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It was once a rumor, but now it’s official: Mark Ruffalo will play Bruce Banner/the Hulk in Joss Whedon’s upcoming film The Avengers.
The rumor hit the Internet courtesy of Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood a few weeks ago following the announcement that two-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton (Primal Fear, American History X) would not reprise his role in “Avengers.” Finke also brings this update, which is technically unofficial since Marvel Studios hasn’t said anything yet. Finke suggests that Ruffalo might make an appearance at Comic-Con with Whedon and other actors from “Avengers” at the Marvel Studios panel later on today.
Ruffalo, like Norton, is one of the best actors of his generation. Unlike Norton, however, it is unlikely that Ruffalo will have any huge feuds with Whedon or anyone else working on “Avengers.” It was reported that Norton and Marvel were at odds with each other concerning the script during the making of The Incredible Hulk.
However, how much of “Avengers” will actually feature Ruffalo as Bruce Banner? It has been widely speculated for quite some time that the Hulk will be a villain of sorts in the film. If that is the case, Ruffalo probably won’t be spending much time on screen, which means that there would be little to no differentiation between the appearance and characterization of Banner (Ruffalo and Norton might be terrific actors, but they certainly don’t look alike).
Ruffalo most recently starred in the dramedy The Kids Are All Right alongside Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, receiving rave reviews and Oscar buzz for his supporting performance.