Why Ed Norton Is Penning Hulk

When Edward Norton said that he wrote the screenplay for the upcoming “The Incredible Hulk” at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, people were left wondering what happened to original scribe Zak Penn’s work? Now, The Los Angeles Times has the answer:

“Marvel hired [Zak] Penn, who wrote three drafts over a year. By spring 2007, Penn was about to go off to promote his movie “The Grand,” but the studio and the director, Louis Leterrier (“The Transporter”), still felt that the screenplay needed work.

When Norton came in to meet about starring as Banner in April, the film had already been greenlighted and there were just three months before shooting was scheduled to begin. Norton had well-established (if underground) writing experience and strong ideas about how to separate the film from any confusion over its connection to the 2003 Ang Lee version by casting it in a more distinct, starting-over vein like “Batman Begins” or “Casino Royale.”

So Norton’s initial deal included payment not just for his acting services but for his writing talents too, with his draft contractually stipulated to be turned around in less than a month. As it turned out, Norton delayed work on another screenplay job to do “Hulk,” and he continues to tweak the script as principal photography hits its halfway point outside Toronto.”

Penn meanwhile is presently writing a big-budget version of another Marvel comic – “The Avengers.”