Edward Norton has hit out at movie bosses for publicly ruling him out of starring as The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers, branding their announcement last year "unprofessional and very dishonest."
Norton was expected to reprise his role for the superhero blockbuster, due in theatres in 2012, after playing the green monster in 2008's The Incredible Hulk but after negotiations, executives at Marvel Studios announced he would not be taking on the part again.
A statement from President of Production Kevin Feige read, "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."
Norton was gracious at the time, insisting he was "grateful" to have had a shot at the part, but he now insists the public announcement over the role was "low, unprofessional and very dishonest."
Speaking to Britain's The Independent, he says, "I found it a cheap and unnecessary representation that it was about things other than money. They came to me avidly to talk about it and then at the end of the day it was just flat out a business decision."
Nonetheless, Norton refuses to dwell on the snub and is looking forward to seeing how his pal Mark Ruffalo tackles the role: "I would say that blew back on them much worse than it blew back on me. I couldn't have been happier with the experience that I had making the film, but nor do I feel any kind of intensity about doing it again."
"A really good friend of mine's (Ruffalo) going to do it now and he's awesome! Marvel's going to have to deal with their own karma - they've got bigger problems than me. I've got plenty of other things in my life to be getting on with."