He has done uncredited work on the scripts for The Score (2001), Frida (2002) and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
Alongside his work in cinema, Norton is an environmental and social activist, and is a member of the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization for developing affordable housing founded by his grandfather James Rouse.
Norton has also done uncredited script work on some of the films in which he has appeared, including The Score and Frida.
In 2000, Norton made his directorial debut film Keeping the Faith.
In his film debut Primal Fear (1996), Norton played Aaron Stampler, an altar boy who is charged with the murder of a Roman Catholic archbishop and is defended by Martin Vail (Richard Gere).
The film is an adaptation of William Diehl's novel.
In 2010, Norton appeared in two films again: in Leaves of Grass, as estranged identical twins (one a small-time drug dealer and the other a Brown professor); and in Stone, which reunited Norton with his The Score castmate Robert De Niro, and in which Norton plays a convict trying to con his parole officer (De Niro) into an early release.Alison Macor of The Austin Chronicle, in review of the film, wrote, "Norton's performance and the well-paced tension preceding the movie's climactic sequence provide an entertaining if slightly predictable thriller." During promotion for the film, he said, "I feel that Fight Club really, in a way ...probed into the despair and paralysis that people feel in the face of having inherited this value system out of advertising." In 2003, Paramount Studios forced Norton to star in The Italian Job (2003) by threatening to sue him under the terms of a three-film contract he had signed.On July 2, 2014, Norton was elected chairman of the board of trustees to Signature Theatre, a not-for-profit theater company in New York.His father, Edward Mower Norton Jr., served in Vietnam as a Marine lieutenant and was later an environmental lawyer and conservation advocate working in Asia, as well as a federal prosecutor in the Carter administration.