Sunday, July 25, 2010

Avengers assemble! Why Mark Ruffalo is a great choice (for any role).

I assume anyone reading this will be enough of a nerd to know all or most of the people in that photo, so I'm not going to list them. Well, it looks like Ed Norton is out and Mark Ruffalo is in. Now that it's official, I will simply say that Mark Ruffalo is one of my absolute favorite actors. Not only does he shine in indie material (You Can Count On Me, What Doesn't Kill You, The Kids are All Right), but he brings a believability and gravitas to the romantic comedies (13 Going On 30, Just Like Heaven, Rumor Has It), he occasionally appears in. Like Jason Bateman, he's seemingly incapable of giving a bad performance and incapable of not making his character appear absolutely human and three-dimensional now matter how thin the material might be. So yeah, I think Norton getting sacked was a lousy bit of insider business, but I'm all for Ruffalo getting some true mainstream exposure in a small supporting role (even if Hulk is the villain, I can't imagine that Bruce Banner will get much screentime). As for director Joss Whedon finally confirming his involvement, yay. I'm as much a fan of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel/Firefly stuff as anyone, and the man has shown that he can juggle ensemble casts and make cheap stuff look expensive. As the guy who made Serenity look like $150 million on a $40 million budget, it's obvious that Marvel wanted someone who could stretch their $300 million (?) budget as far as possible. Will the movie be good? I have no idea, but it's certainly the kind of thing that should be tried, if only once (I have no interest in a Justice League movie).

Scott Mendelson

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