The Incredible Hulk Stuntman Criticizes Edward Norton for Not Being Engaged

The Incredible Hulk stuntman Terry Notary has explained why Edward Norton was difficult for the VFX team to work with on the 2008 film.

Notary recounted his time on the second Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in Joanna Robinson’s book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios. Notary — who worked on the production as a motion capture specialist and choreographer for the Hulk and Abomination — recalled the lack of effort that Norton gave while doing the mo-cap work as the Hulk. This allegedly forced the VFX team to do all the actor’s movements and facial expressions manually.

“[Norton] wasn’t really engaged, as far as the Hulk stuff goes, unless he was transforming from himself into the Hulk,” Notary said. “He was not very present through the whole thing.”

Keith Roberts, who served as the animation director of The Incredible Hulk, corroborated Notary’s experience. “Hulk doesn’t have Edward Norton’s expressions, but the two are eerily similar in facial timing,” Roberts saaid.

Notary had the opposite experience with Norton’s co-star Tim Roth, who played Emil Blonsky/Abomination, and praised his commitment to the character. “[Roth is] one of those quintessential actors that likes to be involved, wants to make sure that he’s going to look good and his character’s going to look good,” Notary said.

Edward Norton’s difficult history on The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is somewhat notorious for stories surrounding Norton’s difficult attitude throughout production. The actor initially signed on as Bruce Banner/Hulk with the condition that he would have the opportunity to rewrite Zak Penn’s screenplay. Norton’s ideas led to creative clashes with Marvel Studios, forcing the actor to avoid promoting the movie upon release. Despite Hulk’s box office success, Norton would not reprise the role in the MCU going forward.

“Yeah, [it] was cheap,” noted Norton. “It was brand defensiveness or something. Ultimately they weren’t going for long, dark and serious. But it doesn’t matter. We had positive discussions about going on with the films, and we looked at the amount of time that would’ve taken, and I wasn’t going to do that. I honestly would’ve wanted more money than they’d have wanted to pay me. But that’s not why I would’ve wanted to do another Hulk movie anyway.”

Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in 2012’s The Avengers. Ruffalo would continue the role in several MCU appearances through 2022’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+.

The Incredible Hulk is now streaming on Disney+.

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