Only One Other MCU Star after Edward Norton Was Allowed to Rewrite His Movie – Unlike The Incredible Hulk, The Result Was Glorious

Ant-Man, which Paul Rudd helped rewrite, was successful enough to become a trilogy

only one other mcu star after edward norton was allowed to rewrite his movie – unlike the incredible hulk, the result was glorious

SUMMARY

  • Marvel Studios was paying Paul Rudd to rewrite the film he was starring in, something they had not done before
  • In contrast to the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man achieved such success that a trilogy was eventually made of it.
  • However, due to Norton's alleged meddling, the MCU completely severed its ties to The Incredible Hulk.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has undergone several artistic alterations, including rewrites of the script and casting changes. An example of such changes can be seen in the $519.3 million film Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd. His involvement in rewriting the script ultimately propelled the film to unprecedented levels of success, in contrast to an earlier case where Edward Norton was allowed to rewrite The Incredible Hulk.

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Peyton Reed’s 2015 Ant-Man was so successful that it not only overcame its early challenges but also blossomed into a glorious trilogy. However, an alleged creative disagreement over The Incredible Hulk in 2008 led to Norton leaving the role. This was mostly due to the differing viewpoints; as a result of the Fight Club actor’s intervention, the MCU entirely distanced itself from The Incredible Hulk.

Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk

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How Did Paul Rudd Contribute to the Ant-Man Script Rewrite?

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man film series has carved out a unique heist comedy niche for itself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor contributed his comedic skills to the screenplay while also co-writing the film, which was a surprise summer hit in 2015.

Given that director Edgar Wright left the project so soon before production began due to creative differences, it was unclear just how good the superhero movie would be. Adam McKay had initiated talks about taking over for Wright. Although the former eventually decided against taking the director’s chair, he did consent to join as a screenwriter and worked on the script in the months before filming began.

Paul Rudd in Ant-Man
Paul Rudd in Ant-Man

The Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy director explained how he became involved with Ant-Man (via Collider):

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“[Rudd] called me when Edgar Wright stepped away from the project and told me what was going on.  I went and met with Marvel, and I was a little dubious just because I’m friends with Edgar and I didn’t know what the story was, and then when I kind of heard what happened, that Edgar had parted ways, and then I saw their materials, I was like, ‘God this is pretty cool’. Ultimately I didn’t want to jump in as a director, I had too many other projects going and it was too tight, but I thought, ‘You know what, I can rewrite this, and I can do a lot of good by rewriting it.’”

McKay acknowledged that he and Rudd collaborated on the script and expressed surprise at Rudd’s comedic ability:

“I’ve always known Paul Rudd’s a really good writer from improvising with him on set, but I had no idea he was that good—he’s really great with dialogue..”

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Ant-Man Was Successful For The Reason Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk Was Not

Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk

Marvel Studios was paying Paul Rudd to rewrite the film he was starring in, something they had not done before (since Edward Norton on The Incredible Hulk). In contrast to the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man achieved such success that a trilogy was eventually made of it. However, due to Norton’s meddling, the MCU completely severed its ties to The Incredible Hulk.

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Norton not only starred in The Incredible Hulk, but he also worked out a deal to write the screenplay without receiving credit. However, as per CBR, he kept making changes long after production began. The $264.8 million film continues to be the lowest-grossing MCU film, despite receiving mostly favorable reviews from critics.

Ant-Man, on the other hand, was a financial and critical success, which made it justified to let Paul Rudd contribute to Peyton Reed’s film. Expanding the Ant-Man franchise into a trilogy, Marvel Studios approved two more sequels, building on the success of the first movie.

Jonathan Majors as Kang in Ant-Man 3 opposite to Paul Rudd as Ant-Man
Jonathan Majors as Kang in Ant-Man 3, opposite Paul Rudd as Ant-Man

You can stream both Ant-Man and The Incredible Hulk on Disney Plus.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1360

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1300 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.