Comic-Con: Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner cast in Joss Whedon's superhero extravaganza 'The Avengers'

mark-ruffalo-jeremy-rennerImage Credit: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic; Kevin Winter/WireImageRobert Downey Jr. brought a tumultuous day at Comic-Con to a close by announcing that Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are Alright; pictured left) will play Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Hulk) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker; pictured right) will play Hawkeye in director Joss Whedon’s feature film version of the Marvel Comics superhero team The Avengers. The Iron Man star — who was brought to the stage during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel by Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in the Marvel movies — appeared with the other actors who will play the other Avengers, including Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow). The cast announcement was greeted with a standing ovation by the attendees. The movie is slated for a 2012 release.

Ruffalo replaces Edward Norton, who was dropped from the film by Marvel Studios, reportedly due to a contract dispute. In announcing Ruffalo, Downey made like a politican and declared that he “approved of this message.”

Invoking the current box office sensation Inception, Downey — looking like a mod rock star in shaggy hair and tinted glasses — vowed that The Avengers will be even more ambitious than Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed sci-fi puzzle box drama. Marvel’s panel — which also included sneak peeks at the Captain America and Thor movies slated for release next summer — began about an hour late following an assault during a previous panel inside Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center in which one attendee stabbed another in a dispute over seating. Downey joking referenced the attack, saying, “Nobody stab anyone” until he was finished with his announcement.

avengers-castPictured left to right are Robert Downey Jr., Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Director Joss Whedon, and Producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Comments (114 total) Add your comment
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  • Ryan

    Serious nerd-gasm… can’t wait.

    • darclyte

      It all sounds very good, but I’m still having trouble with Chris as Cap. The Marvel Team seems to know what they’re doing, so I’ll try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I saw a clip of the announcement and it really got me geeked!

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      • Lily

        Mark Ruffalo is such a great actor, but so is Edward Norton. I thought he was an amazing Hulk.

      • Erin

        “but I’m still having trouble with Chris as Cap”

        Me too. I think there should be a law where an actor can only play a superhero once in their career. Or a clause where they can double up but there must be a decade in-between.

        And nah hah to all those naysayers who whinged about Chris Hemsworth. I think the promo pics and this one where he towers above them all is more than adequate proof that he will be an awesome Thor, physically speaking.

      • Ryan

        Me three. I can’t believe they’re still going forward with this horrible Chris Evans as Captain America idea. It just doesn’t make sense. You never want to wish bad on a movie, but if there were ever a film that needs to either go so far overbudget it has to be temporarily sidelined or encounter a small series of glitches, it’s this one. I really wish Marvel or Fox or someone would put their foot down and realize how absurd it is to cast Chris Evans as two Marvel superheroes

      • Ralph

        I can’t believe the “can’t play 2 marvel super heroes” thing is still being discussed. Captain America is a Marvel Studios vehicle, Fantastic Four was not. It was a 20th Century Fox vehicle. Even if the Fantastic Four ever appeared with the Avengers in film, it would have to be after the rights reverted back to Marvel and would be recast to disassociate itself with the 20th Century Fox films. I repeat, the Fantastic Four films have NO association with the Avengers films and therefore it is no different than Chris Evans appearing in Push. If he does a good job, I could give a crap that he already appeared in a version of Fantastic Four (which is apparently going to be rebooted by Fox anyway).

    • Andy

      Why the complaint about Chris Evans? He is gorgeous, already has the body of a super hero AND he can act! I don’t get it…

      • kaydevo

        Capt. America should definitely be older, for one thing. I’m sure Evans will be fine…I hope.

      • Andy

        See, I think the age is perfect…this way he can do a few of these, plus “The Avengers”…I for one think Robert Downey Jr. is way passed his prime to be playing a super hero. Every time i look at him, I think “Look at the lines on his face! How old is he??”

      • cb

        don’t insult downey jr he is a great ironman and I love the way he plays that role

      • Ryan

        The complaint is the guy’s already played the Human Torch. He’s also horribly miscast as Cap. Hell Robert Downey Jr. would be miscast as Cap. Cap is not a happy, go lucky, jokey, wise-cracking player. That’s all Chris Evans has ever played. And he has yet to demonstrate that he has anything even approaching the range to play anything other than himself. So, in summation, he is the polar opposite of the character. Also, no matter how much one likes Chris Evans you can’t deny he’s simply not on Jeremy Renner or Mark Ruffalo’s acting level, let alone Robert Downey Jr. or Samuel L. Jackson’s.

      • Ralph

        @Ryan – Chris Evans is an actor. You are making the classic mistake of associating an Actor with the roles they have played. People did the same thing with Michael Keaton. “Oh my God!!! Mr. Mom is playing Batman?!?!?” He did a great job. How about you watch the movie and THEN decide if you like it or not. There’s a novel concept.

      • Ralph

        @kaydevo – I’m confused by your statement that Captain America should be played by an older actor. This isn’t supported in any of Captain America’s origin. From all accounts, he was a young man that attempted to join the military at an early age (probably early 20’s) during WWII and was turned away due to inability to qualify physically/medically. He was then recruited into a program to enhance his physical attributes. He then fought in many campigns during WWII until such time as he was lost in the Arctic where his body was frozen and, presumably due to the affects of the super-soldier serum/conditioning, was cryogenically suspended (as opposed to dying like a normal human would). He was then found and revived in modern day. Presumably he would only be physically as old as he would have been when he was frozen which, given that WWII only lasted 4 years from a U.S. perspective, he would have still been in his mid to late 20’s. Since Chris Evans is currently 29 years old, he is just about the exact age Captain America would be. This is especially true if his rank was indeed “Captain” in the Army as that is a rank usually held by people in their late 20’s/early 30’s (you usually make Major by the age of about 32 or 33 assuming you got commissioned at the age of 22 as many newly commissioned officers are). Either way, the statement that the Captain America actor should be older just doesn’t make any sense to me.

        I actually was talking about a subject along these lines the other day. There is a disconnect in the public about military personnel and what their relative ages should be. I often watch film and television depicting military scenarios and far too often the characters are miscast based on age stereotypes rather than what would actually be the case in real life. One example is Bill Paxton in U571 playing the American submarine CO. Paxton was, at the time of the movie, 45 years old. Submarine skippers during WWII were usually in their early to mid 30’s. Not saying that there were no submarine skippers in their 40’s, but probably not many. And I’ve seen this trend in numerous military movies.

    • harry


  • hoganbcmj

    Who will play Wasp?!

    • mark in nyc

      Sara Michelle Geller! Whedon reunion and although I am not a big fan of hers, I think it would be a great role for her.

      • Ashleigh

        How can you not be a big fan of hers if you’ve seen BTVS? Heck, she was even awesome in that stupid Cruel Intentions flick.

      • Psac

        She would actually be perfect for that!

    • Mac

      Well, I was hoping that there would be at least two women on the team, but it looks like there will be just the one (the Black Widow). Maybe there is still hope that the Scarlet Witch or the Wasp or … Ms. Marvel (?) will make an appearance.

      • Ralph

        Well, I don’t believe the full cast has been announced yet. There is still talk of Ant-Man and Wasp for the film though it is possible that they may be lesser used characters (or maybe cast with unknowns…wouldn’t that be nice).

  • Jon

    I hope they at least have Ms.Marvel in the film. Scarlett was pointless in Iron Man

    • paige

      Ms, Marvel!!!!!! thatd be hella awesome- but i fear nobody can fill Carol’s boots

    • therealeverton

      There’s no use for her yet really. None at all, she’d just be clutter. I’m not getting the problem with Widow; as well as being cool she served several purposes. Not least of all displaying S.H.i.E.L.D’s Extra human resources outside of the superhero boyband and that they had unknown number of spies as well as enforcers. Gave more of an insight into Nick Fury and the fact that supersuit or not Iron Man was not the king of the Marvel movieverse. It also gave us someone else, other than Pepper to show that there’s often someone else, behind the scenes, doing the dirty work that makes the superheroics pay off.

      My only concern is that Hawkeye is more Ultimates than Avengers, simply because as much as I always liked Hawkeye’s humour etc a guy running around with a bow and arrow is a pretty lame hero, when it comes to imagining him in “real life” on a movie screen.

      • Jen1990

        As normal as Hawkeye was he was still a very valuable asset to the Avengers and Ultimates. The recent movies seem to have taken a more ultimate universe look at the whole avengers perspective anyways so it wouldn’t hurt to put the whole Hawkeye Blackwidow twist with his family.

    • Mel

      Scarlett was pointlesss in Iron Man 2 because all she did was strut around & get ogled. She only had one awesome scene of taking down bad guys (which was so great it made her mainly eye candy use downright insulting). I have faith in Whedon that Scarlett will get to do more in Avengers.

      • Erin

        Well said. If anyone knows how to handle a powerful female character, it’s Whedon.

  • Carl

    Sounds like yet another Marvel film with female characters who serve little purpose.

    • therealeverton

      Again in Iron Man & Iron Man II and Incredible Hulk you think Betty, Pepper & Natasha served little purpose? ?Considering they were none of them either the main hero or the villain they served plenty of purpose.

      I never bothered with Punsisher: War Zone so I can’t comment on that and those are the only 4 Marvel movies we’ve seen so far. (Punisher was Marvel right?)

      The real test will be when we get a standalone female hero film, like Black Widow or Wasp. Or, more likely, the Nick Fury film in which the female S.H.I.E.L.D agents, probably Widow and Marvel would have a much more central presence. Or Avengers II where some of the female Avengers can be introduced and some or most of the “original” Avengers don’t have to have more than Cameo appearances. She Hulk, the other Ms Marvel (The Black one who i always preferred because I read her first and maybe because I’m black, ( I’m guessing no Scarlett Witch if she was in X-Men before Avengers, even though Wolverine was in Hulk before X-Men and he’s a Fox character now.). Tigra, Jocasta (a good lead in to mega-supervillain Ultron), there’s plenty to choose from.

      I still can’t get around losing Norton as Banner / Hulk, such a waste. I know he’s a mare to worrk wiith but he’s worth it. Like Downey Jnr if he wasn’t his career would have been over a long time ago.

      • paige

        there was no black Ms. Marvel- youre thinking of Captain Marvel/Photon – Monica Rambeau…

      • Mr. Williams

        Correct, the female version of Captain Marvel/Photon, Monica Rambeau IS BLACK, not Ms. Marvel. I’m hoping Marvel Entertainment and Hollywood don’t screw this up cinematically. An Avengers Movie featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has the potential to succeed on all levels if the STORY is superb, along with the chemistry of the actors/characters. For the first movie the original line-up should be: Iron Man (Leader), Wasp (2nd in command), her fiance Dr. Henry Pym (Resident Scientist & Ally) Captain America, Thor, Vision, his wife the Scarlet Witch, and the Black Panther ( Must have one Affirmative Action hero). The Main Villain should be The Absorbing Man. So I really hope things work out for this film. I’ll be first in line at the theater. And for the record, Nick Fury IS A WHITE CHARACTER – Samuel L. Jackson is BLACK.

      • cb

        isn’t fury the leader? That’s the impression I got from both ironman films but in particular ironman 2 where he sort of bossed tony around

      • fredo451

        Uh, Mr. Williams, in Marvel’s Ultimate universe Nick Fury is black, and the movies have been a cross between the two universes. Vision and Scarlet Witch do not belong in the first movie. I would love to see Black Panther, but he should get a solo flick, first.

      • Niix Starkyller

        Fredo: Yes.
        I’ve always loved the story of Black Panther, and the potential for an even richer telling of his origin. T’Challa!

    • MaxPowers

      I’m not going to comment on whether the females were underused in past Marvel movies or not. I just thought I’d point out that the Avengers is a Joss Whedon movie (Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse); this guy has made his living off writing strong female roles.

  • Nathan

    All Right, not Alright.

    • KS

      They perhaps based it off The Who’s song, for which the movie gets its name… I’m pretty sure there it’s spelled “Alright.”

      • Kiki

        No, Nathan is correct. The title of the movie is indeed spelled “The Kids Are All Right.” (The protagonists of the movie are educated women, and know how to spell, thank heavens!)

  • darclyte


  • Trixie

    Mark Ruffalo seriously needs to do me.

    • Arabang

      You forgot about meg

    • Arabang

      You forgot about me.

  • Lana

    There better not be only 1 female Avenger! I know Joss Whedon does good by the fairer sex, so I’m hoping for a Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, or Wasp or if I had my way, all 3.

    • cb

      theres a spider woman….

  • Ethan

    Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner = FAIL

    • Tarc

      Hold on… reverse that. Ruffalo has it all over Norton – by ten times.

      • dm

        I agree. Norton is horrible. Love Ruffalo!

      • therealeverton

        Norton is widely agreed, by those in the business & media, as well as many a punter, to be one of the best actors of his generation, if not the best.

      • MaxPowers

        Norton is also widely agreed, by those in the business & mdeia, as well as many a punter, to be one of the biggest jackasses of his generation, if not the biggest.
        Don’t get me wrong–I love Norton. But you can’t blame Marvel for not wanting to work with him on a big ensemble movie like this…especially after he trashed them during Hulk.

      • orville

        I agree. Norton is one of the greatest actors of his generation, but he’s also a huge diva. With an ensemble cast as big as this one, you don’t need egos getting in the way.

      • Tarc

        Norton’s ‘peers’ haven’t recognized him for anything since 1998, and he’s been called ‘difficult’ many times on many projects. Ruffalo works constantly, works with the best, and gets recognized for his work *incessantly*. I’m really not sure who these people are that think he’s great, since all evidence is to the contrary.

    • Rob Grizzly

      Agreed with Ethan. I don’t like the choice. But then, I haven’t liked any of the previous casting for Bruce Banner either.

      • Lance

        In fairness there never seems to be much that you do like about, well…anything


    • Mel

      well, i really don’t care who they cast in the movies. Bill Bixby will always be my Bruce Banner.

  • Nikki

    Downey knows how to make the mood better :)Go Iron Man!

  • Sarah

    RDJ + Ruffalo + Hemsworth + Renner + Whedeon = sheer awesomeness.

    • Sarah

      Spelling fail. Make that Whedon.

  • J

    Jeremy Renner is a real actor. Mark Ruffalo is a nobody who makes lightweight rom-coms.

    • Lisa London


    • Celimene

      Ruffalo was a serious theatre actor for years before Hollywood came a-callin’. And have you seen Zodiac? He’s the real deal.

    • Tarc

      Uh, no. Check Ruffalo’s filmography – and extensive list of recognitions. Renner is good – but he’s a noob (and he’s so right for that part). Ruffalo was excellent casting.

      • DT

        ZODIAC and COLLATERAL are good films with nary a romantic plot in them–that he’s involved in at least–and he’s quite good in them. Romcoms pay bills and earn favors so that you potentially get to do something cool. He’s not Patrick Dempsey!

      • orville

        Shutter Island, The Kids are All Right, Blindness, Reservation Road, Zodiac, Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, You Can Count on Me… Hmmm, yep, all light-weight romcoms.

      • who newbie

        sorry but am i the only one who envisions a pasty, skinny Banner? In that respect, Norton was a decent choice-diva or no. Ruffalo, while i have no qualms about him as an actor, seems a little…well-too manly for the science/dweeb Banner. Again, that may just be my impression.

    • Psac

      Both are great pics. If you like Renner, go get the DVDs for the TV show “The Unusuals.” WAY underrated show. Him and Amber Tamblyn are the main leads, but a great ensemble overall.

      • Elizabeth


  • curtish

    I suggest you check his catalogue as an actor. He is better than you think, I believe. Watch him in Fincher’s Zodiac

  • Del Taco

    Avengers ?

    does it have teenage vampires and werewolve?

    transforming robots?

    songs by Justin Beiber ?

    if not, I’ll pass

    • sarCC

      The soundtrack hasn’t been made yet. It might have a Beiber song on it. And, considering how long from now the movie will be coming out, it will be his comeback song.

  • FingerGuns

    Yeah, but who’s playing Mr. Steed?!

    • Dory

      And Emma Peel?

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