The Incredible Hulk was released a little over a month after Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film introduced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk, but by the time the character reappeared in The Avengers, Norton had been replaced by Mark Ruffalo. While Edward Norton remains a fan of the franchise, The Incredible Hulk remains his one-and-only appearance in the MCU, but She-Hulk director Kat Coiro recently said that they discussed bringing him back for the Disney+ series.
Kat Coiro told The Direct that they did “entertain the idea” of swapping out Mark Ruffalo for Edward Norton in the She-Hulk finale.
There was a lot of talk about the fact that the last time they were together a different actor was playing the Hulk. And Mark [Ruffalo] made quite a few jokes about that. And we did entertain the idea of swapping Mark out for Edward Norton. But that did not come to pass.
As Coiro mentioned, the series joked about the casting change when Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk said he was “a completely different person now, literally,” from the days when he faced the Abomination in The Incredible Hulk. When it was first announced that Marvel would be recasting the role for The Avengers, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that they wanted someone who “embodies the creatively and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.” Norton’s reps fired back, saying the statement was a “purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light.” Norton said that he really enjoyed his time in the MCU, but doesn’t necessarily regret not being invited back as it gave him the chance to do movies like Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Birdman.
This isn’t the first time that Marvel has considered bringing Edward Norton back, as Marvel’s What If…? writer A.C. Bradley said that he thought about asking Norton to voice the character once again in an episode. Although his appearance in She-Hulk never came to pass, would you like to see Edward Norton reprise the role of Hulk once again? After all, anything is possible in the Multiverse.