As you may know, the search is on for Edward Norton’s replacement as The Incredible Hulk, and I’ve been busy greasing up my Russian roulette pistol in preparation for the inevitable flood of casting rumors and counter-rumors. Last we heard, an offer was out to Joaquin Phoenix. But today, Nikki Finke at Deadline is claiming an EXCLUSIVE (that’s the stage of grief just before “TOLDJA”) that Mark Ruffalo is in “late-stage” discussions to take over the Hulk role.
Imagine the Hollywood actor whom you’d least expect to play The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers, and maybe, just maybe, you’d come up with the name of Mark Ruffalo. He’s always been an actor’s actor and is getting critical raves in Focus Features’ The Kids Are All Right which opened last weekend. But I’ve learned that he’s now in late-stage discussions between Marvel and his brand-new agency United Talent to play this key member of The Avengers ensemble. Like Edward Norton, whom he’d be replacing, Ruffalo would bring real chops to the role. But, unlike Edward Norton, he wouldn’t an on-set assh*le.
She’s right that Ruffalo wasn’t the first person I thought of for the Hulk, but now that I think about it, he’s actually perfect. Rugged, but not too old; bookish but not unathletic; and perhaps most importantly, understated and reserved, which would provide a nice contrast between calm Bruce Banner and the Hulk, when he starts busting through his clothes and flipping over cars like Stallone on an HGH bender. It would even more amazing if they could get Mel Gibson to play a drunken, racist, woman-hating Hulk. But they’ll probably just make him all-CGI again like a bunch of lazy wetbacks.
What? Yes, CGI wetbacks, that’s exactly what I meant. Whatever. I’ll give YOU a dangling modifier.