'Avengers': Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner cast, Joss Whedon directing

mark-ruffalo-getty-320.jpgThe official word has come down regarding "The Avengers." Mark Ruffalo will play Bruce "The Hulk" Banner, Jeremy Renner will play Clint "Hawkeye" Barton and Joss Whedon will be directing.

Whedon spoke to the audience at Comic-Con, saying: " I have had this dream all my life and it was not this good. I want to thank Kevin so much for assembling my dream team. This cast is more than I could have never dreamed of working with. I am going to blow it. I am not up to it. I need your love and your support."

The announcement was made at Marvel Studios session, which also included clips, cast and crew from "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger," due out in May and July of 2011, respectively. The two movies debuted new art and posters at Comic-Con as well. "The Avengers" brings together characters from both movies, plus a few new ones, and is due out May 2012.

There was also talk at Comic-Con that Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, may be returning to the franchise because the character is now controlled by Marvel Studios. Unfortunately, Wolverine will not be a part of "Captain America" because 20th Century Fox still owns the rights for the "X-Men" franchise.

The question of who would fill Edward Norton's shoes loomed among media and moviegoers after it was announced that he wouldn't be reprising his role as Bruce Banner from the 2008 movie "The Incredible Hulk." A war of words ensued between Norton and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, after the studio released a statement implying Norton doesn't embody "the creative spirit" they were looking for. 

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