Rumor Patrol: Joaquin Phoenix is The Hulk in ‘Avengers’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated January 24th, 2013 at 8:27 am,

The Incredible Hulk Rumor Patrol: Joaquin Phoenix is The Hulk in Avengers

Now that they have officially announced that Edward Norton will be replaced as The Incredible Hulk in the upcoming film version of The Avengers, Marvel Studios is hoping to find his replacement by the time the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con rolls around at the end of next week.

One of the potential candidates to play scientist Bruce Banner / The Hulk in the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers film is rumored to be none other than two-time Oscar nominee and (to put it politely) eccentric performer, Joaquin Phoenix.

Marvel essentially confirmed that The Hulk will appear in the Avengers movie at the beginning of this year and held talks with Norton to have him reprise his role for several months.  Despite the actor’s claims that his return would depend on fanboy support, Marvel’s final decision was seemingly affected by their previous clash with Norton over the 2008 Incredible Hulk film.

The idea that Marvel would go with Phoenix is, at first glance, a curious one – especially after they accused Norton of not being “an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.” Phoenix does not have a reputation for being the “easy to get along with” type and his antics over the past year have left most people wondering if he’s even sane, or if his retirement from acting to pursue a rapping career was a bit of performance art that even Sacha Baron Cohen would envy.

Joaquin Phoenix Rumor Patrol: Joaquin Phoenix is The Hulk in Avengers

Phoenix's infamous appearance with David Letterman.

Phoenix was previously best known for his solid turns in independent fare like To Die For and Buffalo Soldiers – not to mention his Academy Award-nominated performances in Gladiator and Walk the Line.  The possibility that he could become involved with a comic book movie franchise would certainly be welcomed by fans that have been hoping to see him return to his acting career.

The artist would also be a relatively cheap choice for Marvel, who reportedly wants a low-cost performer to fill the role of the Hulk in The Avengers.  Phoenix will undoubtedly be denied the same degree of creative input that Norton was allowed with The Incredible Hulk, so it seems unlikely that he could prove too disruptive to the production process – regardless of his attitude on set.

Joaquin Phoenix playing a character who can suddenly lose it and erupt in an epic freakout… Nah, too easy ;-). We’ll just say that he is fully capable of playing a smart yet deeply troubled character and leave it at that.

Ultimately we’ll get confirmation of who will be playing the Hulk in Avengers during Marvel’s 2010 Comic-Con panels, which will be held next week. Be sure to stay tuned to Screen Rant’s Official Comic-Con page for the latest.

You can always hear the latest developments by following us on Twitter: @screenrant

The Avengers will arrive in theaters on May 4th, 2012.

Source: CHUD

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  1. People really should read the comics ..You Would see this much more to the whole X-Men as well Avengers /Marvel universe then what you have seen in movies..

  2. This would be a mistake. Although I do hope to see him return to acting once again someday, just not in this role. Hell if anything, just bring back Eric Bana to star in the film then if not Edward Norton.

    • mandarr, lol i suggested the same thing earlier in jest

      • How about the actor Christopher Gorham ( PLAYED HENRY IN UGLEY BETTY)hes would have my vote

  3. yeah id rather have Eric Bana (who is an awesome actor) to replay the Hulk than Joaquin Phoenix, but i still have faith that this is all a ploy to get fans more in to it (the movie).

  4. I think Phoenix was channeling Andy on letterman…
    OR was it really Andy in disguise???

    This is just too much. Why can’t Norton and Marvel play nice? Give the fans what they want, they’ll love Ya forever for it! Our hate list already overflowith. why did they have to do this, why??

  5. first, I really believe Phoenix was faking the Letterman thing to support this mockumentary in the making (whatever it is)

    second, don’t know if anyone read Feige’s comments on why Norton was let go, but he’s a complete douche. Norton totally comes out as the classy one in this

  6. This is a HORRIBLE choice if it comes to fruition. Joaquin is nuts and should be nowhere near this project. I really have no issue with replacing Norton as Banner because Banner is probably going to have a minimal presence in this movie. I think we’re mostly going to see the Hulk. Of course I can (and probably will) be wrong, but as long as the actor they choose to be Banner does the character justice, I’m good with it. I just don’t see this crazy guy as Bruce Banner. I think it’s going to be a relatively unknown guy like Hemsworth.

  7. Daniel F
    Wow u scared me with that Pattinson comment lol!!!! If that happened i think well all agree we will not see that film……

  8. Well since no one here knows let me play speculate too.

    Norton wanted more then what Marvel wanted to give him. This does not necessarily mean money. what he wanted may have gone against the last “x” years they have been working on to get all of their properties in line.

    There is (most times) more then one deciding factor when going for a writer/director/actor etc and sometimes those deciding factors are not the same.

    Until I see the actor portray the character they are acting like I have no idea if they can pull it off. Then of course you have to factor in the writing/directing etc. I dont see a movie becasue “X” is in it or doing it. I see the movie for the subject matter.

    We will never know everything and may be “damned if we do damned if we dont” when something like this happens. It could appear to be great then flub out one way or another. Yet… we will never know.

  9. It’s a real shame that Marvel Studios have replaced Norton. This is the first time they’ve really dropped the ball. I’ve lost a lot of respect and trust for Kevin Feige over this. I hope he gets replaced by a new President of Production, one who cares about what his fans think and won’t screw us over like this. Maybe Joss Whedon.

    • the first time they have dropped the ball?? oh man lol im not going there

      • Go on, tell me what you mean. Are you in the Whedon hate-camp or the Evans hate-camp? Or both?

        • Im not familiar with Whedon’s work and outta the choices they had for the role of Captain America, Im willing to go with Chris Evans. All i care about is the film being enjoyable for me to watch. I still hope Hawkeye will be in the film and somehow Scarlett Witch. I wouldnt mind Eliza Dushku for the role.

  10. Aknot while we are outraged that we are losing Norton I think more people are simply upset about the recasting in general. Marvel is trying to set up a universe where all these films are connected and where the main star from each solo film comes togather in this one film and marvel at the last minute says oh by the way we are changing x actor after you already saw his film. It makes the sting even worse that the film was well received and the actor was praised for his role. I’d have no problem with not bringing norton back if it meant not bringing banner/hulk in to the film as well. However bring in Banner but recasting is an insult to the fans. It also goes against everything this project set out to achieve. They may as well recast everyone and make the film seperated from the solo films they’ve already blown their continuity all to hell. It’s to bad because it had so much potential.

    Let’s face it Hulk didn’t bring in 300mil so they figured they could get away with it. They know they could never pull this off trying this on RDJ because the mainstream would skip the film if IM was recast. Most people loved Norton as hulk but by most I mean most who actually saw it. Sadly Hulk didn’t do great because alot of people skipped it. Let’s face Angs Hulk left a bad taste in everyones mouth and the mainstream public had no idea what this hulk was and expected more of the same. After the theaters it had a very successful DVD run but studios only care about Box Office. Take for Example Kevin Smith he doesn’t traditionally make alot at the Box Office but he brings in alot of money on DVD sales which usually makes his films a huge financial success sadly most studios don’t see it that way. That’s why most studios don’t usually work with him Weinstein loves the money Smith brought in for him though.

    Back to point though. Norton was amazing as Banner definitive in fact but I’m less upset about him not being in the film and more upset that marvel is simply recasting after trying so hard to link these films in the same universe to establish a continuity.

    • Dont take this the wrong way but that was a great post. I dont agree with it but I see your point.

      However to me much like the books these movies are based on you can change the artist and even writers etc which give the character different “looks” yet the characters are still the same.

      So in that vein I could care less about the actor that portrays the character. As long as he portrays the character in the vision I see him (or her) in. That is what acting and story telling is all about.

      Yes it is a visual medium but if people can ACT the part who cares if Banner is Norton or Dwayne Johnson (joking but trying to bring the point across). That is the way I look at it.

      You appear to always want deep and meaningful stories. The actor should come second. Story first then someone who can channel that story character. So while Norton passed mustard in my book he is not the be all end all. RDJ will/can be replaced. Jacks Joker was top notch should he have played it in DK? No they both brought the Joker to life in their own way.

      You are more or less appearing to say (I’d have no problem with not bringing norton back if it meant not bringing banner/hulk in to the film as well.) Norton is the only one to be able to play Banner. Im saying he is not. Im not saying who ever they pick will be better but Im not making the decisions.

      I point back to the hooplah that was Keaton as Batman and Organic webshooters. It was not the norm people didnt think it would work and it did.

  11. I think you sort of missed the point. I’m not saying norton is the be all end all. If they want to recast Banner I’m fine if it’s a reboot or a different universe just like recasting from Bana was fine. I’m saying this is a continuity. I’m saying the entire point of this film was to bring the actors from the solo films togather in this film. By recasting Banner they destroyed the concept of the film. If they recasted every one and seperated from solo films that’s fine but these are suppose to be linked to the solo films they were suppose to keep the same actors. This is not the same as Jack not playing the Joker. Tdk and Batman 89 are completely differant Bat universes. And over a decade apart In time. The Joker had to be re cast it’s not simply acceptable it had to be done. If this was 15 years later sure it had to happen but it’s not the case. Same universe same continuity and all the other actors are the same. It degrades what made this concept unique. While you may not care at all I can promise you of the re castes Tony Stark half the audience wouldn’t bother showing.

    • Yes but if the character is portrayed correctly by the actor what does it matter?

      I see the character not the actor. The actor portrays the character. Does “look” have something to do with it? To a degree yes.

      However in the long run it is up to the actor to convince me. The whole point of these films first and foremost is to bring the CHARACTERS together. Then the actors. If the actors do not work out (for whatever reason) they still have the characters to bring together.

      They could conceivably do the Avengers without any of the “actors”. As long as the Avengers actors carried the character well and the storylines/mythos stayed true.

  12. So let me ask you this would you be ok watching Rambo 2 but instead of Stallon it’s some other actor? Would you be excited to see a Die Hard sequal about John Mcclain but instead of Bruce it’s some cheaper actor?

    • Cheaper actor? What does cost have to do with it?

      John McClain is a character. As long as the writing directing was on par AND the actor could act then no I wouldn’t have a problem.

      Rambo is based on a real life person. Again a person being portrayed by an actor. As long as that person can carry that character why not?

      Ive seen it happen with James Bond.

      For the record I have only seen one Rambo and that was the first one. ;)

      The Kingpin in Daredevil. Did it matter if he was African American? did it matter he was “built” instead of being “fat”? Or did it matter because he wasnt portrayed as being as imposing as he is in the comics?

      • In all fairness James Bond films dont have any real continuity to them, apart from the last two and look how that turned out.

        And if you have only seen the first Rambo, check out the new one, its amazingly violent and cool.

        • But even if Casino and Quantum had two different actors it still would have been James Bond in a continuing story.

          I would not have an issue with that if the actors could carry the part. I don’t see a movie for the actor(s) I see it for the characters they are portraying.

      • umm there should be an amount of movies seen as a requirement to post or have discussions or in your case, debates on’ve only seen the first Rambo??wtf…how the hell is that possible??that’s like saying “I’ve only seen the 1st MadMax..”

        points are going to Daniel f on this debate already…


  13. Here’s an article I found about the moctumentary Phoniex was doing:

    There’s a ton of more articles floating around too. I really don’t think he’s crazy…seriously.

  14. I gotta say I think most people would disagree with you. There would be outrage in re casting John Mcclain.

    I think we have reached a big damn wall on this one. We couldn’t possibly disagree more on this and I couldn’t possibly understand you on this and I imagine you couldn’t possibly agree with my thoughts on this either. This is just one of those agree to disagree situation since we are talking about it on three threads and just running around in circles with our arguments we can hopefully shake hands and walk away.

    • Well I see the Character first. The character does not portray the actor, the actor portrays the character. I dont see one actor doing one character.

      If one is good at it and does it well do I want to see him replaced? No. However it doesn’t mean he cant be replaced. It doesnt mean the movie will go down the toilet.

      “we can hopefully shake hands and walk away.”
      Always. It gets heated but I bear no ill will to anyone. A passion is a passion. Im sure your favorite sports teams are not as good as mine. ;)

    • i agree with daniel. and im oppposed torecasts in general, especialy in this case. recasting beloved characters like McClane,rambo or even indy would hurt the films box office totals, whether anyone admits that or, i had issues with an african american kingpin from day one, i had bigger issues with affleck butching the role of daredevil lol. the kingpin to me will always be a huge burly white guy. marel just has their head up their butts on this one plain and simple

  15. Getting rid of Norton is just a slap in the face to the fans and the audience, Norton genuinely cared about the character which is more than you can say for most actors taking on similar parts.

    It’s the casual disregard for fans that annoys me more than anything. We are the people who pay to see these movies, and buy them again on disc, we’re the ones who love these characters.

    • meh I saw the organic web shooters as a slap in the face. I see Alfred letting everyone and their mother into the Batcave a slap in the face, etc.

      As long as the Character is portrayed correctly and the actor can act what does it matter?

      Dont get me wrong as saying Norton sucks glad he is gone. However it is not the end.

  16. Hell, everything in those Spideman movies was a slap in the face!

    • So true. The new franchise looks like slapping the other cheek.

  17. They might aswell Bring back Eric Bana as Bruce Banner since The Incredible Hulk as i read is consider a reboot/continuation of the 2003 film. Question is will Bana say yes.

    • i dont think marvel has even approachedd him

  18. They never really confirmed whether it was a reboot or not did they? Watch them back to back and they could easily be sequels with a different lead actor.

    • I read two different things. That it was it was a complete reboot, and that it was reboot/continuation from 2003′s film. They didnt wanna cover Bruce becoming the Hulk all over again so they shown that stuff in the opening credits. Lol i still got my Hulk dvd, mostly because i didnt know if i could treat The Incredible Hulk as loose sequel to it kinda like Superman Returns would be intended to take place after Superman 2.

  19. Actually your right my sports teams aren’t as good as yours lol…. I don’t watch any sports other than MMA or various other fighting sports like Karate tournaments , boxing or kick boxing. I’m really in to martial arts and boxing I have my own training set up. In my old house before my diverse I converted my two car garage in to a gym/training area. After the divorce I moved to an apartment and cinverted my kitchen lol gave up some equipment sadly.

    I do enjoy playing football not much I. To watching it though.

  20. I still say Shartlo Copley would make a good Banner. Either him or Adrian Brody.

    • not brody man…

      • Why not Brody? Besides the nose he’s a perfect choice in my book.

  21. This is deff the bs rumor of the month.

    Where’s my drink?!

  22. I agree it’s probably a BS rumor but it certainly holds more weight than the rumor that Zach Levi is in talks for Superman lol.

    • zach levi for superman?? lol…he needs to stick to Chuck

  23. Why would Marvel take a risk on Phoenix (wingnut)when they’re trying to get away from an actor that they claim has an attitude?

    Gimme a break this is the bs post of the week if not month.

    • marvel likes nutjobs i guess

  24. What’s with this Brody craze?


    • dont ask me!!! i dint start it lol

      • He just has Bannerish look and plus he’s played a scientist before.

  25. Anthony I’d rather see Brandon Routh continue on as Superman for the next 6 films. I want to see a long term actor play the role as Supes not this tween supplement crap.

    Let’s see Routh take on the role,,, I want a long term Superman!!!!

    Damn it!

    • Who doesn’t? He’s like the ghost of Christopher Reeve for god’s sake

    • same here, i actually liked superman returns a lot. and routh is a cool actor in my book, his stint on Chuck was great.

      • I liked Superman Returns and thought it good. I liked Brandon Routh as Superman. Lol one of my friends from work sounds like 790, no offence btw. He hated the film with a passion. Mostly because of the kid and lol for some reason he keeps sayin Superman cried too much about being a father. Dont’t ask me why. I tried telling him i didnt like the idea about the kid myself, but he doesnt have to be in anymore films, he could just be mentioned by name. To me Singer seemed like he was redoing the original in a different way. Some of my friends wished WB and Nolan wouldnt reboot Superman but insteand continue on from Superman 2 again and ignore Superman Returns. Which i wouldnt mind since i would like to see Brandon Routh back as Superman. But if rebooting Superman, i hope they take a different approach with Lex as being as evil, corrupt business man at Lexcorp. Have lex be serious as seen Michael Rosenbaum, John Shea, & Lex Luthor from Superman: TAS.

  26. I agree Anthony although I do think Adam Baldwin would be a great Superman he’s a great actor and has the structure of a hero.

    • baldwin is awesome too. been watchng that guy since his my bodygaurd days lol

    • Sorry but no. Terrible choice for Superman. Just awful.

  27. @MercWadeWilson, you gotta be kidding me,,,,,,,,,>

    • uh ohhhh lol…….

    • What? About Adrian Brody or Brandon Routh?

  28. Routh was pretty bad though he has gotten better and is on his way to being a decent actor sadly though putting him in the tights again would remind me to much of that horrible Siperman Returns film. I mean that film was so bad I nearly cried. You mean to tell me a tiny rock of kryptonite can kill superman but put him around a giant island of the stuff and he can fly it off to space powers intact with out death? Let’s not get in to the superman stalker stuff or having a basterd child or lex Luther the greatest criminal mind in the world swindeling ol ladys lol.

    • He did kind of die in the movie. Much like he died in the fight with Doomsday. Not exactly a death on Krypton but here considerably yes. As for SR I enjoyed it despite what you pointed out. It wasn’t terrible it just wasn’t as good as the oldies.

      But at least he’ll finally get a good villain to fight for the first time since Superman 2.

      • youre really killing me tonight daniel lol

    • finally someone tells it straight on the epic fail that was Superman…Now i know why I left the theater feeling weirdly angry about something but couldn’t figure out what it was…

  29. @ MercWadeWilson, I’m talking about Adrian Brody playing Banner.

    You know your original comment, or am I off on that one?

    • I did make a second comment about Superman.

      Anyways. I like Brody. Especially in the Pianist and Splice. He can act. Extremely well. Plus I think he can pass off as a fugitive scientist.