'Avengers': Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo are in. Awesome. Now how about some women?

Pictured 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.

If Hawkeye were a real person, he would spend Saturday mornings serving soup to the homeless. Then he’d take a drive down to Rosarito to party all night with Colin Farrell. What I’m trying to say is: Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye. (And that’s coming from a founding member of the Committee to Cast Nathan Fillion as Hawkeye.) When I heard over the weekend that Renner was officially playing Clint Barton in The Avengers, I felt instantly happy. Like Downey as Iron Man or Bale as Batman, it’s a just-right piece of comic casting. (Just look at video of the cast’s introduction: Yeesh, Renner looks more excited than A-list franchisees Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans.)

I’m a bit more mixed about Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Ruffalo’s certainly a great actor. In fact, he’ll be the third great actor this decade to play Bruce Banner. Eric Bana and Edward Norton played very different versions of the character in their respective movies…and neither of them knocked it out of the park. It’s not their fault — Bruce Banner is a weirdly difficult character to play: Since the Hulk is functionally a different character, played by either expensive CGI or Lou Ferrigno, the actor playing Banner is basically a benchwarmer in his own character arc. Ruffalo definitely has the market cornered on soulful brooding, so let’s mark this as a wait-and-see.

My real gripe, PopWatchers, is much simpler: Where all the superheroines at? The cast looks like the coolest fraternity you never pledged, with Scarlett Johansson as the token female so the frat can qualify for the Coed Beer Pong League. Considering director Joss Whedon’s fem-centric history, and considering that the Avengers have occasionally been top-heavy with superpowered ladies, it’s weird to see such a bro-heavy cast.

I’m crossing my fingers that we’re still many months away from a final Avengers line-up, so I’m writing my wish list. I’d be ecstatic if Whedon worked in married heroes Ant-Man and the Wasp, but, like everyone who saw Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I have a fear of tiny people in movies. Likewise, I’d be happy to see the Scarlet Witch, even though her powers are a bit bizarre. But the heroine I’m really campaigning for is Ms. Marvel, a totally badass Air Force pilot-turned-superhero with a share of personal demons (alcoholism, amnesia) that seem positively Whedonesque.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Excited about the new Avengers cast? Frightened by the slight potential of an Avengers West Coast spin-off? Wish they would just get to the “Gray Hulk” storyline already? Sound off in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our interviews with Thor and Captain America themselves in the video below.

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • aliza

    Even though The Wasp is historically whiny and bitchy, she could be great under Joss. and if Ant-Man was Nathan Fillion, I’d be doing a happy dance from now until 2012. They were the founding couple of the Avengers, its weird not to have them.

    • CWM

      “…The Wasp is historically whiny and bitchy…”

      Do you think that might be because she’s historically written by men who don’t know how to write women?
      Protip: Write women like you write men – as good characters.

  • Roger

    Um, why is it weird to see a bro-heavy cast for a movie that is all about a group of superhero boys…???

    • Sam

      because it’s going to be a joss whedon-the man behind buffy, firefly, and dollhouse. aka really badass heroines. he of all people knows how to handle female superheroes.

      • Roger

        But The Avengers isn’t revolved around female heroes. So why doesn’t everyone just stop comparing his past works and focus on what the work he’s adapting?

    • Anne

      Because the Avengers isn’t a team of “superhero boys,” it’s a mixed-gender team and always has been. It has even sometimes included more women than men. There’s no reason it has to be a dude-fest.

    • Liz Lemon

      Do you think all these superhero boys’ significant others will also appear in the Avengers film (aka Gwenyth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Natalie Portman, Hayley Atwell,etc)? If so, then they don’t really need more females.

      • Kat

        Oh, but there is a huuuge difference between female presence in the form of WAGs and female presence in the form of equal-to-the-boys kickass heroes in their own right. I would be extremely offended if the only female presence in the movie came in the form of Black Widow and then a bunch of girlfriends who pretty much show up for the T&A and the inevitable damsel-in-distress scene.

  • Roger

    Um, why is it weird to see a bro-heavy cast for a movie that is all about a group of superhero bros…???

    • craig

      Um have you read the Avengers? It’s not about a group of male super heroes. There have always been women in the Avengers and for this film to have only the craptacular Scarlett Johanson is a travesty.

    • nich

      And one of the founding members of the Avengers is a woman? The Wasp?

  • Iyad

    Sarah Michelle Gellar!!! Hands down!

    • mark in nyc

      for WASP!

  • **

    I don’t know, I think I have had enough of Whedon women for a while. I liked Buffy, but the female characters in his last few projects seem to have sort of morphed into the same character. I was sort of looking forward to him doing something new.

  • reason

    Sarah Michelle Gellar needs to be in this movie so bad! Wasp? Scarlett witch? Ms Marvel? doesn’t matter..”Jimmy Stewart” can do it all

  • Sara

    I get where you’re coming from, but I’d much rather have a small cast focused on the core heroes rather than an overstuffed superhero flick with a little more diversity. Why not just make some cool movies specifically about Ms. Marvel or, I don’t know, WONDER WOMAN?!?

  • RayA

    I wonder if the Scarlet Witch is off-limits, because she was introduced in X-Men and is Magneto’s daughter… and possibly included in Fox’s X-Men deal. She and the Wasp are really the only two classic female characters in the line-up other than Black Widow. Since I doubt we’d see Spider-Woman (does Sony control her too?) or She-Hulk, I’d say that Ms. Marvel is the only other headliner female member left to use (sorry Tigra).

    • therealeverton

      The black Ms Marvel (well Captain Marvel) is one of the most powerfull Marvel Heroines, powerful enough to make the Secret Wars.

      Even with many of thee characters being introduced in their own moviies there are enough in this film already. Better to wait untill a 2nd movie (brief cameos excepted) where you can drop 2 or 4 of the characters from this movie and introduce some women, like She-Hulk, either or both Ms Marvels, Wasp & her hubbie. Jocasta, which would help with the whole Ultron as a big baddie thing, Marina, another lead in to a massive “monster baddie”.

      The problem is a lot of the female Avengers came from other books, Scarlett Witch, Invisible Woman, Storm. But there are plenty of others, and the general public didn’t know alot about many of the current movie Avengers until a few years ago either. Mantis , Moondragon, Hawkeye’s mrs Mockingbird (a bit similar to Widow maybe). As we have Thor we could have Valkyrie a very strong female hero.

  • Shane

    Sarah Michelle is OVER.
    New blood in there for sure if there is going to be a woman.

    • reason

      the same has been said about Downey Jr! Gellar would rock the hell out of this movie

      • Oscar Madsen

        I totally agree with Shane. Gellar is over. We need some new young blood, please.

  • Oscar Madsen

    My choices:
    Wasp————Evangeline Lilly
    Miss Marvel—–January Jones
    Scarlet Witch—Morena Baccarin
    Iocasta———(CGI?)
    Tigra———–Zoe Saldana

    And, BTE, I hope to see Marion Cotillard as Catwoman in the next Batman-Nolan movie, please.

    • paige

      January Jones as Ms Marvel???? you are absolutely nuts… nobody can fill carol’s boots!

    • Liz Lemon

      Wasp=Emily Blunt
      Miss Marvel=Ali Larter
      Scarlet Witch=Anne Hathaway or Olivia Wilde

      • Oscar Madsen

        Emily Blunt is too tall for Wasp. And I don’t see Hathaway nor Wilde as the Witch. (Is Hathaway here only because she played the White Witch in Alice??)

  • Oscar Madsen

    My choices:
    Wasp————Evangeline Lilly
    Miss Marvel—–January Jones
    Scarlet Witch—Morena Baccarin
    Iocasta———(CGI?)
    Tigra———–Zoe Saldana

    And, BTW, I hope to see Marion Cotillard as Catwoman in the next Batman-Nolan movie, please.

  • May

    Miss Marvel = Yvonne Strahovski!

    • Oscar Madsen

      Great choice!

    • s

      I completely agree, she would be perfect for the role.

  • Jeremiah Murphy

    What a shame, here’s Jeremiah Murphy’s audition tape for the Hulk.

  • Zombie Jesus

    Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk = put a bullet in my head

  • nich

    They so need to get the Wasp, Scarlet Witch and especially Ms. Marvel in there somewhere! Sorry but SJ’s Black Widow is doing nothing for me. She barely did anything in IM2. Is it too late to switch her with Jennifer Garner?

    • therealeverton

      She was perfect. Looked convincing and good with the action, did a succesful switch from undercover to front line agent and carried off the extremely attractive without being a skank thing. ~What more did you want from what was effectively a cameo introduction?

    • Liz Lemon

      They’re not going to switch her, but Jennifer Garner does need to get back to her Alias roots and do an action film. She’s running a stalemate with all these romantic comedies.

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