"Avengers" adds Renner, Ruffalo to Star-Laden Roster

By Michael Preston
|  Monday, Jul 26, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM EDT
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Stars and Fans Mix It Up at Comic-Con 2010

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SAN DIEGO - JULY 24: (L-R) Actors Robert Downey Jr., Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and writer/Director Joss Whedon pose onstage at the Marvel Studios' 'Captain America: The First Avenger' panel during Comic-Con 2010 at San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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The star-power assembling for "The Avengers" just amped up the wattage.

During the weekend session at Comic-Con in San Diego, the forthcoming adaptation of one of Marvel Comics most beloved franchises added two more big names to its already impressive roster of stars. According to Entertainment Weekly, Mark Ruffalo, seen recently starring in "The Kids Are Alright," will join the cast as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Jeremy Renner of "The Hurt Locker" is on board to play expert archer Hawkeye.

Joss Whedon, the creative mind behind the television version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Dollhouse," will direct an ensemble cast filled out with Robert Downey, Jr. reprising his role as Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Chris Evans as Captain America. The film is slated for a 2012 release.

Ruffalo takes over for Edward Norton, who played the green monster in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk." Norton and Marvel recently parted ways over a contract dispute.

Downey Jr. told the the fanboys and girls in San Diego that "The Avengers" will be more ambitious than this summer's blockbuster hit, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller "Inception."

Before "The Avengers" hits the big screen, two final "prequels" will come to theaters next summer. Evans will take up the famous red, white and blue shield as  "Captain America" and relative newcomer Chris Hemsworth will portray a powerful, hammer-wielding Norse god in "Thor."

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