Originally Posted by Mike Ryan
It's been well-documented that "The Incredible Hulk" was a stressful shoot and "Clash of the Titans" looked stressful. Was something less stressful something that you sought out?
Yeah, you know, the problem on both "The Incredible Hulk" and "Clash of the Titans" is a problem I've encountered since I came to Hollywood. When I arrived in Hollywood, ["Incredible Hulk"] was my first Hollywood movie and I really wanted to work with Marvel and I really wanted to do that movie with American actors. And then they were like, "Oh, welcome, welcome. Great news, Louis. We just got a release date. It's a year from now." I'm like, "Fantastic, we have to go. Where's the script?" They said, "Actually, that's the problem, we don't have a script."
I've started movies without screenplays both on "Clash" and on "Hulk" and that is tremendously stressful, because you have a tendency to overcompensate with effects. You haven't tested it in your head. You didn't run it over and over again and covered all of the plot holes and figure it out. It's a marathon that you sprint. "Now You See Me" was longer and it was a great script to start with.
Even in your other movies, I've always noticed what you were trying to do ...
And fail miserably [laughs].
Well, I wouldn't say "fail miserably," but they were cluttered.
Yeah, it's true. A movie is a sum of compromises until you grow into your own independence. I always try to bring the character and the actor forward. It's very obvious in "The Incredible Hulk." The first half of the movie is really mine and the second half is the studio's expected Hulk movie -- two giants kicking each other's ass.
I never understood for sure what happened there. Did you and Edward Norton get along?
Oh, yeah, yeah yeah. We love each other. He was just with me in New York at the premiere. We really do love each other. I think it was blown out of proportion. It literally was about one scene. It's one scene that still in the movie. It was either the long version of the scene or the short version of the scene. Edward wanted the longer version of the scene and I wanted the shorter version.
Which scene was this?
It was the psychoanalysis scene. It was a very interesting character scene -- to go back to what we were talking about. It was analysis, going into the dark places of Bruce Banner -- very adult themes. It was a great scene and the scene is on the DVD. But also the start of the movie, something I did, which is Bruce Banner walking to the edge of the world to commit suicide, then the Hulk saves him. And the studio said, "There's no way we are starting this movie with a guy putting a gun into his mouth." Which I understand, but then it was informing who this character was and his relationship with his alter-ego. All of that stuff made it deeper, if you will.
"Iron Man" was this fun, poppy thing bound to make a zillion dollars. And we were the other side of a superhero movie. More complex with The Hulk being this complex character -- that's what it was. Edward is a great friend. Marvel is a great friend. There are arguments in every movie.
When people are asking me, because Mark Ruffalo is in this one, who's the better of the Bruce Banners -- both are great; both are fantastic -- but I actually wanted to cast Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Marvel was like "No, you should get Edward Norton because he's more famous." So you see what I am saying? They are the ones who wanted Edward -- and I was thrilled to meet him and work with him. I wanted Mark Ruffalo. And they were like, "No, no, he just does smart, intellectual movies." Which makes sense, then and there in his career. But that's how I know him. We've stayed in touch and it's why he said "absolutely" when I offered him the part in this one.