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It was recently reported that Edward Norton will not be playing the Hulk in Joss Whedon’s upcoming film The Avengers. Multiple rumors about possible casting choices, including Sharlto Copley and actor-turned-rapper Joaquin Phoenix, have hit the Internet since then.
Thinking about this casting choice is a bit strange, considering that the other principle actors are being brought back for The Avengers. Even so, Marvel is expected to make the announcement of who will play Bruce Banner/the Hulk at this year’s Comic-Con. We at Player Affinity thought that we should throw our own two cents in about it. So here is our potential short list for Bruce Banner:
Pros: He can get into any kind of physique necessary for a role (case in point: 300. Did you see his abs?). Contrary to popular belief and some critical duds lately of the rom-com variety, Butler is a fine actor.
Cons: For the most part, Marvel has been very savvy on who they are casting in these roles. For example, the casting of Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2 resulted from his critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for The Wrestler. In other words, his harsh past with the critics could hurt him.
What the Performance Would Likely Be: It might be over-exaggerated, but it would be intentionally so. Plus, it would be fun to watch.
Suitability for the Role: 8/10
Pros: Take a look at his work in last year’s District 9: he proved himself to be a capable actor and experienced the sprouting of strange body parts. Experiencing an entire body morph shouldn’t be too different. He doesn’t have any other roles lined up right now after backing out of the sci-fi flick I Am Number Four …
Cons: Perhaps that's because he doesn’t want to star in any more films?
What the Performance Would Likely Be: Since he’s never taken on a comic book role and doesn’t have much acting experience in general, who really knows? Even so, I can’t help thinking that it would be a little bit gimmicky, but not in a good way.
Suitability for the Role: 7/10
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Pros: Despite not being much of an actor, he wasn’t half-bad in The A-Team. He definitely has the physique for playing the Hulk, so CGI wouldn’t be all that necessary.
Cons: What the actor really needs is the physique to play Bruce Banner.
What the Performance Would Likely Be: The performance in and of itself would likely be fine, but his large physique would starkly contrast that of Bruce Banner.
Suitability for the Role: 6/10
Pros: With an Emmy nomination to his name, he arguably has the acting chops to replace Norton. It doesn’t hurt that the two actors look similar to each other.
Cons: He isn’t very recognizable in the world of film; he isn't experienced in action/superhero films either.
What the Performance Would Likely Be: Potentially similar in tone to Norton’s work in The Incredible Hulk. Considering his lack of experience in these kind of films, it's hard to tell.
Suitability for the Role: 7/10
Pros: With two Academy Award nominatins for vastly different roles, he’s an incredibly gifted actor. He’s really good at breakdown scenes, which would help if Whedon wants to give Banner some emotional depth.
Cons: Remember how he “retired” from acting?
What the Performance Would Likely Be: A good performance, but considering his career in rap, he might throw down a few verses here and there. I’m not so sure that audiences want to see the Hulk rapping. Would you?
Suitability for the Role: 4/10
Now that we've run through a list of actors who might take on the role, who do you think should play Bruce Banner?