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“We did entertain the idea of swapping Mark”: She-Hulk Director Seriously Considered Edward Norton as The Hulk in the Finale Instead of Mark Ruffalo, Sparks Norton’s Return in Secret Wars

she hulk ed norton mark ruffalo

Before Mark Ruffalo swooped in to embody the Hulk moniker, Edward Norton’s depiction of the Green Goliath in The Incredible Hulk was very well-celebrated amongst fans. People look back at it quite adoringly and on numerous occasions, fans have wondered whether or not Norton’s iteration of the character would ever make a return to the MCU threshold — especially now with the endless possibilities of the Multiverse Saga.

The Incredible Hulk (2008) Edward Norton
The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Read also: Mark Ruffalo Says He Initially Didn’t Want to Replace Ed Norton, Suggested Joaquin Phoenix as Hulk When Kevin Feige Offered Him the Role

What the doting audience would be ecstatic to know is that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law director Kat Coiro actively entertained the idea. While it did not make it past the ideation stage into the paper, it does raise some intriguing implications. Needless to say, rumors surrounding the Fight Club alum and his potential return to the franchise have gained ground.

She-Hulk Director Wanted To Swap Mark Ruffalo With Edward Norton

She-Hulk director considered a swap between the two actors
She-Hulk director considered a swap between the two actors

The director of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Kat Coiro spoke with The Direct’s Pamela Gores. In a finale that could be considered uber-meta, we see a sequence between Mark Ruffalo‘s Bruce Banner/Hulk and Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky/Abomination that could be considered the two characters’ cinematic reunion after years since The Incredible Hulk. 

When the news of Tim Roth returning to reprise his much-iconic role broke on the Internet, fans couldn’t contain their enthusiasm. They were happy to know that Abomination’s character would stick true to its original cinematic iteration, embodied by Roth. What the fans may now feel slightly bitter about is how in that specific scene, Coiro did “entertain the idea” of swapping Mark Ruffalo for Edward Norton. A reunion in the truest form.

Edward Norton
Edward Norton as Bruce Banner

Read also: ‘He looks like a younger Lou Ferrigno’: MCU Actually Hired a Jacked Male Model To Portray She-Hulk in Finale Episode, Fans are Losing it

Here’s what Coiro had to say:

“There was a lot of talk about the fact that the last time they [Abomination and Hulk] 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.”

Hence, while the idea’s fruition would have escalated the level of meta-storytelling of She-Hulk‘s finale, it, unfortunately, could not happen. But is there any possibility of it happening in the MCU’s coming future? That isn’t certain – especially when we consider the nature of Norton’s exit from the franchise in the first place.

However, the statement by Coiro has led many to believe that Edward Norton might return as a different iteration of the Hulk in future MCU films.

Will We See Edward Norton’s Hulk Return In MCU?

Edward Norton's Hulk
Edward Norton’s Hulk

Marvel Cinematic Universe and its Multiverse Saga have created a narrative that allows for impossible things to happen. Let’s take Spider-Man: No Way Home as the primary example. Who would have thought that the audience would be rewarded with a shockingly pleasant premise involving three of the renowned actors who have embodied the Web-Slinger on the big screen?

If the multiverse was not introduced to the franchise, such a story to occur would have been nearly impossible — at least thematically and in a way that made sense. The point is, if Marvel Studios ever wished to tap into some of the fans’ desire of wanting to see Edward Norton’s Hulk in the MCU, they would be able to pull it off narratively. They can incorporate a Multiversal Hulk in a movie like, say, Avengers: Secret Wars.

To see two Hulks face-to-face would mount up to a hilarious yet epic scene. One can only envision how that particular event would unfold.

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Edward Norton

Read also: “Anytime They Want to Do It I’m Here”: Even After a Decade in MCU, Mark Ruffalo Is Still Excited for a Solo Hulk Movie, Sends a Message to Marvel’s Boss Kevin Feige

Alas, the matter depends on whether or not the actor himself wishes to return. One has to take into consideration the history he has shared with the franchise. Previously, years ago, Kevin Feige affirmed that the decision to replace the Primal Fear alum with Mark Ruffalo was not due to monetary complications.

Instead, it was to ensure that the studio could find an actor who would best embody the “creative and collaborative spirit” that is shared amongst the other talents of the franchise. In a statement that was released subsequently, The Italian Job actor himself emphasized that the matter was distorted altogether. According to him, the collaborative process that took place during the filming of The Incredible Hulk (2008) was “misrepresented publicly as a ‘dispute,’”

Edward Norton's opinions on the Hulk replacement
Edward Norton’s return to the MCU is debatable

The history remains somewhat murky.

Under such a scenario, it would be intriguing to see if Marvel Studios ever take such a drastic gamble. Furthermore, if Edward Norton himself agrees to it, then voila! The fans will finally have what they’ve desired for so long.

For now, the fans can only wonder what could’ve been if the She-Hulk idea gained a tangible shape.

All episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are available for streaming on Disney+.

Source: The Direct

Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Always having had a deep fascination for content creation and pop-culture, Debdipta joined as a writer at FandomWire in 2022. Currently pursuing an undergraduate Mass Communication degree, Debdipta enjoys the intricacies of cinema and film-making, with a year of screenwriting experience to account for. Besides her knack for writing, she's also an avid reader, a connoisseur of music across all genres, and a die-hard fan of Charlie Kaufman.