A war of words broke out in July between Edward Norton and Marvel production chief Kevin Feige after it became clear the actor wouldn't reprise his Hulk role in the superhero all-star flick "The Avengers."
Feige accused Norton of lacking sufficient "creativity and collaborative spirit," while Norton took the high road, saying he was simply "appreciative of the outpouring of support from fans of the Hulk and the Avengers."
Months later, while promoting "Stone" at the Toronto Film Festival, Norton went into greater detail about his dust-up with Marvel. Feige's accusations clearly still irk him, but the actor once again strove to avoid engaging in overly negative words.
"The thing that was disingenuous about some of the stuff that had gone on is it was a very professional and very respectful business situation," he told MTV News. "We really couldn't work it out on a business level, and I know that's disappointing to some people, but it's nobody's fault. I don't have any disrespect for anybody's decisions in the business framework. You do what you feel you need to do on both sides, and that's totally fine.
"I have no idea why anybody tried to characterize it as anything other than that kind of a decision, which is absolutely what it was," added Norton, who took over the Hulk role in 2008 following Eric Bana's 2003 turn.
Yet Feige publicly stated the opposite in July, weeks before Marvel announced that Mark Ruffalo would be next in line to play Hulk for the planned 2012 "Avengers" film. "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," Feige said at the time.
Taking such behind-the-scenes negotiations public was a surprisingly in-your-face move on Marvel's part, but calling Feige's comments "disingenuous" was as confrontational as Norton would let himself become. "My life's way too good on too many levels to be over-intense about things like that," he said.
"I didn't want to be negative about anything," he said earlier in our interview. "I had a great time doing that. I was very happy to be part of it all. People's response to that film was great. That's everything you want. If you're going to do one of those, and be in those long traditions of those things we all grew up in, you don't want to be in one of the bad ones. So I'm really happy people had a good thing with that."
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