It looks like it won’t be Joaquin Phoenix as Bruce Banner in The Avengers after all. I reported Sunday that he was offered the part, and that he was taking the weekend to mull it over; I still stand by my sources on that one. Especially after I learned later that Phoenix was a finalist for the part of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.

But now the search has moved on, and Deadline is reporting that Mark Ruffalo is negotiating with Marvel (like I said, as soon as they had Joaquin’s answer they were going to immediately go to the next guy on the list to get someone on stage next Saturday at Comic Con). He’s a great choice, and a role like this is a great choice for him. Ruffalo remains just on the wrong side of the big time, for reasons I have never truly understood – he’s a great actor, a nice guy and a charming screen presence.

Recent word is that Banner is much more than a cameo in The Avengers, so getting Ruffalo really helps on that front as well.

Will he take it? We should know soon enough.