The Avengers promotional campaign is, at this point, threatening to go into overload mode. Stroll through the Internet these days and you'll find a lot of fans who are starting to back away from any new trailers, TV spots, clips or featurettes about Marvel's blockbuster superhero teamup, lest they see too much, too soon.
Then again, there are aspects of The Avengers that we could all stand to see more of - and one of those is undoubtedly The Hulk.
If you haven't read our collection of Avengers cast interviews, you may have missed actor Mark Ruffalo talking about his role as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, and just where this Avengers team-up event finds the character in terms of development.
Check out the following quotes from Ruffalo:
RUFFALO: I think Banner is aging and he’s been living with this thing. Two years have passed since the last one, and we’re kind of going for this world-weariness of accepting, and trying to get to the point where he can live with it, and maybe master it, or come to peace with it, and so there’s this kind of nice ironic wryness about Banner. He’s not so miserable. I think that’s kind of a throwback. We started to talk about a throwback to Bill Bixby, which was the Banner that I grew up on basically. He had a kind of a charm about him in this kind of world-weariness. He was on the run but he was still able to flirt sometimes and smile sometimes and occasionally crack a joke, so that’s in there.
[Banner] ends up being an intricate component to the first part of the movie. They really aren’t after him necessarily to be the Hulk. They’re really after him because of his gamma expertise. There’s a big portion in the movie where he’s doing a lot of that and helping them kind of crack this riddle.
And in terms of what kind of Hulk we'll be getting?
RUFFALO: Yeah, he’s a smart Hulk. He hasn’t graduated to that yet but hopefully he might be on the way to that. I don’t know where it’s going to go after this, but I feel like we’re trying to open the door to the integration of the two, you know [Banner and Hulk]. I like to think of it as the guy trying to break a bucking bronco. He has some tiny little semblance of control over it but still it’s completely out of his control, you know. That’s kind of where the last one left off, I felt like.
Now, check out a picture of the newer, smarter, Hulk in The Avengers:
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Fans have overwhelmingly agreed that this version of Hulk in Avengers is (visually speaking) the best we've seen so far. In part that's because movie technology is better than it was at the time of both Ang Lee's Hulk (2003) and Marvel Studios' The Incredible Hulk (2008); however, the other part is the fact that Ruffalo - unlike previous Bruce Banner actors Eric Bana and Edward Norton - is actually playing the Hulk via motion-capture performance.
You can actually see Ruffalo's facial features in that Hulk image above, and that fact alone goes a long way towards helping viewers suspend the disbelief that this brilliant scientist actually transforms into a rage-fueled jade giant. Ironically enough, Ruffalo is probably the one actor out of the Bruce Banner trio who least resembles his comic book counterpart. Of course, with a good performance on both sides of his character, Ruffalo could walk away with the role snug in his pocket - and those lucrative future installments of the Marvel movie universe.
The Avengers will be in theaters on May 4, 2012 in the U.S.