A new Hulk already?
It seems it's quite easy to replace the Hulk and famous names are more than happy to pitch their names into the ring for the role, if the current rumours are true that is, for there's word that a new actor is in “late stage” talks for the role and could well be announced very soon, perfectly in time for Comic-Con perhaps?
With Edward Norton off the case and not likely to reappear in the role, a new face is needed, and while Norton seemed like he gave a more dynamic performance than Eric Bana, the new name might be going back towards that more considered and thoughtful actor.
Mark Ruffalo is the name being banded around with the new Hulk, and to me that sounds like quite a good choice. While the past performances of these actors can be compared, as I just did very simply above, I don't think there's going to be much leeway in what's wanted for the character of Hulk we're seeing post-Ang Lee's version. Marvel want action, smashing, and anger.
While I'm not going to argue with the direction, for I found Lee's version of Hulk to be the more interesting direction as the television series strived to be - more internalised and about David Banner's struggle rather than about the Hulk smashing everything and then saving the day, although it was that too – I do think that Marvel have just hooked onto one aspect of the issues fans had with the first film and decided to solely focus on them, i.e. action, smashing and Hulk the superhero.
The reason I bring that up is because if this rumour is true we're about to get another great character actor in the role of David Banner and it could provide for a much richer and in-depth story than the more shallow creature action-adventure that Marvel seem to want to deliver.
The rumour that comes from Deadline Hollywood Daily also suggests that Edward Norton had plenty of on-set difficulties on The Incredible Hulk, whereas Ruffalo wouldn't. Is that necessarily a good thing? Was Norton perhaps fighting for a stronger, better Hulk? Who really knows apart from the people on that set and Norton himself.
That rumour of “late stage talks” countered by The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision who say that Ruffalo is still far off from taking the role, doesn't know if he wants the role, hasn't met with the director, and there is no deal on the table. The talks are in fact for the actor and director, Joss Whedon, to meet to discuss the possibilities of him appearing as Hulk in The Avengers film.
So Mark Ruffalo. What do you think of him being the new Hulk, if it turns out to be true? I don't see it as much of an issue really, it's easy to replace a character in a series isn't it, especially one like the Hulk where the focus isn't the human face. Perhaps though Ruffalo wouldn't want the role, he's known for smaller, more thoughtful, intelligent films, despite a few Hollywood moments.