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CCI: Marvel And Mark Ruffalo Reportedly Reach Hulk Deal

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Deadline now reports that Marvel Studios has reached a last-minute deal for Mark Ruffalo to play Bruce Banner, which should allow the actor to fly to San Diego to be introduced with the rest of The Avengers cast at Saturday afternoon’s Comic-Con International panel.

Ruffalo replaces The Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton, who was publicly rejected two weeks ago in an unflattering statement released by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. His pointed remarks seemed to lend credence to widely circulated, but frequently denied, reports that Norton had fought with studio executives over the final edits to 2008 film.

The 42-year-old Ruffalo, who’s been described as an “actor’s actor,” has been receiving rave reviews for role in The Kids Are All Right. Reports emerged just last week that he was in “late-stage discussions” to play Banner, so it would seem the pieces fell together rather quickly. Contracts might’ve been singed a little sooner, but The Wrap earlier today asserted that pay and the number of films to which Ruffalo would commit had become sticking points.

If all goes according to plan, Ruffalo should appear Saturday at the Marvel Studios panel with newly confirmed Avengers director Joss Whedon, and cast members Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. There’s a good chance that we’ll also see Jeremy Renner, but probably not Nathan Fillion.

The Avengers opens on May 4, 2012.


  • Grant

    I'm sure they will sign Fillion on during the panel.

  • Jcupach

    So Norton fought to make the Incredible Hulk AWESOME and they can him? Booooo….

  • Daredoll

    I like Mark Ruffalo, so yay. Thing is, I liked Edward Norton too.

    I really, really hope there's some news concerning the Wasp, though.

    And Carol Danvers.

  • comic relief

    I have also been a fan of both actors and I guess we should be happy this whole chapter is over. Yet this conclusion does not guarantee that I will be buying tickets later on. Honestly bad buzz rarely seems to provoke an excellent movie in the long run. I believe all of this turmoil usually demonstrates that the business end isn’t aligned with creative; I believe this conflict tends to destroy movies and the franchises they are packaged in.

    Sometimes the creative end can over compensate and save a tremendous number of devastatingly bad business decisions as with Ironman 2. Sometimes they cannot as with Twilight: Eclipse.

    I hope Marvel will learn to perform in a less controversial manner. These conflicts demonstrate they, the organization, are not skilled in managing the upheavals that naturally result from ambitious entertainment. I don’t believe fans want these conflicts to spill out into the public sphere.

  • Ratuniverse

    I hope they boo Ruffalo when he comes out, as a protest against the Norton fiasco

  • PresumptuousMuch

    If Ruffalo is an actor's actor (and not a guy who goes for paycheck movies), you'd think he would turn his back on such an evil awful movie studio and stand tall with a brother in arms like Norton. But clearly he's not. So is there a chance that Marvel may not be the big bad villain in this Norton mess like everyone here is making them out to be? Could it be that maybe, just maybe we message board posters don't have access to a break-up that could have been Norton's fault? Hmmmm.

  • Crov

    So a dude of Italian descent is playing an Irish-american previously portrayed by Edward Norton? Shouldn't he be at least ethnically correct?

  • Ratuniverse

    Ethnical correctness died in Hollywood with Wild Wild West and the casting of Nick Fury

  • DannyWetts


    Ruffalo and Renner are welcome additions…personally, I though Norton was fine, but only 'fine'. He didn't say 'Banner' to me in the slightest.

  • Crov

    I don't mind Bruce Banner being Italian – I don't mind changing his ethnicity when adapting the character from the book, as they did with Fury. It bothers me when they change ethnicity from movie to movie. It's like they'd cast an Arab or Indian as Rhodey in Iron Man 2, instead of African-american.

  • Eric

    Holy fuck, really? Who gives a shit?

  • Blackmalewriter

    Just so you know, the movie version of Nick Fury was based on the Marvel ULTIMATE universe version, not the original Fury. The Ultimate version of Fury was patterned after Sam Jackson. Do some research.

  • Crov

    I do, of course. That's why I posted the comment. Silly question to ask, Eric. I was convinced stuff like this would be easy to comprehend.

  • lead_sharp

    Wow I'm sure he's a nice guy, good actor and all that but can't help but feel they went for a hungry actor and he's getting beans for it. He'll be compared to Norton no matter how good he is and to be honest he doesn't look like how I image Banner (skinny, nerdy, glasses sometimes)

  • Frank

    I wonder how he will be able to express any emotions that makes him become the Hulk, given that Ruffalo is so introvert.

  • chauceriangirl

    Have you watched Mark Ruffalo's films? He is a great actor that can melt into any part that's given him and I think he can do the same with Bruce Banner,

  • Capfan

    I AGREE WITH CROV. Although I prefer the regular (caucasian) Fury, I can see Sam Jackson as Fury because the Ultimates version is black AND they did use Sam's likeness when creating the Ultimate Nick Fury version. On a side note though, I'm not too pleased with Jackson's acting as Nick Fury. He acted a bit too casual and cool in Iron Man 2……like he acted in Shaft. Jackson used to be a pretty good actor but these days every character he plays has the same exact demeanor …well 8 out of 10 characters he plays.

    As for Hulk…I totally agree with Crov. Some ppl may not give a shit but obviously there are people that do. I like Ruffalo but there's been no Italian version of Banner in the comics. BTW…I'm part Italian. There are some Italians that can play caucasian roles but Ruffalo just doesn't look like Banner.

    Ruffalo looked so out of place in that SDCC photo of all the actors posed together.

    Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is pretty cool…I can totally see him as Clint Barton.

    Lastly, although I'm disappointed with the casting of Ruffalo….it's not like all the casting decisions were perfect….

    …Evans is too much of a happy go lucky surfer type to play the strategic genius, Captain America. Even in his interviews he seems to be such a bone head so I'm really wondering if he can deliver his lines in a convincing LEADER TYPE role.

  • Andyman Messiah

    Yet another actor who doesn't convince me the slightest. Eric Bana was good, but he was no Banner. Norton was good, but he was no Banner. Ruffalo is really good, but he is definitely no Banner.

    Reanimate Bixby and reunite him with Ferrigno, I say.

  • Frank

    I don't hate Ruffalo. He just has one face expression in all his films. He's the masculin version of Jennifer Connely. Cry, happy, sad: No face movements.

  • American Cheese

    I’m Italian and I think Ruffalo is wrong for the part. Banner is not ethnic-looking. Hollywood idiots at work again.