A friend asked me: Why is edward norton playing the hulk? isn't this weird? they already did the movie just 3 years ago and its not really a role I think he would jump at the chance to play.
My response: It seems like the last couple of years have shown us several examples of how to make comic book adaptations really good. General collective thought seems to suggest that the The Hulk (2003) was not good. (It certainly doesn't have any of those "gritty" qualities that movies like Batman Begins, Superman Returns, V for Vendetta, and Sin City possess. But then, you wouldn't expect grit from the man who directed Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.)
Still, the big question is: Why would Edward Norton stoop to this kind of a low? My sense is that he must be a fan of the comics. Also, given the appropriate depth and talent of the filmmakers, they can make these kinds of characters transcend the world of comics. I'm not really trying to get in to the deep side of things, but I know Superman, for example, is an adaption of sorts of the studies of Nietzsche and the Übermensch. It remains to be seen what there is to be examined in the upcoming Hulk movie... I'm guessing there are themes of rage, self-inflicted fate, fear, etc. The good news is that Edward Norton wrote the screenplay. That's almost all I need to know to expect quality. He's not stooping to any lower level, he's bringing the story back and lifting it to his level. This is a snippet I found where Norton responds to your question...
[Norton] was initially skeptical about taking the role, telling Total Film: "When the phone rings and someone says, 'Hey, would you be interested in the big green guy?' There's that part of all of us that doesn't want to look like an idiot. There's the wince factor or the defensive part of you that recoils at what the bad version of what that would be. And I did that, basically. I said 'no' to it a couple of times."
He insisted that the new movie will bear no relation to the 2003 version starring Eric Bana, saying: "I think like Chris Nolan and those guys did with Batman, we just said: 'We're going to start completely with our own version of this myth or saga.'"So, I hope this answers some of your questions. We'll see how the movie turns out. It could end up being complete nonsense. (See The Italian Job) I'm crossing my fingers, though. I tend to be optimistic about Edward Norton jobs, and the trailer looks promising.
Be careful how high of a standard it is to which you hold him. Remember, he's just a man of flesh and blood... He's not John Cusack.