Four years. It was four years before Avengers debuted, announced after Iron Man‘s record setting opening weekend. It was long wait that only grew as the date approached. Now, all the pieces were put in place. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America had all been established by this point, each with their own origin movie. Audiences were now familiar with all the characters, allowing the movie to do something many have been clamoring for for years, get right into the action.
It’s not uncommon for movies to tell continuing tales spread across many films (the best example being Lord of the Rings). However, the cap is typically three (trilogies and such). With this, five movies were created, each designed to introduce a character or a concept that not only stood on its own, but built on a larger story. Movies can vary wildly in tone, even when created by the same team of writers/directors, let alone different ones. With the exception of the first two Iron Mans (Men?), each preceding movie had a different direct. Thanks to Marvel Studios as a whole, and producer Kevin Feige, the films were able to retain the same atmosphere.
The trepidation grew with each film. Concerns throughout the nerd community subsided when Joss Whedon was brought on board to write and direct. If there’s one thing the man has proven to excel at, it as multi-character interaction, and witty dialogue. Fans of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly knew full well what was in store. When filming commenced, the below photo was released of the set. I could feel my anticipation grow.
Scenes after the credits are not uncommon for movies, though arguable, Marvel perfected them. From Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury coming to recruit Tony Stark at the end of Iron Man, every film had ended with a brief scene, setting up the next film. Cap ended with a teaser trailer for the Avengers, showing a brief 45 seconds of the film in rapid fire clips. Several months later, the first trailer released in October. I watched it at least 5 times a day the first week.
Somehow, I survived the next few months until the film released. I secured my tickets early, ensuring my seat for the midnight showing. When it ended, the only problem I had was that I couldn’t instantly watch it again. The movie avoids a major pitfall that has become annoying with superhero films, the origin. Every superhero movie of late (save for sequels), dedicate the first one to two thirds to the origin of the character. Why can’t we have them exist and this is just another adventure? This jumps right into the action, building to the amazing set piece at the end.
I could write pages about the contents of the film itself, but won’t. Many others have already. One point I do want to add is the subtlety of the movie. The characters act just like the ones I’ve been reading for years. The little touches like Iron Man spreading his repulser blast to multiple targets using Cap’s shield (a maneuver they’ve done countless times), show just how much the creators understand the comics.
As everyone knows, Avengers became the third highest grossing movie, behind Titantic and Avatar. Marvel quickly announced their plans for what they called phase 2; with sequels to Iron Man, Thor, Cap, and a new property, Guardians of the Galaxy. As of this writing, phase two as already commenced with the release of Iron Man 3 earlier this year. Wisely retaining Whedon, he’s been hard at work on the next Avengers movie, Age of Ultron. Along with this he helped develop the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show, set to debut this fall.
With the wild success of the Avengers, anything now seems possible. I would have never thought I’d see a movie like this in my lifetime. Now, beyond characters like QuickSilver, Ultron, and Scarlet Witch, all set to appear in the sequel, more will be moving to the forefront. Ant-Man will have his own film shortly after Avengers 2. Black Panther and Dr. Strange will sometime as well. With Marvel announcing they have plans extending out to 2021, I don’t doubt we’ll see Luke Cage, Iron Fist, or Nova in their own features. I’m calling it now, Thunderbolts.
Quick note: The tag/diner scene at the end was filmed two weeks before release at the premier. Chris Evans (Cap), had a beard for another role, hence the reason he was sitting with his face covered.
What phase 2 movie are you most excited for? Who would you like to see get their own film? Comment below, on Facebook, or Twitter! You can now see my Saturday Morning Cartoon posts at The Two-Headed Nerd!
Avengers 3: Infinity Gauntlet.