That might as well be the reason they've given for taking Edward Norton out of the Avengers picture - it's still not clear what happened. Marvel's last-minute decision to sever ties with Norton, following the recent reboot of The Incredible Hulk, was a surprise, and a shame, given the actor's talent and eager attitude towards the comic book series. This is what Marvel said:
"We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members."
Banner would be the lowest paid cast member out of all of The Avengers, consisting of Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark, Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth's Thor and Chris Evans' Captain America. But was Norton's paycheck really just too high with that ensemble? Norton's agent responded furiously to Marvel's statement:
"This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light." He goes on to explain that Norton and Avengers director Joss Whedon met several times and discussed the part amicably, before Marvel turned around and unexpectedly declared their hunt for a new actor.
All this happens just as Comic-Con is shaping up its schedule, during which Marvel hoped to unveil their whole cast on one stage. Will they find a replacement for Norton in time? And who would that person be? CHUD are reporting rumours that Joaquin Phoenix has been offered the part. It would be a strange choice, though not necessarily a poor one. Or it might just be that The Incredible Hulk is his new rapper name.