Mark Ruffalo on Playing Bruce Banner in The Avengers

The big climax of this weekend's Marvel Studios presentation at San Diego Comic-Con was Robert Downey Jr. introducing the new members joining Joss Whedon's The Avengers including Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as the new Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk. 

After the event, Jeff Jensen at Entertainment Weekly had a chance to talk to Ruffalo about taking over the role, and here's what he had to say about the recent revelation:

"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."

As far as the character itself, Ruffalo had this to say: 

"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."

And some thoughts on taking over the role from his friend Edward Norton after the latter's public feud with Marvel:

"I’m a friend of Ed’s, and yeah, that wasn’t a great way for all that to go down. But the way I see it is that Ed has bequeathed this part to me. I look at it as my generation’s Hamlet."

He wasn't sure but he thought they would start shooting in the winter, which is likely next January or February. 

The Avengers is scheduled to open on May 4, 2012.