As the first ever big budget superhero team-up movie, The Avengers really is something that’s never been seen before.
Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk — each of these characters have their own successful film franchises yet are combining their collective awesomeness and sharing the spotlight for one single movie.
I’m especially excited about the big screen return of The Incredible Hulk, as Marvel has fumbled his films in the past.
However, he seems to be a focal point in The Avengers, and I can’t wait to see that giant green beast unleash his rage on New York City.
And while there are many obvious reasons to be excited about The Avengers, there are also several fun facts about the film that don’t get the same hype as the action-packed clips, Robert Downey Jr.’s quips, or Scarlett Johansson’s hips.
Here are 3 lesser known reasons why The Avengers will be awesome:
1) THE STORY IS GOING TO BE TOLD FROM CAPTAIN AMERICA’S POV
I think this is one of the smartest things about The Avengers — ensuring that despite the smorgasbord of super-powered characters running amok in the film the audience’s point of view will remain rooted in a single character.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Avengers director Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and seasoned comic book scribe) had this to say:
There is no reason for these people to be in the same movie. So that’s what my movie has to be about. So much of the movie takes place from Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) perspective, since he’s the guy who just woke up and sees this weird ass world. Everyone else has been living in it.”
That’s a pretty astute take by Whedon.
Plus, by making Cap the main protagonist, it frees up characters like Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to steal the show. Unlike in the Iron Man movies, RDJ won’t have to carry the weight of the film’s narrative squarely on his shoulders.
As a result, Tony Stark can be even more snarky and self-involved than usual, which can make for even greater opportunities for the character to stir up trouble and showcase his sense of humour in The Avengers.
2) FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE BIG SCREEN AN ACTOR IS ACTUALLY GOING TO PLAY THE HULK
This one is pretty damn cool. Unlike previous live action cinematic incarnations in the past, in The Avengers the Hulk will not be solely computer generated.
Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk’s alter ego Bruce Banner in the film, also did the motion capture for the green behemoth.
Similar to how Andy Serkis “performed” as Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in The Avengers Ruffalo actually gets to act as the rageaholic superhero.
As a result, Ruffalo’s movements and physical interpretation of the character will be portrayed on the big screen, which combined with cutting edge special effects, should give audiences the most awesome depiction of the Hulk ever.
3) THE FILM HONOURS ITS COMIC ORIGIN WHILE UPDATING ITSELF FOR MODERN AUDIENCES
In 1963 the very first Avengers comic book debuted. In the story Earth’s Mightiest Heroes combined their collective strength in order to battle Loki, a villainous and mystical supervillain (as well as Thor’s adoptive brother).
In the 2012 film The Avengers, actor Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki from the recent Marvel movie Thor, and is set to square off against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, who must combine their collective strength in order to battle him.
It’s pretty awesome that despite 50 years passing between their creation in comic books and their cinematic debut that The Avengers origin story remains the same.
However, it’s also awesome that Marvel has updated their characters so they are more relatable for modern audiences.
One of the ways in which Marvel was able to help their stable of characters successfully transition from the funny pages onto the big screen was by incorporating elements from their Ultimate line of comic books.
Launched in 2000, the Ultimate Marvel universe boldly featured re-imagined and updated versions of their characters.
By creating new origins, Marvel not only reinvigorated their heroes and villains and made them fresh and exciting, but they also freed them from the sometimes convoluted backstories of the original versions.
Spider-man is a perfect example of said convolution.
Since his inception, everybody’s favourite wall crawler has been brainwashed, cloned, killed, resurrected, zombified, mutated, married, un-married (by magic), suffered amnesia, travelled through time, possessed by an alien symbiote, made into one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and physically merged with DC Comics’ Superboy.
The point is that wiping the slate clean allowed Marvel to simplify characters without sacrificing complexity. They did this in The Avengers with Nick Fury — a character adapted from decades of material and the modern Ultimate universe.
In a case of art-imitating-life-imitating-art, the creators of the Ultimate Marvel universe changed super-spy agent Nick Fury from a crochety old white guy with one eye into a leather-clad African American Sam Jackson-esque badass.
When casting Nick Fury for The Avengers and other Marvel films, producers realized that going with this more modern take and actually hiring Samuel L. Jackson himself for the role would not only make the character more believable, but it would also help ensure that the film would be the colossal blockbuster they desperately wanted (and surely will be).
The bottom line is that Marvel has put a lot of effort into adapting The Avengers for the big screen, and by drawing upon the best within their rich history, they seem to have landed upon the perfect amalgam of old, new and awesome.