Mark Ruffalo, whose casting in Marvel’s The Avengers was announced with much fanfare at Comic-Con International, will play both Bruce Banner and the Hulk — making him the first actor to do so. In 3-D, no less.
“I’m really excited. No one’s ever played the Hulk exactly, they’ve always done CGI,” he told Vulture. “They’re going to do the Avatar stop-action, stop-motion capture. So I’ll actually play the Hulk. That’ll be fun.”
In 2003’s Hulk and 2008’s Incredible Hulk, Banner was portrayed by Eric Bana and Edward Norton, respectively, while the Green Goliath was a computer-generated special effect added in post-production. And in the classic Incredible Hulk television series, Banner was played by the late Bill Bixby while the monster was, of course, bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno in difficult-to-remove green makeup. (Ferrigno reportedly will again provide the voice of the Hulk in The Avengers.)
Speaking of that late 1970s/early 1980s series, Ruffalo told Vulture he hopes to draw inspiration from Bixby’s take on the tormented scientist.
“I really love the first TV version of it, the Bill Bixby one,” he said. “I’m gonna shoot for that a little bit. He was an everyman in it. He’s always on the run and trying to find love. It’s really a sympathetic character, before he turns into the Hulk and fucks everything up.”
Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle and Clark Gregg. It opens on May 4, 2012.
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