The first official “The Avengers” trailer hit the internet Oct. 11, sparking excitement in comic book geeks everywhere. It broke the iTunes Movie Trailer view record with over 10 million views within the first 24 hours of its release. The movie, coming to theaters in May of next year, is the movie Marvel Studios has been working toward since the 2008 release of “Iron Man.”
The film is a sequel to 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk,” 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” and 2011’s “Thor” and “Captain America.” Reprising their roles will be Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, brother of Thor and the movie’s primary villain. While Edward Norton originally wanted to reprise his role as Bruce Banner (Hulk), negotiations between him and the studio broke down for reasons still unknown. Mark Ruffalo (‘Chuck’ from “Shutter Island” and ‘Dwight’ from “Reservation Road”) will be replacing Norton as Banner and Jeremy Renner will be making his debut as Hawkeye.
The premise of the movie is familiar to any Marvel fan: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), a secret military sect run by Nick Fury, has been gathering together the various superheroes, normally in the after-credits sequence of their respective movies (it’s important to remember to always sit through the credits of a Marvel movie—there’s always something after). “The Avengers” is the Marvel equivalent of DC’s Justice League. Together, the superheroes fight threats to humankind—in this movie, that threat is Loki, the adopted brother of Thor, as well as an ice giant and a powerful sorcerer.
What makes this movie unique is the sheer number of possibilities. Each hero (and their respective love interests) has a unique personality and character flaws. Will Marvel take advantage of Tony Stark’s alcoholism? Or Captain America’s intrinsic naivety? How will Thor react when he discovers that not only is his brother alive, but he wants to take over the Earth? Will Black Widow get a decent story line, or will she exist purely as a set of breasts? And how will Ruffalo fill Norton’s shoes?
But perhaps the most important question is: how will they get along? I can see Stark being an abrasive personality, Thor being pompous, and Captain America and Banner being essentially pushovers (personality-wise anyway). Do I anticipate some sitcom-level bickering and comedy between superhumans? Yes. Am I looking forward to it? Hell yes.
Without a doubt, this movie promises to be a blockbuster hit. But trailers can be deceiving. Whether or not it lives up to the expectations, however, remains to be seen.
But who are we kidding? It’s just a temporary Band-Aid on the wound that is waiting for the “Dark Knight Rises” (July 2012). Stay strong my friends.