'Avengers' thesp in talks to play Olympic gold medalist David Schultz

Mark Ruffalo, who’s been getting smashing reviews for his perf as the Hulk in Marvel’s “The Avengers,” is in talks to play Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz in Bennett Miller’s long-in-the-making drama “Foxcatcher,” which is slated to co-star Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.

Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (“Capote”), the film is based on the true story of John du Pont, the paranoid schizophrenic heir to the du Pont chemical fortune who built a wrestling training facility called Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate. Schultz was a longtime friend of du Pont who had repeatedly tried to help him before du Pont shot and killed him in 1996.

Police never established a motive for the crime, which was witnessed by Schultz’s wife and du Pont’s head of security. After the shooting, du Pont barricaded himself in his mansion for two days while he negotiated his surrender over the phone.

Carell is set to play du Pont, while Tatum is attached to play Mark Schultz, David’s younger brother who was also an Olympic champion wrestler.

Megan Ellison is financing “Foxcatcher” through her Annapurna Pictures banner. Ellison will produce the pic with Anthony Bregman and Miller, while Tom Heller and Michael Coleman will exec produce.

Miller has been developing the project for at least four years and production is now skedded to start in October in Pittsburgh.

In addition to the blockbuster “Avengers” pic, Ruffalo will soon be seen in the sex addiction dramedy “Thanks for Sharing,” which marks the directorial debut of Stuart Blumberg, who worked with Ruffalo on “The Kids Are All Right.” Thesp recently wrapped Summit’s magician heist pic “Now You See Me,” and he’s also attached to star in a pair of indie films — Ryan Murphy’s “The Normal Heart” and John Carney’s “Can a Song Save Your Life?”

Ruffalo is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Keith A. Klevan.

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