Over at Thompson on Hollywood, the ever-astute Anne Thompson has a great analysis of what really happened with Edward Norton's involvement in writing the script for The Incredible Hulk, what ended up on the cutting room floor during post-production, thanks to Marvel's final cut rights, and why the WGA didn't end up granting him script credit. It's an interesting look at the behind-the-scenes details of how these things work in Hollywood. Thompson says, in part:
Norton mostly changed dialogue, filled in gaps of motivation and developed character. For example, the scenes in Brazil about finding a serum in the Amazon to cure him, and Banner's emails with Tim Blake Nelson, were Norton adds. Marvel agreed to shoot Norton's script.
Thompson concludes by saying something of lot of Norton's fans -- and even his detractors -- have been thinking for some time: That it's time for the talented director to just step up and start directing his own stuff, ala Clint Eastwood and George Clooney. I couldn't agree more. Norton is smart, he always has a very clear vision of what he wants to see on screen, and securing a deal that would allow him to direct his own script is probably the best way for him to make the movies he wants to make, in the way he wants to make them (and that's assuming, of course, that he could even land a studio deal that would guarantee him final cut -- he might need to prove himself via the indie route first).
My only concern with Norton directing is whether he'd let his hubris get in the way of making the best film possible. Would he surround himself with smart people, and listen to their input? Or would he go all control-freak, insisting on having his vision alone, good or bad, end up in the final cut? What do you think? Is it time for Norton to release his inner director and make his own films?