Robert Downey, Jr. introduces 'The Avengers' at San Diego Comic-Con
Ending a momentous and event filled day at San Diego's Comic-Con 2010 today, both Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey, Jr. introduced the entire star-studded cast of Marvel Studios 2012 release "The Avengers."
Calling the picture more ambitious than "Inception," Downey Jr. made news by announcing the long rumored additions of recent Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton a.ka. the bow-welding Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, better known for his monstrous alter-ego The Incredible Hulk. The duo join Downey, Jr., who became a worldwide superstar after the success of the first "Iron Man," Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Evans as Captain America and newcomer Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
The panel also featured the official announcement of comic book fan favorite Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Firefly") as the film's director.
The ensemble action epic will be released on May 4, 2012 and is expected to begin shooting sometime in the spring of 2011. It will be preceded by Marvel's "Thor" next May and "Captain America: The First Avenger" approximately a year from now.
The "surprise" announcement had been buzzed about for weeks, but was in question after the studio decided not to welcome Edward Norton back as Bruce Banner following a difficult time on the 2008 hit "The Incredible Hulk."
The only members missing from Earth's Mightest Heroes were the characters of The Wasp and Ant-Man. Both were part of the first "Avengers" team in the 1960s story that found the heroes uniting against a common foe, but it appears they won't be primary figures in the first movie version of the super hero group.