Edward Norton for president!

Oh, man.

So, first of all, the New York Times writes an overblown article a few days ago making a big deal about the disagreements Marvel Comics and writer/star Ed Norton are having over the final cut of the new Incredible Hulk reboot that’s out on June 13:

What’s Big and Green, and Desperate to Be a Hit All Over?

Really, Brook Barnes?

Come on.

But of course the article spread like wildfire, sparking all kinds of rumors and bad buzz over a movie that’s already got enough to overcome. Namely, the disastrous 2003 Ang Lee Hulk movie that this new film/franchise thankfully ignores entirely.

The bottom line seems to be that Norton and director Louis Letterier want a longer film that gives the characters and the story room to breathe, while Marvel Comics wants a shorter movie that’s bigger on action.

Marvel Comics has released some of the absolute worst comic book movies of all time. The Punisher, Ghost Rider, the lazy Fantastic Four films and Spider-Man 3, which is one of the worst movies of any kind ever made.

So, even though I don’t know a single detail, I’m going to side with Ed Norton on this one, especially after his comments about honoring the spirit of Bill Bixby that you can read right here.

Anyway, the point of this whole thing is that movies are collaborations and of course there are going to be disagreements, and it’s a shame that the Hollywood press tries to sometimes doom movies before they even debut.

Enter Ed Norton, who released this awesome statement yesterday:

Like so many people I’ve loved the story of The Hulk since I was a kid, so it was thrilling when Marvel asked me to write and help produce an altogether new screen incarnation, as well as play Bruce Banner. I grew up reading Marvel Comics and always loved the mythic dimension and contemporary themes in the stories, and I’m proud of the script I wrote.

In every phase of production, including the editing, working with Louis Leterrier has been wonderful…I’ve never had a better partner, and the collaboration with all the rest of the creative team has been terrific. Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other’s opinions is the heart of filmmaking.

Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a ‘dispute,’ seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen. It has always been my firm conviction that films should speak for themselves and that knowing too much about how they are made diminishes the magic of watching them.

All of us believe The Incredible Hulk will excite old fans and create new ones and be a huge hit…our focus has always been to deliver the Hulk that people have been waiting for and keep the worldwide love affair with the big green guy going strong.

And there you go.

Well said, sir.

I can’t wait to see this thing. I love the Hulk and Norton’s one of the most talented actors we’ve got. And if the suits at Marvel Comics get their way, and we get a chopped-up version of what Norton and Letterier worked so hard to make, at least there’s hope of a longer cut on DVD.

The Incredible Hulk smashes the theater near you and me on June 13.