Edward Norton's new movie The Italian Job is on course to be a box office hit - even though the actor was against making it.

Norton reportedly told colleagues he'd never work with film studio Paramount again because he felt he was forced by a contract provision to make the film.

The actor only made the movie after Paramount threatened to sue him if he didn't show up to work on the flick.

The studio argued that Norton was bound to an option deal he signed back in 1996 that stated he must do one follow-up film to PRIMAL FEAR - the thriller that put him on the A-list, after receiving an ACADEMY AWARD nomination for his performance.

The original contract called for Norton to be paid only $75,000 (GBP50,000) for the follow-up, though the studio renegotiated his fee to $1 million (GBP660,000) - still $8 million (GBP5.3 million) shy of his normal fee.

But the struggles may have been worthwhile - early test screenings suggest it could very well turn out to be a hit.

The Los Angeles-based heist flick - a remake of the classic 1969 smash starring SIR MICHAEL CAINE - also features Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, SETH GREEN, Mos Def and Jason Statham.