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The Incredible Hulk's Edward Norton Changed One Scene That Baffled The Writer

The book "MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios" by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards details new, behind-the-scene information about what really happened during the filming of past Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. One story highlights Edward Norton's baffling rewrites on the "The Incredible Hulk."

Zak Penn, screenwriter of the Louis Leterrier-directed film, confirms Norton made several changes to the script as an uncredited writer as part of his deal with Marvel (via TheDirect). According to Penn, the differences ranged from minor name and costume changes to ones that significantly impacted the movie's plot: "There was some stuff at the end that he really changed," Penn explains in the book. "I had a scene where, when Ross picked Banner up from the hospital earlier in the movie, he throws him out of the helicopter. It was a pretty shocking moment. They moved that to a moment when he chooses to jump into Harlem."

The rewrite left Penn bewildered, as the writer admits the change made a big difference and transformed a cool moment into one that made little sense, as Hulk crash-landing in Harlem would have left innocent bystanders dead: "I felt like [the original version] would have been a really cool scene, and I didn't totally understand why he would jump out into Harlem, given that he could theoretically kill a lot of people."

Edward Norton made many changes to the script

Edward Norton might not officially be credited as a writer on "The Incredible Hulk," but he had the power to rewrite the work of Zak Penn — the only credited screenwriter on the project. Penn said in "MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios" most of the changes he made didn't really impact the plot but were minor: "I had him walking east down the street wearing a blue hat and now he's walking west down the street wearing a red hat," Penn says. "And I had named his downstairs neighbor Lorina, and he changed it to Malina or something."

Despite the small changes, Penn seemed to have little problem with them, as scripts are rewritten all the time — even if Norton's deal with Marvel was somewhat unorthodox. Ultimately, the film came out featuring Norton's desired tweaks. However, he never returned to the role and was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in "The Avengers" due to alleged conflicts regarding his difficult nature while filming "The Incredible Hulk."