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Monday, April 25, 2011

'The Avengers' Began Filming Today! Wait. Who's the Villain Anyway?

The cast of The Avengers at 2010's San Diego Comic-Con.

The day Joss Whedon has anticipated—and feared—has finally arrived: the first day of shooting on The Avengers.

Jerry and I had one of our diversions on the podcast this week and my co-host said something that struck me—there seems to be a veil of secrecy when it comes to next summer’s big, ambitious summer adventure. Until this point we have only heard rumors and conjecture as to who the villain is.

If the Skrulls appear, they won't look like this.
For those of you who follow all of this stuff, the most oft spread rumors have centered around Loki and the Skrulls. While that combination doesn’t quite fit for me, the latter is starting to make more and more sense. After all, you’ve got some big muscle on this team and it’s going to have to be a pretty considerable threat to get them to break a sweat.

I think the alien invasion storyline employed in the first arc of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates is a perfect example of taking an over-the-top sci-fi setting and keeping it grounded in a real world setting—the aliens had been infiltrating society for decades. They didn’t all sport garish purple outfits nor bear froglike faces (but I’m going off of memory here).

I suspect that this might be the approach to the film because it’s already going to be hard enough to buy all of these heroes on screen at the same time—adding a colorful villain to the mix might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We also haven’t heard a single word about the casting of a villain yet. Whereas we’ve already learned who has been cast as the villains in The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, and Superman: The Man of Steel.

Kang could add strong dramatic
tension to an Avengers film.
I think shape-shifting aliens could be fun for a first go round. It would also establish a universe with a larger scope—adding near limitless possibilities for future stories. Future stories. That brings me to a sequel (yes, I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself).

While Kang has never been one of my favorite villains, I think there is a good story to be mined from the time-traveling baddie. What if Kang screwed with Captain America—another man out of his own time—and promised he could return him to the 40’s? Or perhaps Kang just shoots Cap and Iron-Man back to the past where Steve Rogers has an opportunity to see everything he left behind (the angst and suffering!) and Tony Stark came face-to-face with his estranged father (the angst and drama!).

After this, your guess is as good as mine. All I can say is that I am excited as hell that this movie is finally getting assembled.

Whedon teased about the secrecy behind filming The Avengers in a post from his blog yesterday:

Hi Pumpkins, joss here.

Tomorrow we start shooting (I THINK I'm legally permitted to say that). Day one. That's right. We'll be shooting the pivotal death/betrayal/product placement/setting up the sequel/coming out scene, at the following address:

[Marvel Lawyers rush in, take Joss's keyboard, blowtorch a picture of his family like in "Stormy Monday", drink his milkshake, leave the seat up, fluff his pillows, violently unfluff his pillows, leave]

Went too far. My bad. Anyhoo, it should be a fun day, followed by the eighty thousand other fun days it will take to finish this. I'll be checking in from time to time, if there's news or I crave attention (i.e. am awake) . None of it will be Avengers news -- I have some very denty pillows to remind of that -- but I may have tidbits. (They're not about Firefly. I should say that up front, if only to protect Sis Mo from the HATORZ.)...

...So wish me luck. DO IT! LUCK! NOW! I'm off to finish some Buffy pages, and then figure out what the movie is about already. I'm pretty sure it's about the Justice League [Marvel Lawyers re-enter, unspeakability occurs] or possibly something else. I'll get it. I've been looking forward to this. For about 46 years.



The Avengers hits theaters on May 4, 2012.

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