It seems that by the the end of tomorrow, we just may know who will be taking Edward Norton's place as The Hulk/Bruce Banner. At least we will, according to TheWrap, who reports that "one knowledgeable individual" has told them that actor Mark Ruffalo, who was recently rumored for the part is finalizing a deal with Marvel today. Should that go according to plan, Ruffalo will then be whisked-away from his home in New York and flown down to San Diego to join Marvel Studios' big Comic-Con panel.
There is no word yet on the progress of those negotiations, but it would definitely be cutting things close, even if they did manage to work things out by the end of today.
This bit of news, much like the Wonder Woman report from earlier, is still strictly a rumor. However, tomorrow will be the first real opportunity for Marvel to woo the public over Avengers crossover films Thor and Captain America: The First Avengers. Therefore, it probably should come as no big surprise that they may have an ace up their sleeves regarding the culmination of those films in The Avengers. With the publicized drama over Edward Norton's unceremonious exit from the Marvel movie-verse still fresh in the minds of fans, it would also be good strategy towards minimizing fanboy backlash by getting Ruffalo (or whoever it may be) out there to meet and greet the public, ripping that band-aid off as quickly as possible.
TheWrap also had some details on the negotiatons process with Ruffalo, stating:
"The sticking point in negotiations is related to payment and the number of films to which Ruffalo would commit. According to the knowledgeable individual, Marvel wants Ruffalo to sign on for between four and six Marvel movies. And Marvel is famous for squeezing talent on salaries, despite the huge success of Iron Man."
Humongous "multi-multi-multi-film" contracts seem to be in vogue over at Marvel Studios, as evidenced by Samuel L. Jackson's 9-picture deal, which has him firmly-locked for a solid run throughout the various Avengers films they will release in the impending years. It's quite a big commitment, especially for an actor like Ruffalo, who is entirely new to the genre and may want some room to dip his toes into the pool before jumping in.
What do you think is going down tomorrow at the Marvel Studios panel?