You will find a very mixed view of the Hulk MCU edition, both by hardcore fans and casual fans alike.
The first movie in the MCU franchise, The Incredible Hulk, was not much better than the 2003 mixed bag Hulk from Universal was. Although we all know that Mark Rufalo helped improve the Hulk later in 1945. Avengers Many people still view the classic television show as the best representation of the character.
As great an actor as Edward Norton is, we see evidence that he just wasn't on the same page creatively in a game of torn green man. His vision for the Hulk was to take him in a darker direction, something that Marvel and Kevin Fagge renewed.
Was Norton better off or was it a lost creative opportunity for everyone involved?
Norton was shot outside Marvel is a reverse process for recruiting top talent
We usually hear about Marvel successfully landing with Hollywood's greatest talent to help make superhero movies more credible. For an actor on the A list, it may also be difficult to oppose higher salaries. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson are just a few examples of becoming much richer thanks to their involvement in the Marvel universe.
Edward Norton is now the only one to retreat because of creative differences. Now he's back to making more decent and independent films, something he probably doesn't pay at the level Marvel does. However, it can be argued that it is best for Norton to stay where he is and not be consumed by the black hole in the MCU.
If his idea for a darker Hulk movie were to continue, it could change his trajectory as an actor, ie. does not include creating a stereotype for him, unlike Downey now.
On the other side of things, we also see Marvel not wanting to become something like DC. A darker idea of the Hulk is still intriguing, but if not something we will probably ever see under the direction of Kevin Feig.
According to Norton, Marvel initially agreed to a dark film for the Hulk
Norton wanted to make a long, introspective film originating from the Hulk, followed by follow-up actions that would definitely go dark in DC mode. Norton says Marvel was excited about it until Kevin Fage got the word. Plus, Marvel decided to cut the first Hulk movie after Norton helped create the script.
Later, Fage refused to do the second project, forcing Norton to leave Marvel on less than good terms. Today Norton talks about it as if it doesn't matter. He says Marvel probably wouldn't pay what he wanted, despite his deep pockets.
Even if all the water is now over the bridge, there seems to be little regret. Wanting to dip your thumb in the Marvel superhero market is too difficult to resist nowadays given the box office pedigree, money, and world-class prestige.
To have Norton play Bruce Banner in the Hulk movie One Origin was already a bit of a stretch after doing Oscar-worthy work in previous years. Some fans think he just didn't connect with the hero, something that Rufalo finally managed to do. Not that we are all crazy about seeing the hybrid Hulk interact normally within the world, as we saw in Endgame.
Can Marvel continue without responding to DC?
If Norton's experience with Marvel was a little unusual, it's clear that the MCU is still very strict about what they want to present to the public. Turning out too dark just isn't in the cards, though screenwriters Christopher Marcus and Thomas McPhee also want to bring some edge that Marvel ultimately denies.
Marvel may have to go the route Norton wanted after all, as DC sets a new bar for what is acceptable in a so-called comic book movie. Maybe The Joker is not really a canon of comics, but it's set at DC level and we'll see how to handle Batman's upcoming . Meanwhile, at least Norton is still free to take on dark, complex roles, as he is already getting a raise once again in Motherless Brooklyn .