<i>The Avengers</i> May Very Well Feature A Hairy-Chested Hulk

Although we've known since at least September that Mark Ruffalo will play both Bruce Banner and the Hulk in The Avengers, thanks to motion-capture technology, there's been little indication of how that might affect the appearance of the Green Goliath.

The monster changed significantly between Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk and Louis Leterrier's 2008 Incredible Hulk, and he'll do so again in Joss Whedon's 2012 film. But what can fans expect the Jade Giant to look like? It's not a what, apparently, but a who: Mark Ruffalo, right down to his wrinkles and body hair.

"No one’s asked me to shave my chest yet, thank God," the 43-year-old actor tells The Advocate. "They want this Hulk to be as close to me as possible. I’ll be playing him in motion-capture, so this Hulk will just be a bigger avatar version of me. As they’re modeling him, they’re using many of my own features, down to my scars and wrinkles. He will have body hair, but I don’t know to what extent."

When the interviewer points out -- Marvel marketers take note! -- that Ruffalo's chest hair is famous in some gay circles, he replies, "I was not aware. But that’s good, because young girls are probably like, 'Ew, chest hair! I didn’t even know guys grew hair there.'"

Set to begin production next month, The Avengers also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg. It opens on May 4, 2012.

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