Some directors appreciate working with Edward Norton as they feel he promotes his films. But for other directors, Norton has always been an odd guy to work with. Back in the day working in movies like ‘Fight Club’ was a huge success and people seem to have had an equitably good time working. He must have contributed as much as he could or even more than he normally did to make the movie a success.
In ‘Birdman’ Norton has portrayed the character of a man who is a selfish, pretentious actor with whom no one really wants to work with. He has been a very tough person to work with and this may not have been too far from the truth. Although we can accept the fact that he has a sense of humor considering his reputation but even with this character he hasn’t made any success, career-wise.
However when it concerns ‘Incredible Hulk’ there is some difference in opinion that can be found. He had made attempts to change himself. Norton wanted his own version of the draft created about the movie which was generally agreed upon as well. But as it’s not significant to do so, the contents of his draft was not fully implemented. Also, he had submitted his draft pretty late in the process.
Norton had wanted a greater voice and control concerning the sequel. Marvel was already dealing with a ravel regarding rights to making solo Hulk films they and they didn’t want one more thing they would have to dance around with. So, eventually, they had decided to replace him.
Norton seems to have been fine with that. Certain rumors confirm that Norton may have actually recommended Ruffalo. He had anything but nice things to say about his good friend’s performance along with the involvement he had with it. He certainly didn’t hold any grudge to ream out Marvel for not doing things according to his vision.
There are plenty of actors who make weird and difficult requests. A lot of “method” actors end up being difficult or least tricky to work with because they frequently demand a degree of originality studios may have trouble with.
The LA Times had reported in 2002 during the prequel of ‘Silence of The Lambs’ prequel ‘Red Dragon’ where Norton came on stage with brand new unprompted script pages that he had written for himself. Director Brett Ratner didn’t take the words of Norton with a good nature. They didn’t take his demands seriously and this had resulted in having chaos and arguments with the directors.
This is one of the instances where Norton ignored the basic chain of command which makes a movie run and work smoothly. So, Norton was destined to have his career crashed and burned even back in the 2000’s.
In 2002, a movie based on the biopic about artist Frida Kahlo was made. Norton has played the character of Nelson Rockefeller, who is a billionaire who had commissioned Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera in order to paint a mural in NewYork’s Rockefeller Center. Norton’s then-girlfriend, Salma Hayek had been trying to make the movie for a number of years.
In order to get every detail accurate and perfect, Hayek had asked her boyfriend Norton to conduct further research in order to review and add the contents that Norton had come up with based on his research. Because of his slight contribution in the already made script he had decided to take credit for the final cut.
Since this is a rule violation they didn’t agree to it. Norton had ruined the WGA in a 2007 interview with The AV club saying,
“I wrote Frida. I wasn’t a member of the Writer’s Guild, and I didn’t get paid. I just got shafted by them, quite frankly.”
Dead To Smoochy. Not even the costume department has been safe from Norton’s interference. During the production of a dark comedy movie named ‘Dead to Smoochy’ the film’s costume designer, Jane Ruhm, presented Norton with a wide variety of range of clothes for this character.
But that wasn’t good enough for Norton. Without giving knowledge to anyone, Norton had commissioned Armani to design him the ultimate hippie suit being made in actual hemp. Ruhm had, later on, told Premiere Magazine that Norton made her deal with all the paperwork associated with getting the suit made and sent to set.
Norton was nominated for an Oscar for the 1998 drama American History X, but he didn’t just star in the movie he edited it as well without anyone asking him to.
During the shoot of the movie, Norton, and director Tony Kaye reportedly clashed about Norton’s character and dialogue but things got really bad during the editing phase. Kaye had created about 90 minute cut of the film but Norton felt Kaye had cut too much of scenes.
Not trying to create too much chaos in the workplace they yield to the request made by Norton and make their own Norton centralized cut of the movie which lasted for about two hours. This was the version that made it to the theaters. Kaye was upset by this result and prompted him to ask the Director’s guide to remove his name from the film’s credit and replace it with ‘Humpty Dumpty.’
His request was denied and his $200 million lawsuits against the production didn’t wave. He commented to Norton as “a narcissistic dilettante who raped the film.” They obviously haven’t worked together since that movie.