As the release date for The Avengers inches closer and closer, fans are becoming all the more psyched to see their favorite Marvel superheroes together onscreen at last. The comic book movie studio should be glad to know that, seeing how it has reportedly invested somewhere in the vicinity of $300 million in order to pay for the intimidating special effects necessary to make a movie that includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and a global alien invasion (among other costly elements).
Today, we have yet another official Avengers image available for your viewing pleasure, along with excerpts from interviews with stars Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson, discussing such intriguing topics as the showdown between Loki and Hulk - not to mention, how we'll get to see Jackson as Nick Fury truly act like ... well, Nick Fury, as the character has long been portrayed in comic book form.
First, have a look at the latest Avengers pic, with Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) processing some disconcerting information while aboard the team's helicarrier:
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During the Avengers Q&A Twitter session, Gregg teased that the film would not only feature a very "different dynamic" than that in the prior Marvel-backed superhero movies - but also reveal "more layers to [Agent] Coulson's world/power" that build on the foundation for the character laid down in previous Marvel features and the "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Thor's Hammer" short.
Jackson likewise indicated that his S.H.I.E.L.D. alter-ego (Nick Fury) will be more of a "hard-as-nails heavyweight" in The Avengers, and further emphasized that idea in a recent interview with Empire Magazine. To quote the actor directly:
"[In the previous Marvel movies] it's like standing around with a lightsaber and not taking it out. Nick Fury is supposed to be Nick Fury. He has a history of violence and action and all of a sudden I get to do it [in 'The Avengers']. It's a relief to put a weapon in my hand or knock somebody down and get to do things that are very Nick Fury-like."
Considering that Jackson's Fury has (up to now) been the designated deliverer of exposition - not to mention, do little more than look bemused at the antics of the superheroes around him - that news should be music to most fans' ears.
Speaking of more badass variations on previously-seen characters - Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gets to do much more than scheme in The Avengers. The Super Bowl XLVI trailer offered a glimpse at a verbal showdown between the deceitful "God" and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) - minus the benefit of his new Mark VII Iron Man armor - while previously-unveiled Avengers set pics have provided an early look at the physical fight between Captain America and Thor's trickster brother.
In an recent interview with Total Film, Hiddleston also teased an even more exhilarating throw-down in The Avengers - between Loki and The Incredible Hulk:
"I had huge fun with Chris Evans, as Captain America, because super-soldier though he may be, he's still a man, up against a God who in his own mind is infinitely superior. Then, in the ring with The Hulk, we've got this silver tongued, lightening quick mind up against the embodiment of rage... Loki has this mercurial, transformative ability, not just physically but intellectually, so not all the fights are purely physical. Mind games? Maybe.."
Does that mean Loki might be using his mind-control abilities (glimpsed during Thor's after-credits scene) to manipulate the Hulk and turn him against his fellow do-gooders? That could be a fun new challenge for the Avengers to take on; plus (as Screen Rant's Paul Young has been theorizing lately) it could set the stage for the appearance of "Smart Hulk," given that it would force Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to find a way to overcome Loki's "mind games" when he's in giant green rage-fueled form.
All in all, The Avengers is sounding just as good (if not better) than ever. With just about two and a half months left until the film hits theaters, that's definitely an excellent position for it to occupy.
The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, and Stellan Skarsgård. It is being written and directed by Joss Whedon, opening in U.S. theaters (2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D) on May 4th, 2012.