Deadline Hollywood today revealed that Marvel has officially signed on Mark Ruffalo to play the Hulk in its upcoming Avengers flick, confirming reports that first surfaced on July 15. The scruffy, affable star of The Kids Are All Right will replace the intense, pugilistic Edward Norton, who departed the project amid acrimonious negotiations with the film’s producers. Later on, OnTheRedCarpet.com received confirmation from the Avengers director, Joss Whedon, that The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner had been tapped to play Hawkeye, an expert archer and founding member of the all-star superhero squad.
The news took some of the steam out of Marvel’s much-anticipated presentation at Comic-Con, where they’d hoped to break the news of the Avengers cast additions, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a surprise in store for the crowd gathered in Hall H. At the conclusion of panels for Thor and Captain America, Samuel L. Jackson took to the stage, bringing with him the entire Avengers ensemble, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Chris Evans (Captain America), plus newcomers Renner and Ruffalo.
Avengers is currently slated for a May 4, 2012, release.