Indie Darling Mark Ruffalo ThisClose to Playing The Hulk

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In a bit of nicely controlled leakage, Marvel has let it slip that Mark Ruffalo is on the verge of signing on to play The Hulk in the upcoming "Avengers" movie, nearly making us forget all about the "Thor"/"Captain America" in 3D news.

With the rave reviews still pouring in for his work in "The Kids Are All Right," Ruffalo is poised to take on the role of Bruce Banner in "The Avengers," reported Deadline.

You may recall that Ed Norton, who played the role in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," was rather rudely and publicly dismissed from the project by Marvel movie don Kevin Feige, who implied that Norton was a pain in the (backside).

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That whole imbroglio was followed by the rumor that Joaquin Phoenix was being eyed for the role, a proposal we simply could not support.

We're big Ruffalo fans and he's certainly talented enough to slide into a cast that includes Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth. Still, it seems like an odd marriage.

"The Avengers" comes out May 4, 2012, and we be stoked for Ruffalo to be a part of it.

But this doesn't excuse Marvel's plans to convert "Thor" and "Captain America."

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