Rumor: Is Mark Ruffalo The Hulk in The Avengers?

Less than 24 hours after it was confirmed Ed Norton would not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner in the upcoming Avengers film, rumors began circulating that Joaquin Phoenix would be replacing Norton as the alter ego to the Incredible Hulk.

Now, though, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Mark Ruffalo is in late-stage talks with Marvel Studios to play the Hulk’s human side in Joss Whedon’s upcoming superhero team-up film. Ruffalo’s latest film, The Kids Are All Right, opened last weekend in theaters and is currently getting rave reviews.

The Buzz: While I wasn’t blown away by the earlier rumor that Joaquin Phoenix would be playing Bruce Banner, I wasn’t nearly as against it as some of my friends and peers. In fact, Phoenix as Banner had even started to grow on me.

With this latest news that Ruffalo is in talks to join the ensemble cast of The Avengers, though, I have to say I’m more than open to change. Ruffalo is a great actor who has a real unimposing charm to his character. He can play neebish (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and he can play tough (Shutter Island). In other words, he’s a great choice for Bruce Banner.

Either way, I just hope somebody gets cast in this role soon. At this rate, all the news and rumors regarding The Avengers is going to leave me burnt out by the film by the time it’s released in 2012.

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