They really tried to make a good Hulk movie, twice now, they really did, but for God knows what reason it just never came together. Edward Norton is a big comics fan, and he reportedly wanted in on Avengers, but couldn’t get back in his green skin.
Collider reminds us that the reports of the time said that Marvel wanted somebody cheaper and less difficult to work with. Norton told the radio program Fresh Air, “My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come from that. There were just a lot of things – I wanted more diversity…”
This is also a reason Robert Downey Jr. wants to, eventually, step away from playing Tony Stark and do other things as well. “I think you can sort of do anything once,” Norton continued. “But I you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other people’s eyes.”
It was Joss Whedon who finally broke the Hulk curse with Avengers, because he ultimately realized that the Hulk was best as part of an ensemble. (Mark Ruffalo, a terrific actor in his own right, has definitely done the big green guy justice.)