Marvel Studios was a big player in Disney’s D23 Expo that was held over the weekend. In fact there was whole section of the Expo dedicated to just The Avengers, with some of the cast and crew on hand. But what is probably the coolest is that Marvel took the opportunity to debut 5 minutes of footage from the film despite the fact that filming has not even been completed.
As you might remember I recently made a pledge to go spoiler free on both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. To explain why I am covering this news let me explain myself. Simply, I am not consider this footage spoiler material. This is footage that Marvel Studios released to the public at large, much like an extended trailer. There is a big difference between the leaked scripts, set photos, and personal accounts from extras. All of those items give away facts the studios are not comfortable with sharing. Since Marvel Studios released this footage, albeit to a small Disney controlled crowd, I am considering it fair game. As a concession to those who don’t even want the possible spoilers from this video I will put the recaps after the jump. Click at your own peril!
The video that was shown to the crowd at D23 was about 4 minutes long and by all accounts did not spoil the story. Instead it was used to show the group dynamic and hint at the things that might be coming in the future. The folks over at io9 have a very detailed description of what took place in the footage. Check it out below:
The footage began with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in prison on board the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) addresses Loki through the clear panels of the cage: “In case it’s unclear, if you try to escape, you so much as tap on the glass…” Fury then flicks a switch and the floor of the cage almost completely drops away, revealing a 30,000 foot drop to certain doom (or as certain as doom can be with someone like Loki).
Loki simply observes, “It’s an impressive cage”, and he notes that it was clearly built for someone else. Fury says that it was – it was built for someone even stronger than him. Loki knows they’re talking about the Hulk, calling him a mindless beast and wondering how desperate Fury must be to ally himself with the likes of such a creature. At this point we see all the various personnel who are listening into this conversation, including Hulk’s human alter ego Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).
Loki wonders what it must feel for Fury to have been so close to wielding the power of the Cosmic Cube, and how devastating it must be for all that to have slipped away. Fury accuses Loki of talking about peace and then killing for fun, and he tells Loki, “You have made me very desperate. You might not be glad that you did.” Loki asks him what it must be like to be in the presence of real power – to which Fury simply replies, “Let me know if real power wants a magazine or something”, and walks away from the cage. The Avengers look at the prisoner on the video monitors, as Bruce Banner caustically observes, “He really grows on you, doesn’t he?”
The footage then shows a bunch of action sequences, including a fighter jet flying over a city, an explosive truck chase, and – most intriguingly – a shot of Captain America and Thor apparently fighting each other, with Thor about to bring the hammer down on Cap’s shield. All the while, we hear Nick Fury explain the mission statement of the Avengers: “There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable, to see if they could become more. To fight the battles we never could.”
But the most epic exchange comes at the end, as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is behind a bar counter, mixing himself a drink. He describes his teammates: “Let’s do a head count. We’ve got a couple master assassins, a demigod, and a living legend who kinda lives up to the legend” – that’d be Black Widow and Hawkeye, Thor, and Captain America. It’s then that we learn Stark is talking to Loki: “And you, big fella, have managed to piss off every single one of them.”
To this, Loki responds, “I have an army.” Stark’s eminently quotable and awesome response? “We have a Hulk.” We then see the Hulk roar, and the footage ends. While it’s still early days – indeed, filming is still two weeks from completion – this is looking very, very good so far.
From what I have seen here I am very excited. It seems as though the characterizations are spot on and the team dynamic is beginning to build up between all the heroes. Its like I’ve said if anyone can handle an ensemble cast with a larger than life superheroes its Joss Whedon. Even after just hearing about this footage I’m excited to see how this movie turns out. I honestly believe it will be a toss-up between The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises next summer for box office supremacy.
And to anyone looking to find the footage of The Avengers online, good luck. I couldn’t find it, but there are a lot of videos showing the introduction of the cast of The Avengers and those are pretty cool. If someone runs across a copy of the footage please let me know, I’d love to see if for myself.