Which Heroes Will Marvel Recruit For The Avengers?

Rumor is beginning to circulate about which of its top-shelf heroes Marvel plans to recruit for the upcoming, and much-hyped, Avengers movie. Some choices are obvious, due to not-so-subtle foreshadows dropped in both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. And with the internet recently abuzz with news that Marvel studios was pushing to snag A-list stars for its Captain America movie, that character's inclusion in the Avengers project is certain. So that's three Avengers we can expect to see, but who else will make the roster?

According to Iron Man director Jon Favreau:

"the ones Marvel is talking about now are Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and Iron Man. I would love to see that."

Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige has also alluded to the fact that Marvel hopes to establish a cinematic continuity in which its characters would be able to "cross into each other's adventures and occasionally team up if there's a foe too great for any one of them to handle." Just what Avengers hopes to accomplish.

But it'll be a hard feat to pull off, in my opinion. I mean sure, what fanboy hasn't gotten giddy at the notion of seeing all his favorite heroes battling it out on screen all at once (does that qualify as an orgy?) And reading the quote above, it seems as though Kevin Feige is already drinking the super-group-movie Kool-Aid. However, let's try an remember that this is the MOVIE industry we are talking about, not the COMIC BOOK industry. Only counting the two movies from Marvel Studios already in theaters, to do The Avengers, you're talking about getting Robert Downey Jr. to share screen time with Ed Norton, not to mention CGI effect$ out the yin-yang for Shellhead and the Hulk. Factor in Cap, Ant-man, Thor, a CGI boomerang shield, shrinking/growing F/X and CGI lightning, and THEN tell me what the price tag for an Avengers flick will likely be. (And if it will be worth its box office returns.)

Currently, Marvel's game plan seems to revolve around establishing successful film franchises for each of the individual Avengers heroes, then taking those dividends and investing them in the Avengers project. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk have both had their turns in theaters, to great or middling success; Thor is tenatively scheduled for a 2010 release; The First Avenger: Captain America is set for 2011; and Ant-Man is still working on nailing down a release date, (though it's rumored that it will be helmed by Edgar Wright, director of Shaun Of The Dead. A great choice.)

Can the house that Stan Lee built crank out three more box office hits to keep an Avengers film afloat? Can so many big-name, bigger-ego, actors really play nice and make an ensemble blockbuster? Has the term "ensemble blockbuster" ever been used before??? (If not, I claim coining rights.) And will the budget for an Avengers movie really end up being higher than the budget of NASA's last mission? Only time will tell for sure, but in the meantime, let us know your opinion anyway.

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