In an announcement from the halls of justice yesterday, Mark Ruffalo has been cast to play the Hulk in the upcoming “Avengers” movie. That’s right, it’s yet another actor’s turn to play the purple-pants clad Marvel hero, the third in the last 10 years.
If you’re surprised by the fact that they switched superhero actors on us, you’ll probably also be startled to learn that Lou Ferrigno isn’t actually green. Seeing as how comic book movies have become such big business and there’s so many constantly in development, we as fans are going to have to get used to the idea that our favorite characters will be getting more overhauls than my 95 Honda Civic (license plate? You guessed it: Red V).
Because I’m sure that Marvel felt this was cool to do only after consulting my blog yesterday, I feel a responsibility to concisely pinpoint my opinions on this subject. Or at least ramble in a loosely logical fashion towards something resembling a point.
I love the timing of this announcement, as it coincides with the Intergalactic Nerdfest in San Diego known as ComicCon. (And yes, I’m a nerd so I can say that) Not only that, this deal was rushed just so they could get Ruffalo on a jet to San Diego in time to be introduced with the other stars of “The Avengers”: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, etc. I love this. Finally, the tables have turned. These same actors, with fame, fortune and superior genetics are scrambling to get down to ComicCon to seek approval from the masses. This is like the high school jocks winning a football championship, then hurriedly getting dressed in the locker room so they can make the chess club’s party at the Mathnasium.
Imagine LeBron James announcing he’s going to take his talents to “The Avengers”, and then immediately getting out of the gym to hook up with his local Magic: The Gathering guild. In fact, this whole Avengers deal feels like the 2010-2011 Miami Heat: stars galore, huge cash deals all around, tons of excitement…and yet no one knows if it will work out at all.
But let’s focus on the Hulk…I don’t presume to know the details of Edward Norton’s departure from the role, who left what first or which ball was dropped. Mark Ruffalo is a great actor who always gives solid performances. I’ve been a fan ever since he did his best to cover up Meg Ryan’s chest in “In the Cut”. We still saw more than we needed of what happened when the relationship in “You’ve Got Mail” failed, but Ruffalo gave an effort to be a human shield. (He must’ve limped off that set like Kellen Winslow in the ’81 AFC Championship Game: “she just won’t put a shirt on!”)
We can worry about the Avengers chemistry, screen time, and script another day…today is simply a day for nerds, dorks, geeks, spazzes and movie theater ushers to rejoice: the superheroes are making deals based around you. They are signing documents and booking gulfstreams and making reservations just to please you. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson will be there. Enjoy.
MERuffalo introduced as the new Hulk,