Mark Ruffalo


  1. Brad Pitt, Thelma and Louise, 1990.

  2. Joseph Culp, The Fantastic Four, 1994.   
    The film that never existed. According to Marvel.  Well, Marvel lied. The movie was so bad the suits felt it would ruin any  later franchise and they, allegedly, bought up and burnt all prints and negatives.  Except one print escaped and blew the whistle on the deception. Stan Lee later admitted to auteur Kevin Smith that the film was “never  made to be seen”  – but simply  to protect Marvel’s rights deal with  Germany’s Constantin Film… Ruffalo auditioned as Doctor Doom. He would join the new Marvel Cinematic Universe as Bruce Banner/Hulk – eight times during 2011-2017. 

  3. Joaquin Phoenix, Signs, 2001.   Ruffalo quit when diagnosed with a brain tumor (benign), also reported as a cyst in his inner ear. After surgery, he suffered a partial facial paralysis. M Night Shyamalan kept Phoenix for his next feature, The Village, 2004.  Phoenix beat Peter Sarsgaard to the role and director M Night Shyamalan kept Jopaquin for his next feature, The Village, 2004. The tumor was more fun.
  4. John Turturro, Fear X, Denmark-UK-Canada, 2003.  Kubrick meets David Lynch in a slow-burner from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn about a security guard hunting the sniper who randomly killed his wife in a mall. Room for Antonionini, too, as he spends hours studying close-circuit video footage. Turturro’s best work in years, as if sending a message to his rivals for the gig: Ruffalo, Ray Liotta, Gary Oldman and Tom Sizemore.
  5. Michael Vartan, Monster-in-Law, 2005.    Ruffalo decided against marrying Jennifer Lopez and thereby having Jane Fonda (in her first film for 15 years) as his horrendous ma-in-law. “Everybody knows that when a woman marries a man she marries his mother, too.”  Hence a break for the Alias TV star.
  6. Daniel Craig, Infamous, 2006.     In a second film within a year about Truman Capote. Mark Wahlberg was originally attached to play the In Cold  Blood killer, Perry Smith, he was replaced three months later by Ruffalo until he dropped out as well, providing another rough trade role for Craig… the new 007.   

  7. Edward Norton, The Incredible Hulk, 2007.  
    Welcome to Hollywood, Louis Leterrier. “I actually wanted to cast Mark as Hulk and Marvel was like “No, you should get Edward Norton because he’s more famous…. Ruffalo just does smart, intellectual movies. But that’s how I know him,” the French cinéaste told The Huffington Post’s Mike Ryan. “The first half of the movie is really mine and the second half is the studio’s expected Hulk movie – two giants kicking each other’s ass.”Leterrier also looked over Steve Buscemi, Billy Crudup, Tom, Cruise, Johnny Depp, David Duchovny,  Jeff Goldblum… .
    Marvel changed its mind (or wallet) about Norton and replaced him with Ruffalo for Disney’s first summit meeting of the Marvel superheroes, The Avengers, 2011. When asked who’s the better Bruce Banner, Leterrier is ultra diplomatic. “Both are great, both are fantastic.

  8. Adrien Brody, The Brothers Bloom,  2007.     US auteur Rian Johnson chose Ruffalo for  Stephen with Brody as his brother, also a con artist.   The actors simply changed Blooms. 
  9. Rhys Ifans, Greenberg, 2009.    Change of pal for the titular Ben Stiller… in, probably, his finest performance.Like Ben, almost everyone in the cast had showbiz kin. From Dustin Hoffman’s lad, Max, to David Mamet’s daughter, Zosia.
  10. Joseph Gordon-Levitt,The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.

  11. Ben Mendelsohn, Killing Them Softly, 2011.    As the title changed – although Killing Them Softly IS Cogan’s Trade! – so did the ex-con robber from Ruffalo to Javier Bardem or Sam Rockwell in the testosterone-packed film (really) noir. Changing George Higgins’ 1974 Boston-set thriller to New Orleans in 2008, made it more suitable for “enforcer” Brad Pitt’s line: “The United States is not a country. The United States is a business. Now gimme my money.”
  12. John Hawkes, Low Down, 2013.     A delayed shooting date ruled Ruffalo out of Amy Albany’s  bleak memoir abut her jazz pianist  father, Joe Albany, succumbing to drug addiction in  the 1960/70s.    Finest work from the unknown  Hawkes… after 115 screen roles since 1985.
  13. Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle, 2015.     Ruffalo had been first choice for the bizarre father of the highly dysfunctional family Walls before new producer Jennifer Lawrence brought in her Hunger Games co-star. Then, JLaw quit – succeeded by BLar, Brie Larson. (Well, Scartlett Johansson was ScarJo).




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  13