Sadly, not every actor who joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends up sticking around. Some become unhappy with Marvel, some fall out of love with blockbusters altogether, and some become victims of scheduling conflicts. These are the reasons some of the MCU’s key players have said farewell to that universe.
A lot of fans were surprised when Marvel Studios announced in 2010 that it wouldn't ask Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton to reprise his role in Avengers. The company put out a press release saying, in part:
"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's agent called the statement "offensive" and claimed the studio unexpectedly cut off negotiations. Norton changed his story over the years, telling NPR in 2014 that he chose to leave the role because he wanted more diversity in his career.
Before 2010 there was already bad blood between Norton and Marvel. Norton signed on to the lead in The Incredible Hulk under the condition that he could rewrite Zak Penn's script. Marvel agreed and while Norton's added scenes were filmed, most were cut before release. Two months before the movie’s premiere, Entertainment Weekly reported Norton was refusing to do press for the film.
And the break with Marvel still appears to be on Norton's mind. In July 2018 - just over a decade after Incredible Hulk's release - he took a swipe at Marvel during Comedy Central's Roast of Bruce Willis.
Tim Roth, who played The Incredible Hulk’s main villain Emil Blonsky, has revealed in the past that Marvel actually considered bringing him back for the sequel to The Avengers.
It isn't clear from what Roth said whether they were considering Abomination as the main villain, or if he would have been working with Ultron. Roth has since said he isn't confident about returning to the MCU, and considering the unlikelihood of a Hulk sequel, his doubts are understandable. Keep watching the video to see the real reasons these actors are no longer part of the MCU!
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Edward Norton | 0:19 Tim Roth | 1:42 Terrence Howard | 2:42 Natalie Portman | 4:01 The Warriors Three | 5:27 Hugo Weaving | 6:34 Damion Poitier | 7:35 Aaron Taylor-Johnson | 8:50