There are so many ways a grand conglomeration of super heroes could turn into a car wreck (case in point: THE FANTASTIC FOUR), that we should be grateful when a film manages just to clear that bar. Fortunately, and quite happily, THE AVENGERS not only manages that base-line feat, but goes far beyond it, becoming a rare example of a top-notch comic book movie. Granted, the team-up of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), aided and abetted by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), doesn’t boast much more than a bare-essentials plot — demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to take over the Earth ‘cuz… well, just ‘cuz — but under the direction of Joss Whedon, the proceedings offer enough kick-ass action and delicious character moments that plot barely matters.
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French and Dan Persons as they break down the first official blockbuster of summer 2012 to find out what makes it pop and where it fizzles. Also: What’s coming to theaters.
Interviewing Mark Ruffalo at the Oscars, the UK’s Daily Telegram learned a bit about the motion capture process that the actor and writer/director Joss Whedon will use in the upcoming Marvel team-up movie, THE AVENGERS.
Although he’s relatively slight in build, Ruffalo will be able to actually enact the role of his massive alter ego. Apparently the digital system being allows the actor to see the results in real time as he’s performing.
“There’s this algorithm that digitally puts 2,000lbs of muscle onto my body. It’s weird. I wear this skinny little suit with reflective balls all over it.
When we shot the stuff, I was actually standing in a warehouse with a couple of cardboard boxes and some foam mats. But when I looked at the monitor there I was as the Hulk in this landscape with cars and boulders and hills.”
I’m assuming the “stuff” Mark Ruffalo was talking about was test footage or perhaps some advance FX work.
THE AVENGERS begins filming in New Mexico in May, with work also to be done in New York and some other large city. The production recently pulled out of Detroit, unable to come to terms with the city regarding taax breaks and other incentives.
According to Digital Spy, Mark Ruffalo is thinking that he’d like to make Bruce Banner a little more like Bill Bixby’s likeable underdog from his television version of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
Describing what he and AVENGERS director Joss Whedon and he are hoping to achieve, he said the following.
“We want him to be an kind of an everyman, not so dour. A little more charming or accessible. We’re still sort of working it out with the script… I’m not exactly sure what it’ll end up being, but we’ve talked quite a bit about the Bill Bixby version of the Hulk.”
Hear the rest of his comments in the clip, including his expectation that working with Robert Downey Jr. will inject some humor into the situation.
Joss Whedon opened up to SFX about his process while writing and preparing to direct Marvel Studios’ THE AVENGERS.
“I’m feeling that everything that I have done before has prepared me for this, besides the fact that I’ve been reading The Avengers since I was 11.”
He acknowledges the difficulty in integrating the various heroes, some grounded more in science fiction, others more in the realm of fantasy.
“’By the way, there’s a thunder god. You guys are cool, right? This guy is big and green and this character wears an American flag. It’s all good, right? It’s totally REAL WORLD.’
Finding the tone and plots that are coherent is what I go to bed thinking about and wake up thinking about, but it’s doable.”
The fact that some very good actors are involved makes him have to use self-discipline to avoid the temptation to write lengthy dramatic scenes and dialog ala GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS, and to keep a balance of action and story flow to the ensemble film. He also affirms his enthusiasm in having Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner/The Hulk, asserting that the actor was his first choice for the role.
Read the lengthier piece at the link above.
Entertainment Weekly is featuring an interview with Mark Ruffalo about THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, and more of interest here about taking over the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk in THE AVENGERS.
Asked what was it like appearing at Comic-Con last weekend in front of an audience full of comic book fans, he replied:
“It was very exciting — and I realized I had some pretty big shoes to fill. Those were my heroes up there! I was a comic book fan growing up. I loved The Hulk and The Avengers — it’s just strange to be entering that world as an actor. I never would have imagined that before.
… I was very, very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. That’s as close you’re going to get to being a rock star as an actor. The fans — they have very strong feelings toward their comic book heroes.”
His thoughts on playing Bruce Banner?
“He’s a guy struggling with two sides of himself — the dark and the light — and everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control.
I grew up on the Bill Bixby TV series, which I thought was a really nuanced and real human way to look at The Hulk. I like that the part has those qualities.”
Deadline is claiming that they can confirm that Mark Ruffalo has signed to play Bruce Banner in Marvel Studios THE AVENGERS.
No official announcement has yet been made. Will update when official comments are forthcoming, perhaps tonight at Comic Con. UPDATED: Mark Ruffalo was confirmed as Bruce Banner at Comic Con’s Marvel Studios panel, as was Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye.