The Road To ENDGAME: Looking Back On THE AVENGERS, The Movie The Changed The Genre Forever

The Road To ENDGAME: Looking Back On THE AVENGERS, The Movie The Changed The Genre Forever

In 2012, The Avengers was released and it changed the superhero genre as we knew it. Now, with Avengers: Endgame right around the corner, we're taking a look back at each instalment in the franchise...

Believe it or not, it's been seven years since The Avengers was released. Back then, seeing all these different characters share the screen was little more than a pipe dream and it was honestly hard to believe that it was really happening. However, Marvel Studios' gamble paid off and it changed the genre forever, while also setting the stage for next month's Avengers: Endgame.

With that movie now on the horizon, we're taking a look back at the releases starring Earth's Mightiest Heroes which preceded it, starting with this 2012 effort from writer/director Joss Whedon. 

From behind the scenes stories you may not be aware of to the many ways The Avengers changed the landscape of superhero movies as we know them, there's a lot here we think you guys will enjoy. 

So, to check out this breakdown, all you guys have to do is hit the "View List" button down below. 

Franchises Collide

While seeds were planted for a crossover in Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, bring together three different franchises like this had never been done before and no one thought it would work, especially when movies like X-Men and Spider-Man 3 struggled to balance multiple heroes and villains within a single movie!

Whether it was Steve Rogers greeting Iron Man with "Stark" in Germany or Thor battling both heroes after freeing Loki, it quickly became apparent that these heroes crossing paths was going to work out.

There were also so many great moments Marvel didn't spoil in the trailers, with that fight between Thor and The Hulk being an obvious highlight. The Avengers did what once seemed like an impossibility and made it look easy in the process. While the movie does feel dated to some extent compared to today's efforts, it was undeniably a game-changer. 

A New Direction For The MCU

While there had been some jokes in the Marvel movies that came before this, none of them were the laugh riot that The Avengers was. At times, this felt like a comedy, but audiences loved it. 

Realising that this different approach to superhero movies was working, the amount of humour in the releases that followed was equally as high and that's now something Marvel has become well-known for. Not everyone is a fan, but we definitely have to credit Joss Whedon for making this genre a little less po-faced and not taking itself so seriously. 

The Original Plan

Before Joss Whedon was hired to take charge of The Avengers, Zak Penn was responsible for writing the movie's screenplay. He worked on The Incredible Hulk and some of the not-so-great superhero movies from the mid-2000s and it doesn't sound like Whedon was a fan of what he delivered, hence why he completely rewrote it. 

While Penn has never gone into detail about what his version of the movie would have looked like, we've heard that it would have featured Loki manipulating The Hulk to take on The Avengers.

Just like Avengers #1, this film was going to revolve around the team assembling to battle the Jade Giant and it would not have included a space invasion or most of what we saw in the version that arrived in theaters. It's hard not to wonder what might have been, but Marvel Studios arguably made the right decision not using Penn's ideas.

Iron Man Becomes A Hero

Iron Man had obviously been portrayed heroically in his first two movies, but he was only really looking out for himself and the people around him. That was something pointed out by Captain America on numerous occasions and by the time the final act rolled around, Tony Stark finally made that sacrifice play by heading through that portal over New York City with a nuke on his back. 

The Armoured Avenger was already the biggest draw in the MCU at this point, but Whedon completely changed the foundation of the character here and this plot thread continued playing out into both Avengers: Age of Ultron and the movies that followed it (particularly Captain America: Civil War). 

A Huge Leap Forward In CGI

Up until this point, The Hulk had looked very good on the big screen but he never looked quite "real" enough. By enlisting ILM, the Green Goliath no longer came across like a cartoon character and it was groundbreaking seeing just how much of Mark Ruffalo made it into him. 

As the years passed, The Hulk would become more and more realistic and in terms of properly utilising fully-CGI characters, Marvel Studios really stands out as being the best there is (compare Justice League's Steppenwolf to them and you'll see what we're talking about).

A Billion Dollar Blockbuster

The Dark Knight made $1 billion at the worldwide box office but it needed to be re-released for that to happen, and it only just managed to crack that benchmark. The Avengers, on the other hand, broke countless box office records and ultimately earned over $1.5 billion - a feat which ensured that it became the biggest superhero movie of all-time. 

This also set the Marvel Cinematic Universe on a path for success that has made it the biggest franchise to ever grace the silver screen.

Iron Man 3 also earned over $1 billion and the fortunes of the MCU would only rise from there, with Avengers: Infinity War managing to crack the $2 billion mark. Ultimately, though, this movie definitely deserves credit for putting this shared universe on the map in a big way. 

The Infinity Saga Begins

The Avengers is, of course, also notable for introducing Thanos in a mid-credits scene that set the stage for everything that followed. 

In a brief sequence, The Other talked to an unknown figure about how taking on Earth's Mightiest Heroes would be to "court death" and it was then that the Mad Titan turned around and smiled. From there, he would make only a handful of sporadic appearances and it's hard to say who to credit for this; was it Joss Whedon or Kevin Feige?

Regardless, this story is going to reach its conclusion next month and it will be amazing seeing how it all falls into place. Still, we can't help but wonder what Whedon may have had planned for Thanos...
Robert Downey Jr. in The Avengers (2012)
Chris Evans in The Avengers (2012)
Chris Hemsworth in The Avengers (2012)
Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers (2012)
Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers (2012)
Jeremy Renner in The Avengers (2012)
Samuel L. Jackson in The Avengers (2012)
Tom Hiddleston in The Avengers (2012)
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