Joss Whedon Explains Casting Renner/Ruffalo in The Avengers
Looking back at Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con last weekend which culminated in revealing the entire cast of The Avengers in front of our very eyes, I can't even explain how amazing it felt to attend that in-person. But now that we're past the announcement stage for this ensemble of superheroes, it's time to get down to business and find out what exactly we have to look forward to with this epic undertaking. Director Joss Whedon felt the need to comment on the reasons behind his choices in Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as a fresh replacement for Edward Norton as The Hulk. See what he had to say below!
In speaking with MTV before Entertainment Weekly's regular Comic-Con shindig, Whedon elaborated on the casting of Renner as the bow-and-arrow wielding hero Hawkeye. He says: "The thing about Hawkeye, he’s got his bows and arrows, you need somebody who's very very down to earth, who's very grounded, and who's going to be the kind of guy who, you see him, and you understand why he likes to be far away from things and then shoot at them.” Of course, he's very well aware that a character like this may seem "very silly" amongst a crew of superheroes, but with Renner he's confident the audience will believe in him.
Meanwhile, Ruffalo was apparently Whedon's "first and only choice for Bruce Banner." Though Whedon wanted him badly, he may have been more surprised by his actual casting than all of us. Whedon says, "I'm stunned that we landed that, just stunned. He has what I remember loving about the show, that quality of, you just look at him and you go through it with him, he invites you in in a way that [no] other performer has since Bill Bixby. He is a guy who's been beaten up by life, but not defined by that. That’s what I want from Bruce Banner, is a guy who’s still getting it done, even though he has his problem." Good answer, Whedon.
Though Whedon has never taken on a cinematic adventure this large in budget, scope and fanbase, the more I hear him talk about the characters, the more confident I am. Aside from a unique filmmaker's eye, he has a work history with and a love for comic books and their style of storytelling. Like you, I'll be looking forward to seeing this truly unbelievable moment in movie/comics history move toward theaters the next few years.