Earlier this week, Ed Norton was not so politely told his services as the Hulk would not be required for the upcoming Joss Whedon–directed Avengers movie. Marvel suggested this was because Norton was a jerk. Norton’s agent suggested it was because of the money (and that Marvel was a jerk). Norton took it like a mensch. Then rumor had it Joaquin Phoenix had been offered the part. Now Deadline is reporting that Mark Ruffalo is in “late-stage” talks to play the big green smashing machine, which, well, is pretty surprising, but also, pretty awesome. Just imagine the conversational rhythms of a chat between Robert Downey Jr.s’ Tony Stark and a Ruffalo-ized Bruce Banner! Not to mention, a Hulk with some louche sex appeal! Plus this: Mark Ruffalo in purple sweatpants.