'The Avengers': The Hulk is ... Mark Ruffalo?

mark-ruffalo-getty-320.jpgThe search for a new Bruce Banner for "The Avengers" may end up being a pretty short one.

Edward Norton, who starred in "The Incredible Hulk" in 2008, won't be part of Marvel's superhero teamup after a rather curt dismissal by the head of the studio. Now comes word that Marvel has zeroed in on a new actor to play the mild-mannered scientist/raging green superhero.

That would be "The Kids Are All Right" star and indie-film fixture Mark Ruffalo, who according to Deadline.com is in "late-stage discussions" with Marvel about taking on the role. He would be the third Hulk on film in the past decade, after Norton and Eric Bana, who starred in Ang Lee's "Hulk" in 2003.

The role would be Ruffalo's first in a big action movie. In addition to the just-released "The Kids Are All Right," his recent credits include "Shutter Island," "Date Night" and "Where the Wild Things Are."

"The Avengers," directed by Joss Whedon and co-starring Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), is tentatively set for a summer 2012 release.

What do you think of Ruffalo as Bruce Banner?

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