting all of the actors knowing that they need to carry, whether they are the good guy or the bad guy or a small part, not only their own franchise but playing an important part in the Avengers franchise. We are definitely keeping that in mind as we are casting.

Has Chris Hemsworth [Thor] said that he would met with Robert?

Oh yes, that was the first meeting of Thor and Tony Stark, it was pretty cool.

My first thought was ‘Where’s Hawkeye, Ant-Man and Wasp?’ but that’s just me.