Whilst Ang Lee’s “Hulk” with Eric Bana is a one-off dead end, 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” is considered a part of the official canon of Marvel Studios films and within the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s continuity.
Edward Norton played the part of Bruce Banner/Hulk in that film, a role which was recast for “The Avengers” with Mark Ruffalo taking over the part and scoring a much more welcome reaction from fans.
Still, Norton was originally slated to return for “The Avengers” and opted not to. In a new interview with NPR, the acclaimed actor spoke about turning down the role:
“My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that.”
The actor goes on to say he wanted more diversity in his career and was reluctant about being typecast or defined by one role:
“I think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other peoples’ eyes.”
He added that his roles in “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman” might not have happened had he been a part of “The Avengers” due to scheduling conflicts.