Image Credit: Mario Perez/ABCIt’s not easy being green…and angry. Indeed, Edward Norton, who brought to life Marvel Comics’ Bruce Banner/The Hulk in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, will not reprise the role for the 2012 band-of-superhero-brothers extravaganza The Avengers. Norton follows in the footsteps of Eric Bana, who got chartreuse and muscly one time only for 2003’s The Hulk. Norton’s departure from the franchise has been a lot more contentious — read the surprising details here — but I’m not interested in dredging up history. Instead, let’s talk possible replacements: is reporting that Joaquin Phoenix has been offered the chance to take over Norton’s spot alongside The Avengers‘ already talent-heavy roster: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and possibly Don Cheadle as War Machine. But a rep for Marvel Studios tells that the company never comments on casting rumors. (Additionally, Norton’s agent did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.)

Okay, then, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about who any of us would cast as Bruce Banner if we were in director Joss Whedon’s capable shoes. Personally, I’d go with Matthew Fox, a terrific actor who proved on Lost that he knows how to balance the heroic with the cantankerous, the dashing with the disagreeable. Plus, it hasn’t even been seven days since the erstwhile Jack Shephard scored his very first Emmy nomination. Why not let him sign on the dotted line as The Hulk and make this his best week ever?

Then again, maybe I’m crazy. (Posssssssibleeeee.) Who is your pick to play The Hulk in The Avengers? Speak now in the comments section, or forever hold your peace!

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Iron Man 2
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