CATEGORIES Action, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Universal, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Remakes and Sequels, CinematicalWell now here's a piece of casting news I can get behind! Nothing against Eric Bana, who I consider to be a fine (if somewhat vanilla-flavored) actor, but if we needed a legitimate reason to get excited for Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk, here it is: Bruce Banner and his massive green alter ego will be played by Oscar nominee Edward Norton! Best known for his superlative work in movies like Primal Fear, Rounders, American History X and Fight Club (oh, and Death to Smoochy), Norton steps into a role vacated by Bana -- and I for one think it's a really excellent choice on the part of Leterrier and his Universal overlords. (Between this decision and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, us superhero nerds are being treated to some great casting choices.)
Ever since he was hired to helm the second Hulk flick, Mr. Leterrier (who also directed Unleashed and both Transporter flicks) has been assuring everyone that it's not a full-bore "sequel," but more of a "reboot," as if Ang Lee's original was something less than sequel-worthy. (I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but I just don't understand why there's so much hate for Lee's rendition of The Hulk.) Those who had their fingers crossed on Leterrier snagging his Transporter star (Jason Statham) for the role of Banner will probably be a bit disappointed here, but c'mon: The idea of seeing the mild-mannered and generally amiable Edward Norton "hulking out" sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. Scheduled for a June 13, 2008 release, The Incredible Hulk still has a lot of casting announcements to go, but I'm of the opinion that they're really starting the "reboot" off on the right foot -- although I certainly wouldn't mind if the producers brought Jennifer Connelly back for a second spin.