As the rumor mill swirls over who will play The Hulk in The Avengers, Actor Mark Ruffalo is apparently in late stage talks with Marvel for the part.
Deadline is reporting that Ruffalo may replace Edward Norton, whose short reign as Bruce Banner was filled with off-screen controversy. Marvel recently split ties with Norton, and instead of letting the news simmer a while, Marvel has jumped right back in and may be ready to announce the new Hulk. But don't expect anything official until next week's 2010 San Diego Comic-Con.
Ruffalo is a great choice and his acting ability would prove Bruce Banner to be more than a transitional character. Much like Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, it took the right vision from director and actor to create a fully-formed character; if Ruffalo is Marvel's pick for Banner/Hulk, they still might have a well-rounded character to work witht.
The key here is Marvel's decision to drop back from (according to their reports) ego-filled superstars to a more reserved, indie-experienced actor. Ruffalo is not a classic A-list star, but he has the chops and resume to fill the shoes of any superhero. We've seen his approach to an action role in Collateral, his cerebral side in Shutter Island and a tremendous acting talent in a career of indie dramas.
It's easy to see a hidden rage in Ruffalo's persona. I can imagine him exploding with anger or simply letting it boil within. Of course he can act, but he will need to embody the personality of Bruce Banner, and the actor's nice-guy aura will have to be countered with some serious anger issues.
The big question is how The Avengers will portray The Incredible Hulk. Will he be both Hulk and Banner, or only Hulk? Picking a seasoned actor like Ruffalo would suggest the former, but those details are still in development.
The Avengers cast has been coming together nicely of late. With the 2010 Comic-Con approaching, the official reveal of the entire cast might only be a week away. Stay tuned to Screen Rant's Official 2010 Comic-Con Page.
The Avengers hits theaters May 4th, 2012.