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12 Actors For The Hulk

Joaquin Phoenix

No sooner had Ed Norton been unceremoniously dissociated from the role than early online rumours were speculating that JQ could be in the running for the job.

Incredible Hulk? He could certainly pull of the troubled, hounded Bruce Banner in his sleep, and after his wilderness period, The Avengers would be the perfect big-scale blockbuster to put him back on the movie map.

Hulk Smash: We're not sure we want Hulk to try to reinvent himself as a rapper, however hilarious the consequences.

Sharlto Copley

Copley had virtually no acting experience (he worked in production and did a bit of directing) before Neill Blomkamp cast him as the lead in District 9 .

His performance was one of the surprises of last year, and he's also going to be seen half-inching scenes from this summer's The A-Team as 'Howling Mad' Murdock.

Incredible Hulk? Copley knows how to bring humanity to an effects-heavy blockbuster, and is familiar with undergoing bodily transformation.

Hulk Smash: Would the role put be too similar to D9 's Wikus for the chameleon-like Copley?

Adrien Brody

Brody won an Oscar for his role in Holocaust drama The Pianist , but the serious thesp has since flexed his action muscles in King Kong and Predators .

Incredible Hulk? Brody bulked up impressively for Predators , and his role in Splice proves he can wear a lab coat with conviction.

Hulk Smash: The CGI Hulk normally takes on some of the Banner actor's facial features, and we just can't see Hulk with Adrien's massive hooter.

David Duchovny

The actor formerly known as Fox Mulder was rumoured to be in contention for the Banner role in The Incredible Hulk before Norton was cast. He could really do with a hit, after the disappointment of the second X-Files movie, and the lacklustre reception given to The Joneses .

Incredible Hulk? There's no doubting Duchovny can act, and his days in The X-Files earnt him a cult following.

Hulk Smash: Could his ongoing TV role in Californication get in the way? Perhaps he's just better suited to the small screen.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Shaking off the 'that kid out of 3rd Rock from the Sun ' tag, Gordon-Levitt has been building up an increasingly impressive body of film work, including a key role Nolan's Inception .

Incredible Hulk? J G-L's got the same mix of indie cred, lady-slaying charm and genuine acting ability that Robert Downey Jr brought to Iron Man .

Hulk Smash: He's rumoured to be up for a role in Batman 3 , which might see him out of the running here. And he could be just a little too young-looking for Bruce Banner.

Ryan Gosling

Gosling was gathering serious acclaim as his generation's best actor in film's like The Believer and Half Nelson . Leaving The Lovely Bones meant things went a bit quiet for a while, but he's back with a bang in astounding drama Blue Valentine .

Incredible Hulk? He would make for a fascinatingly conflicted Bruce Banner, ensuring you'd feel the big guy's angst and anger.

Hulk Smash: We're not sure we could see Gosling interested in a summer tentpole of this size, and he may not be the commercial investment Marvel would be after.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo has been consistently providing great support in various ace films for so long ( Eternal Sunshine , Collateral , Zodiac , Shutter Island ), he deserves a shot at an iconic lead role.

Incredible Hulk? Looks wise, Ruffalo would be an awesome match for the comics' Bruce Banner.

Hulk Smash: Ruffalo been showing his directorial debut Sympathy for Delicious at various festivals, so he might not be available for superhero shenanigans.

Andy Serkis

The world starting taking notice of mocap acting after Serkis' CG-augmented performance as Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings . He's also taken advantage of plenty of opportunities to show off his skills as flesh actor.

Incredible Hulk? It'd be exciting to see what mocap king Serkis could do as the green, musclebound lunk.

Hulk Smash: Hobbit commitments could see Serkis called away at any point, should the production get a green light.

Timothy Olyphant

Olyphant's lower-rung level of fame would probably help him slip into a role previously inhabited by Eric Bana and Ed Norton. Come to think about it, he kinda resembles a morph of the two actors.

Incredible Hulk? TV roles in Deadwood and Justified show Olyphant can really act when required, and he also did a decent job in the better-than-it-should-have-been remake of The Crazies .

Hulk Smash: Olyphant's previous blockbuster efforts, Die Hard 4.0 and Hitman , have been pretty awful. Perhaps he should stick to quality telly instead…

Daniel Craig

With Bond on a seemingly endless hiatus, Craig is currently looking for projects to fill his schedule with.

Incredible Hulk?
He's no stranger to carrying a high-stakes franchise on his shoulders, and has proved he's not afraid of rebooting a well-known character in Casino Royale .

Hulk Smash: Taking on two iconic characters can be tricky, and fans might just reject the idea of James Bond hulking out.

Jon Hamm

TV's Mad Me n has gained Hamm small-screen fame and acting plaudits aplenty, but he's yet to have a standout film role. Joining The Avengers could be the perfect opportunity to repeat his success on the big screen.

Incredible Hulk? As Don Draper, Hamm has had plenty of experience dealing with repressed anger.

Hulk Smash: We wouldn't want anything to conflict with his chance of being cast as Superman in that upcoming reboot.

Paul Rudd

Rudd has been insanely likeable in so many comedies over the last few years, we'd love to see him step up to the blockbuster plate.

Incredible Hulk? Rudd could definitely convince as Banner, bringing a lighter touch to the role than his forebears Bana and Norton.

Hulk Smash:
We just can't imagine Rudd getting angry. Ever.