Well, that didn’t take very long, did it? No sooner did Ed Norton get the boot off of Marvel Studios’ The Avengers (or left for “creative differences”) we already have a strong contender to take over the role. His name is Mark Ruffalo and you may know him from his many appearances in films such as The Last Castle, Zodiac and the recent Shutter Island.
According to the report, the deal is now in “late-stage discussions” between Marvel and Rufflo’s brand-new agency United Talent for the actor to play this key member of The Avengers. Like Norton, Ruffalo is a very capable actor who brings something extra to each role he plays. But unlike Norton, he isn’t a movie star but more like an accomplished character actor. This may actually serve the film better.
Even though I enjoyed Norton’s work in The Incredible Hulk, his on-set reputation isn’t one of collaboration. Instead, most reports paint him as quite the diva and “difficult” to work with. Not something you want on a big budget ensemble film as important as The Avengers.
Ruffalo, in contrast, is almost universally regarded as a “good guy” and easy to work with. With the actors being relatively equivalent talent-wise, why wouldn’t Marvel want to work with the nice guy? Seems like a solid decision to me.