Try as it might, Universal is facing another orgy of resistance to its big-screen efforts on behalf of the Incredible Hulk comic franchise. This time around, five years after Ang Lee's expensive, cheesy The Hulk flatlined into muscly green oblivion, The Incredible Hulk has studio flacks spinning, onlookers shrugging and temperamental star Edward Norton naturally pouting over the whole drama. Reports NY Timesman Brooks Barnes:
Mr. Norton and Marvel, which has the right of final approval on the film, have sparred in recent weeks over trims, among other issues, said studio executives involved, who asked to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak publicly. Mr. Norton — who was hired to rewrite the script along with playing the lead — has made it clear he won't cooperate with publicity plans if he's not happy with the final product, these people said.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Norton said he had no comment. [Marvel chairman David] Maisel brushed off the friction as par for the course.
"When you get to this point in the process, there are always lots of passionate discussions," he said. "Edward is very passionate. He is as passionate about the Hulk as we are." (For those unaccustomed to Hollywood speak, "very passionate" roughly translates to a seven on the "he's a difficult person" scale.)
And for those unaccustomed to Brooks Barnes speak, "among other issues" roughly translates to "the Hulk effects look like they were done on a Commodore 64." Nagging specifics aside, we've heard all this before about Norton, and while we don't believe for a minute that he will sit out promotion for Hulk, we look forward to his carefully engineered sabotage of press conferences ("I dunno... Liv Tyler, you wanna answer that?") and television appearances ("Actually, Jay, let me tell you how poorly that clip was originally written...") leading up to the June 13 release date.