Marvel Studios Snags Mark Ruffalo to Reprise His Hulk Role for Six More Films

It's been revealed that Mark Ruffalo, the third actor to portray the Marvel Comics character Bruce Banner/Hulk on film, has been optioned to return for up to six more properties after his Avengers debut.

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Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, Marvel’s The Avengers brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

The Avengers is now playing in several international territories and will be released in US theaters tonight at midnight. The film has already garnered over $250 million overseas and is projected to take in close to $500 million by Sunday night. Fans of actor Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner and his monstrous alter ego the Hulk will be happy to know that he is now set to return to the role for up to six more Marvel Studios projects.

There's no word yet if these will only be cameo parts in other Marvel productions or if another Hulk solo film is in the works, but Ruffalo recently stated to Collider.com that it is a possibility, ”[I'll] try and get Joss Whedon in a room and work out what could be a Hulk movie, with Kevin Feige's [Marvel Studios President of Production] blessing of course.”

Feige has been grateful of the critical and fan praise of the film, particularly for Ruffalo's role, but so far has not confirmed development of a Hulk sequel, "I mean, this was the third appearance of Hulk and everything that we had and were going for, we put in to Hulk’s appearance in Avengers. So, I love that people are saying that and are feeling that way about Hulk, but mission accomplished at this point. And the way we go forward, we’ll see."

Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Thor, Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are Alright) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (Iron Man, Thor) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) as Nick Fury. The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (Wallander) and Stellan Skarsgård (Angels & Demons, Mamma Mia!) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature Thor. The Avengers is scheduled for theatrical release in the US on May 4th, 2012.