The Avengers Updates: Production Start, Hulk, Thor & More!

The Avengers Starts Production

Thor hits theaters in North America next week, Captain America just two months after that, the story of Iron Man 3 is in the works and The Avengers begins production today. It's a wonderful time for Marvel fans everywhere.

Let's talk about Joss Whedon prepping for the first day of shooting, Mark Ruffalo on the Hulk, an important scene in Thor and video game tie-ins.


The Avengers Assemble Today!

Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor (and more to come) and who's heavily involved in the Marvel Studios marketing relating to the 'Join SHIELD' viral campaign, tweeted last week that The Avengers was going to start shooting today.

Director/writer Joss Whedon followed up with confirmation of his own with the following funny write-up he posted himself on fansite Whedonesque:

Hi Pumpkins, joss here.

Tomorrow we start shooting (I THINK I'm legally permitted to say that). Day one. That's right. We'll be shooting the pivotal death/betrayal/product placement/setting up the sequel/coming out scene, at the following address:

[Marvel Lawyers rush in, take Joss's keyboard, blowtorch a picture of his family like in "Stormy Monday", drink his milkshake, leave the seat up, fluff his pillows, violently unfluff his pillows, leave]

Went too far. My bad. Anyhoo, it should be a fun day, followed by the eighty thousand other fun days it will take to finish this. I'll be checking in from time to time, if there's news or I crave attention (i.e. am awake) . None of it will be Avengers news -- I have some very denty pillows to remind of that -- but I may have tidbits. (They're not about Firefly. I should say that up front, if only to protect Sis Mo from the HATORZ.)

Some of you may be saying, Joss! Why this link, here, now, why, huh, howcum? My friend Allyx turned me on to these guys, and I'll tell you, they've gotten me through this intensely pressurized, preply time. I strongly recommend checking out their other vids -- I've watched them many many times, and I have a very special place for "Teamwork" in my heart. These guys are the guys. And IS there a better movie title than "Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses"? I thought not.

So wish me luck. DO IT! LUCK! NOW! I'm off to finish some Buffy pages, and then figure out what the movie is about already. I'm pretty sure it's about the Justice League [Marvel Lawyers re-enter, unspeakability occurs] or possibly something else. I'll get it. I've been looking forward to this. For about 46 years.



Not many directors speak like this to their fans, further reinforcing that Marvel made a good choice in choosing Joss Whedon for the big job. It's the ultimate geek movie, so it makes sense that one of the ultimate geek writer/directors is in charge. He's sure to bring fun times to everyone at San Diego Comic-Con in July when The Avengers take stage.


Mo-Capping A Hairy Hulk

Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Bruce Banner in The Avengers

Mark Ruffalo has taken over the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk from Edward Norton for The Avengers but he's getting even more involved than Norton was. Ruffalo will be doing the performance capture of his big green alter ego, using motion capture tech similar to what was used in Avatar.

Ruffalo recently went in for a refitting of his Avengers costume and spoke of his excitement for the part, being a fan of the original Hulk series himself, and of the motion-capture experience.

"It's like being back in the forest as a 7-year-old, living in my imagination and creating this other world. It's the absolute perfect marriage because it relies on your imagination, your ability to project outside of yourself, to be the watcher and the watched. A stage actor has to be able to do that, because you're telling the story with your body as much as your face and voice."

"I walk in front of a monitor, and there I am as the Hulk. I raise my right arm, he raises it, but he raises it as a 250-pound right arm, with all that weight and mass."

Earlier this month, Ruffalo spoke of rehearsals and his loss of 15 pounds for the role. He doesn't need to be super fit and/or ripped like his superhero counterparts, but Marvel wants him lean for the role. While the CGI Hulk will put in the added size and muscle, it is very much Ruffalo's likeness and physical details that will add definition, down to the hair on his chest:

"No one has asked me to shave my chest yet, thank God. They want this Hulk to be as close to me as possible. I'll be playing him in motion-capture, so this Hulk will just be a bigger avatar version of me. As they're modeling him, they're using many of my own features, down to my scars and wrinkles. He will have body hair, but I don't know to what extent."

Don't be surprised to see a Hulk with a different face and details from what we saw in The Incredible Hulk. With a new actor playing Banner, it's not a big deal.


The Thunderous Thor Reveal

Thor Poster Banner

Thor is in Australian theaters now, but it opens here in North America next weekend. When you go to see it, because we know you will, stick around after the credits. Like all of the Marvel Studios films before it, it will feature a very special post-credits bonus scene that you won't want to miss.

Hint: It has to do with The Avengers, the bigger Marvel Universe and certainly many of the upcoming films after The Avengers (for further hints go HERE). No spoilers from us, but definitely look forward to seeing this. You'll be happy to know that early reviews are mostly positive for the superhero epic and that its' sitting at over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Video Games!

As the Editor-in-Chief of Game Rant it is my obligation to throw in a little tidbit for the interactive side of Marvel Entertainment. As with most comic book movies there are tie-in games coming out for Thor and Captain America. They feature the voices and likeness of stars Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans respectively, but tell a different story than what the films are about.

The bigger news however, is that the now-Disney-owned Marvel is using the timing of their big feature films and merchandise to unveil another game, a much bigger one (literally). Last week via Twitter, Marvel announced that a new Marvel Universe MMO is on the way and that details will come this week. If you're a World of Warcraft player looking for a Marvel superhero version of that, much like DC Comics has done with their new game, DC Universe Online, then stay tuned into Game Rant for more on this soon.


The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard.

Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @gamerant.

The Avengers opens in theaters on May 4, 2012.

Sources: Whedonesque, Details, Advocate, Game Rant

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