Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 live-action superhero film produced by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios respectively. Being a culmination of the popular franchises of Iron Man, The Hulk, Black/Hawkeye, Thor and Captain America in the popular Marvel Comics superhero team. It is the eighth film of phase 1 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was released in theaters worldwide on May 4th 2012.
Since the idea for the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first pitched by Kevin Feige in 2005, the end-game idea was for a team up film with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk in an Avengers style film. It entered development shortly after Iron Man and The Hulk began official production but remained stagnant, with Fox Disney wanting to see how the Tentpole films did before allowing Marvel to proceed. After their success Marvel Studios announced at the 2009 Comic Con Captain America and Thor solo films were in production and The Avengers was going to follow them up, with a May 2012 release date. They later announced that respected veteran media writer Joss Whedon would be directing the film. Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans all had a role within The Avengers on their contracts, in late 2010 it was also revealed many other actors did as well. Including Jeremy Renner and Scarlet Johansson, who would be reprising their roles as Hawkeye & Black Widow respectively amongst the other heroes as part of the team. Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Morgan Freeman, and Stellan Skarsgard were also announces to be reprising their roles.
In 2011 it was confirmed that Scrier along with Masters of Evil would be the antagonists of the film. But instead of following the comics, the Masters would be made up of the past villains Loki, Crimson Dynamo, Taskmaster and The Abomination from the previous installments. With Tom Hiddleston leaking to Twitter his role in the movie with Tim Roth, Jason Statham, and Mickey Rourke following suit on his claims. Scrier as well wouldn't be an omnipotent superbeing the way he was in the comics and instead act as a representative for the Chitauri, who appeared in the end credits of Thor.
There were rumors beforehand of Graviton potentially being the villain of the movie. Joss Whedon confirmed in an early 2012 interview that he toyed with the idea of using either him or Ultron, but ultimately decided that a team of previous super villains united to fight The Avengers would make the most sense for the "creative direction of the film". Whedon also revealed the movie would a loose adaptation of the Ultimates story arc, believing that to be a good blueprint for an Avengers origin story. Principle filming was held through early and mid 2011 and The Avengers was released worldwide May 4th 2012.
- Chris Evans as Steven "Steve" Rogers/Captain America
- Robert Downey Jr. as Anthony "Tony" Stark/Iron Man
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
- Jeremy Renner as Clinton "Clint" Barton/Hawkeye
- Alexis Denisof as Scrier
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki
- Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination
- Jason Statham as Thomas "Tommy" Masters/Taskmaster
- Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Crimson Dynamo
- Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury
- Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
- Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill
- Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. (Voice)
- Morgan Freeman as Marcus Stone
- Salma Hayek as Katherine Waynesboro
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts
- Powers Boothe as Albert Malick
- Stellan Skarsgard as Heimdall
- Josh Brolin as Thanos (Cameo)
Teasing Iron Man 3
Deep in space, in a lone asteroid simply called Sanctuary a being is sitting in a large chair. The camera doesn't show him, but he simply speaks that he never thought to focus on humans. They're weak, harmless, disgraceful little creatures. But their petty squabbles have shown the Infinity Stones still do lurk within the depths of our universe. After that the being looks to the camera and smiles. Revealing himself to be the Mad Titan himself, Thanos!
- This film introduced the blue Infinity Stone of Space. Originally colored purple in the comics.
- The Helicarrier Base which appears in this film, is used often by S.H.I.E.L.D. in the comics and was actually created by Stark Industries.
- The Masters of Evil have had multiple variations in the comics, but none like how they were portrayed in the movie. Joss Whedon said he wanted to do villains from past films instead of following the source material, as he thought it would work better creatively and give the movie a more "personal" feel.
- While working on Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Director Nick Fury says Gamma Radiation "isn't harmful" and Dr. Katherine Waynesboro quickly express disagreement to that statement. A reference to how excess Gamma Radiation gave Bruce Banner his conflicting and deadly powers.
- Captain America seems especially disgusted when he finds out S.H.I.E.L.D. was using the Tesseract to create weapons. This is due to the fact he had first hand experience with the Axis Mundi and Red Skull using the Tesseract for sketchy purposes in World War II, before Captain America was frozen.
- Fury motivates Tony Stark by bringing up how he came to his Malibu home late at night because he saw good in him. He begs Tony to prove his gut was right. This is a reference to the end credit scene in Iron Man.
- Iron Man says to Agent Coulson how he is only drinking Sparkling Cider with Pepper, and refuses the Vodka offered by Ivan Vanko. This is consistent to the fact Tony Stark joined Alcoholics Anonymous at the end of Iron Man 2.
- Black Widow mentions to Hawkeye before going to fight The Masters of Evil in New York, how she is afraid to lose her humanity. A reference to her time as a Soviet Spy and criminal that was explored in Black Widow and Hawkeye.
- Albert Malick, in the comics is the identity of the second Red Skull created by the USSR. This name was given to a World Security Councilmen to represent his opposition to the Avengers being formed
- On the Helicarrier, Captain America says they could team to become the Earth's Mightiest Heroes a reference to the title of the popular cartoon series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- Thor while on Earth checks on how Jane Foster is doing, his love interest during the events of Thor.
- Director Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill's discussion on what they were planning to do with Phil Coulson's corpse was originally intended to a foreshadowing Easter Egg to Coulson becoming the MCU's Vision. However, the plans were scrapped and his return was used as an entirely different plot line.
- Taskmaster going undercover in the lab as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a reference to how he was an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent gone rogue in the comics.
- Crimson Dynamo and Black Widow both spoke the same first language (Russian), a place they coincidentally were both born in the MCU's continuity.
- Scrier in the comics is an ancient cosmic being who inspired the cult appropriately titled the Brotherhood of the Scriers. He was changed to be a Chitauri General in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Bruce Banner tells Tony Stark last time he was left to his own devices he almost destroyed Philadelphia. A reference to the events of The Incredible Hulk in particular his fight with The Abomination.
- Stark Tower is changed by the end of the movie into Avengers Tower acting as their base of operations as opposed to Avengers Mansion, how it is in the comics.
- The villain who appeared in the end credits is Thanos, a Marvel character well known for assembling all the Infinity Stones in the known universe as a ploy to "court death".