10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Joss Whedon's THE AVENGERS Movie

10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Joss Whedon's THE AVENGERS Movie

The Avengers is the biggest CBM of all-time, and the story behind how it was made and the creative decisions will blow your mind! Even that shawarma scene didn't play out the way you thought.

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Four years later, and The Avengers remains the most successful comic book movie of all-time. The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are just a few of the adaptations which have followed and failed to beat its mighty box office haul, while many fans still consider the Joss Whedon helmed release to be the greatest superhero movie ever to hit theaters.

Agree or disagree, there's no denying that The Avengers was and is something special, especially as Marvel Studios made history by taking all of these characters, putting them in the one movie, and have it work spectacularly. With a movie as big as this one, the story behind how it was brought to the big screen and why certain decisions were made are inevitably fascinating, and in some cases, shocking.

What you'll find here then is a look at ten amazing facts you never knew about The Avengers. From how and why that shawarma scene happened to plans for other heroes and villains, and who REALLY killed Agent Coulson, these may end up changing how you look at the movie next time you watch it.


10. Joss Whedon Wanted To Add A Second Villain

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Joss Whedon clashed with Marvel Studios a few times while making Avengers: Age of Ultron, but one of the biggest disagreements on the first movie revolved around the director's belief that it needed a second, more physical villain for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to exchange blows with.

The filmmaker has never revealed who that would be (could it have been a returning Abomination?), but explained: "I have four of the biggest, baddest… just the toughest guys out there – and I have one effete British character actor… The ace in the hole is Tom Hiddleston, because he’s so compelling and commanding and gracious about it that it became, ‘Oh it’s about how he gets in their heads – it’s going to be fine. But it took me a long time to accept that because they need someone to hit!" The team obviously ended up clashing with Loki's Chitauri army instead, while Loki would get a beating from The Hulk! 


9. A Scrapped Hulk/Loki Sequence

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One of the wittiest lines in The Avengers came when Bruce Banner talks about Loki, saying: "That guy’s brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him." However, it's since been revealed that that moment was actually setting up a later scene between The Hulk and God of Mischief which would have featured Loki making multiple versions of himself (something we had seen in Thor the year before) and the Jade Giant sniffing out the real version before giving him a pasting.

Talking about that memorable scene, Joss Whedon has since said: "If I had done nothing else the last two years, and done only that scene of Hulk throwing around Loki, it would be enough. I fought hard for that sequence because I believed it would be the best thing ever." It's amazing to think that Whedon had to fight for a scene which is arguably one of the most memorable in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, don't you think?
 

8. The Secret Meaning Behind "Avengers Assemble!"

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If you count Captain America: Civil War, we've now had three movies revolving around The Avengers without hearing the iconic "Avengers Assemble!" line. It was teased at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron of course, but as of right now, it seem like that's something being saved for Infinity War. However, it turns out that the line had a very different meaning on the set of the first movie.

It's been revealed in interviews since the movie was released that when Chris Evans wanted to hang out with his follow cast members, a text would be sent out saying the line, a very different way to use that call to arms for Earth's Mightiest Heroes. "Chris [Evans] sent us a text that said, 'Avengers assemble at such and such bar, at 9 o’clock on Saturday night,'" Chris Hemsworth explained back in 2012 while promoting the movie. "That was a good group effort. We paid for it at work, the next couple of days."


7. The Wasp Was Supposed To Appear

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Man, The Wasp just can't catch a break can she? Cut from Captain America: Civil War after being introduced at the end of Ant-Man, the character also featured in an earlier draft of The Avengers (there's even concept art out there of her assembling alongside the rest of the team). The character was originally included because Joss Whedon was unsure about Scarlett Johansson returning as the Black Widow, but the fact that he loves Janet Van Dyne also played a role in why she was included.

"There was a very Wasp-y draft that I wrote - but it was way too Wasp-y," he's since explained. "Because I was like, ‘She adorable! I’m just going to write her!'" How she would have factored into the movie is hard to say, but another reason she didn't make the cut is because Marvel wanted to give Edgar Wright time to finish working on Ant-Man, hence why Whedon never considered also using Hank Pym/Scott Lang here.


6. The Story Behind Harry Dean Stanton's Cameo

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One of the most unexpected and pleasant surprises in The Avengers has to be Alien star Harry Dean Stanton making a cameo appearance as the security guard who discovers Bruce Banner after The Hulk falls from the Helicarrier. The whole thing came about when Joss Whedon learned that his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (Atonement) was working on documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, and keen to add the legendary actor in some way, the filmmaker went on to pen twelve pages of dialogue between Bruce Banner and the security guard.

Very little of that ended up making the final cut (which, let's face it, is pretty understandable), but a longer version of the scene was included on the Blu-ray. Stan Lee's cameo was also originally very different as he featured in a scene where he could be seen egging Steve Rogers on to ask a waitress - who Cap later saves -  for her number.


5. Kevin Feige Killed Agent Coulson

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Joss Whedon has a habit of killing characters we love (are any of us over Serenity yet?), but it turns out that he wasn't the one who made the fateful decision about Agent Coulson in The Avengers. Instead, it was Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and Coulson's death is something he wanted to move forward with before the director even signed up to work on the movie.

"In our first meeting Kevin Feige said, this is what we're gonna do and I said, 'Oh but you have to go out there and tell everybody that it was your idea because this is going to get me so much shit," Whedon has since explained in a Reddit Q&A. "Because they are all going to be like, 'Oh he did it again!' It was stipulated from the beginning, and I completely agree that it was the right thing to do, and so did Clark." Of course, Coulson would later be resurrected for Marvel TV, but given the division there, it's doubtful Feige liked that.


4. Only One Scene Was Shot Exactly How It Appeared In The Script

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Joss Whedon has revealed that he was pretty much still writing The Avengers as they went along, making changes as shooting took place and obviously improvising a little with Robert Downey Jr. However, despite a little bit of behind the scenes chaos, you'll no doubt be surprised to learn that only ONE scene from the screenplay appeared on screen exactly as it did the page. That is the one featuring Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow being held captive and interrogated.

A lover of Russian literature and language in school, Whedon was excited to finally use that in a movie, while he had been hoping to write a scene featuring a female hero breaking out of a chair since early on in his career. The filmmaker has since praised Johansson's work here, describing her as, "so game; night shoots are deadly if you don’t have someone really in it and having fun, and that’s Scarlett." Please just direct Black Widow next, Joss...


3. Jeremy Renner Trained With Olympic Archers To Play Hawkeye

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Poor old Hawkeye didn't exactly have a very good time of it in The Avengers as he spent most of the movie under Loki's mind control. However, he still make quite the impact by showing off some impressive archery skills, something actor Jeremy Renner went to great lengths to prepare for. "I practised with Olympic archers, who gave me a few lessons," he revealed. "I learned the basics and the proper positions and that really helped."

That alone would usually be an interesting enough factoid, but it doesn't seem as if those lessons paid off. Following the release of the movie, archery aficionado Jim MacQuarrie told Wired that Hawkeye handles his bow "like a rank amateur." He went on to say that he's seem students just coming to the art make the same sort of mistakes, and while most of us probably didn't notice, it seems like Hawkeye's lack of skills with a bow and arrow stuck out like a sore thumb for some.


2. Why Gwyneth Paltrow Showed Up As Pepper Potts

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There was no sign of Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts in Captain America: Civil War despite rumours to the contrary, and clearly not even Robert Downey Jr. could convince her to reprise the role one more time. He did back in 2012 though, and actually insisted that Marvel include her here because he wanted to continue developing their relationship from Iron Man 2. It sounds like it took Joss Whedon a little time to get used to the actor's influence too, though it thankfully didn't end up negatively impacting the movie.

"Robert is extremely hands-on. One of the first things he said is, ‘I will never mess with your intent. I will question every day how you plan to get there. But I will never mess with what you’re trying to accomplish.’ We had to sniff each other out. Because I’m used to having people do everything I say, and so is he. What we found was, one of my favorite collaborations that I’ve ever had."


1. Chris Evans' Hidden Beard

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Exclusive to American audiences, The Avengers featured an after-credits scene with the members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes treating themselves to some shawarma after that hard fought battle with Loki. The whole thing was based off a line which was added to the movie at the last minute when Robert Downey Jr. suggested that Tony needed to wake up and say something a little more exciting than, "What's next?", but the scene above wasn't shot until TWO DAYS after the premiere!

While it proved to be easy enough to get the rest of the cast back in their costumes, Chris Evans had a beard at the time, and was forced to wear a prosthetic which made it damn near impossible for him to move his mouth. That's why we see him covering his face and not eating in this scene, and if you look closely enough, you'll notice that Mark Ruffalo is struggling to hold back laughter as he looks at his understandably miserable co-star! 

Which of these facts about The Avengers is your favourite? Which other movies would you like us to take a closer look at? As always, share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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