Any blockbuster of suitable size is accompanied by an often noxious cloud of tie-in merchandising and promotion that slaps your favorite character's face on fast food wrappers, condom boxes, and underoos. The Avengers is most certainly a blockbuster by design, which means that come this May, the titular superteam will be an inescapable presence both in and out of your local cinema. A new promotional image can attest to that, since it has the whole team striking their coolest "walking towards the camera" The Right Stuff pose, strutting in the name of Harley Davidson.
If you're watching the Super Bowl – the most popular televised event in America – right now, then you no doubt saw that thirty-second TV spot for The Avengers, with its superheroes uniting and Samuel L. Jackson giving some good gravitas. That spot will be included in our inevitable Super Bowl Spot Roundup, but guess what, Marvel Studios and Disney also just premiered an extended version of the commercial online, and it's way better than the one that was actually on TV.
Earlier this week, we saw a commercial for the commercial that will promote The Avengers during this Sunday's Super Bowl game. The thirty-second TV spot will hopefully give some more insight on the nature of the villainous army that necessitates bringing together Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Incredible Hulk. For the moment though, all you Avengers superfans are going to make due with that ten-second tease of a TV spot and some minor goodies that made their way online today.
First up there are two new banners featuring the major heroic players in the big Marvel Studios ensemble. Actually, they're both pretty much the same banner, but one swaps out Iron man for the SHIELD trio of Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Maria Hill, played respectively by Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, and Cobie Smulders.
We live in a strange modern age, one in which an event can be made out of a thirty-second commercial and that commercial can be teased by its own ten-second preview. Strange days. This morning we shared a crazy-brief tease for the John Carter Super Bowl commercial, and now, there's a superquick glimpse at The Avengers Super Bowl spot.
The Avengers is a thing that is actually happening, a geek dream of nigh-unspeakable proportions that is becoming a real movie. Ever since Nick Fury showed up after the credits of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios has been building to The Avengers, and it's now just a little more than three months from hitting theaters in 3D (Get your Rogue 3D Eyewear right here, folks). As such, the mighty promotional machine is about to really get rolling, with all the power of Marvel and Disney powering it.
Earlier this week, a bunch of low-quality image scans from The Avengers made their way online after debuting in the latest print edition of Empire Magazine. Naturally, we were happy to have some new looks at the first franchise crossover of its kind, regardless of how spotty the stills might appear. Three days later, though, Marvel just said, "To hell with that," and kindly released crisp, clear versions of those three images featuring Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, Hawkeye, and Black Widow.
Because Marvel is a magnanimous studio, it has also provided two additional, all new images, one a close up of Fury, and the other a combo of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark looking at something interesting offscreen.
While we've all got our collective undies in a twist over The Avengers, Marvel is, of course, looking to the future. The studio has already set Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 as the first two features following the big ensemble team-up. Both of those are hitting in 2013, and they'll be followed by two mysterious Marvel features set for April 4th and May 16th of 2014. It's long been assumed that one of those two as-yet unknown features will be a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. Today, Neal McDonough, who played Dum Dum Dugan in that film, has supported that assumption, and also added to the notion that we might see Dum Dum team up with Nick Fury in an eventual SHIELD movie.
The merchandising tie-ins for The Avengers should start filling store shelves and fast food baggies over the next two months, and that means we'll be getting some new looks at the film courtesy of cheaply made hunks of plastic. Today, two new images spotlight the super team member of whom we've seen the least: the Incredible Hulk, played as Dr. Bruce Banner by Mark Ruffalo and in "beast mode" by expensive visual effects created principally thanks to Industrial Light and Magic.
Believe it or not, boys and girls, the biggest effort from Marvel Studios is just three full months away. The Avengers, a fanboy dream if ever there's been one, drops in 3D on May 4th, meaning you've got time to get your hands on some Rogue 3D Eyewear before Iron Man, Thor, Captain American, and the Incredible Hulk battle Loki and...somebody else. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has some thoughts on that somebody else in the latest issue of Empire. not only that, but several variant covers for the issue feature the different members of the superhero squad, except for poor, misunderstood Hulk. Bruce Banner is also left out of a handful of photos from the magazine.
One of the big observations regarding the first and thus far only trailer for The Avengers was that it leaned pretty heavily on Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, enough so that it gave the impression that the film might be more Iron Man featuring The Avengers than a proper ensemble. It makes sense that Marvel and Disney would sell the movie this way preliminarily, as Downey's hero has more traction with audiences than his counterparts. According to writer-director Joss Whedon, a dude who knows a thing or two about juggling eclectic ensembles, the indispensable man in a narrative sense is actually Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, once again played by Chris Evans.