Defamer HQ opens for business this morning with an apology to newly non-difficult Edward Norton, whose squabbles with Marvel and Universal over The Incredible Hulk appear to have been blown out of proportion by a naturally overzealous press. Via Entertainment Weekly, Norton himself went public for the first time this week to shout "Piffle!" at the accounts of acrimony dug up by Nikki Finke and The New York Times (and dutifully passed on by us); lest we risk decontextualization of any of his precious 257 words, we now pass along his full statement and more of our own profuse contrition after the jump:
THE FULL TEXT OF EDWARD NORTON'S E-MAILED STATEMENT
"Like so many people I've loved the story of The Hulk since I was a kid, so it was thrilling when Marvel asked me to write and help produce an altogether new screen incarnation, as well as play Bruce Banner. I grew up reading Marvel Comics and always loved the mythic dimension and contemporary themes in the stories, and I'm proud of the script I wrote. In every phase of production, including the editing, working with Louis Leterrier has been wonderful...I've never had a better partner, and the collaboration with all the rest of the creative team has been terrific. Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other's opinions is the heart of filmmaking.
Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them. All of us believe The Incredible Hulk will excite old fans and create new ones and be a huge hit...our focus has always been to deliver the Hulk that people have been waiting for and keep the worldwide love affair with the big green guy going strong.''
Again, we are terribly sorry to have latched on to any misrepresentations, especially the ones of Norton being a handful to work with. Sure, as EW's Gregory Kirschling reports, that legend of his commandeering American History X is true, and Leterrier does diplomatically acknowledge Norton and Marvel couldn't agree on a cut, and Norton did take a month to reply to EW... but whatever. As for Norton's claim that "knowing too much about how [movies] are made diminishes the magic of watching them," we totally agree. We will stop asking unanswered questions — like whether or not Norton will promote the film (is it too much to suggest this doesn't reassure us?) — or even being interested right away. For Norton's sake, we trust you'll do the same.