It's been almost a year since the release of Marvel's team-up The Avengers (2012), but that doesn't mean fans have seen every bit of footage the film had to offer. While previous Blu-ray releases have supplied endless deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes looks at production, the newest batch of newly unveiled footage is more substantial, showing just how developed certain storylines were - before ultimately winding up on the cutting room floor.
The new scenes come thanks to the release of Marvel's 'Phase One' Collector's Edition, delayed since last year due to legal issues. While these extra clips may not lay groundwork for what's next from Marvel, they do help round out a film that fans already found up to snuff.
It's no secret to anyone following The Avengers prior to release that a large section of the film's cut content centered around Captain America's transition to modern society. The main subplot of that diversion was a brief flirtation with a New York waitress (Ashley Johnson) - the same waitress briefly shown being rescued by Rogers, then expressing gratitude for the Avengers in the final media montage.
Thanks to the newly released deleted scenes (via CBM), we know just how much Johnson's perspective was going to play in the film's third act, alongside the police officer - and Dollhouse alum - played by Enver Gjokaj. Have a look:
A larger appearance from two friends and past collaborators of director Joss Whedon, but also a greater emphasis on the 'everyman' approach to the superhuman abilities of the world's mightiest heroes. It's clear that Whedon's original 3+ hour long cut of the film focused more on characters surrounding the central cast - like the alternate opening starring Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) - but ultimately had to be left out due to time constraints.
The same is true of another scene in which Captain America rescues a family fleeing from the invading Chitauri. It may not carry as much weight as the Cap/waitress plot thread, but does offer another chance to see the hero doing what he does best:
The next pair of videos deal with the motivations and (in)ability to lead of Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Anyone who sat through Thor (2011) knows that ruling kings are usually required to be more...mentally stable and grounded than Thor's trickster brother, and as the new scenes show, audiences aren't the only ones who took notice. Maybe his villain days are over for now, but he was certainly prepared to show humanity his bad side.
Featuring an extended look at the initial dialogue between Loki and 'The Other' (Alexis Denisof), as well as a second mental link between the pair during the climactic final battle, it's clear the enemies of Earth pulling Loki's strings weren't without some reservations:
The final pair of clips offer a few brief additions to one of the film's first action sequences, featuring more of Loki and Hawkeye's escape from the S.H.I.E.L.D. base:
Of course, what would any discussion about The Avengers be without a shawarma reference? The middle-eastern meat reference may have become one of the more offbeat post-credits scenes in all of Marvel's slate of superhero films, but in a special featurette contained on the Blu-ray, the cast and crew reveal that the scene almost never happened. Enjoy:
Unfortunately there isn't an explanation for what caused the scenes to be removed completely from the final cut of the film (or what makes up the remaining half hour of reported cuts), but it's not hard to see why this footage fell by the wayside of Whedon's relatively direct and faster-paced superhero action film. A deeper look into what makes the Avengers members tick may not have been explored as much as the director had intended, but that seems to be the top priority for The Avengers 2.
Also, with a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series on the horizon, it might not have been in Marvel's best interest to make their top agents out to be less-than-elite. Anymore than absolutely necessary, anyway (seriously, who shoots at the Hulk?).
Aside from a brief look at Thor attempting to breach the Tesseract's force-field (rendered redundant by Iron Man later doing the same) and brief shots of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) evading a rampaging Hulk, that makes up all of the additional footage revealed thus far. Sadly, there is still no longer look at Hawkeye - so it seems Jeremy Renner will need to wait for The Avengers 2 in order to make that wish a reality.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Blu-Ray Set is available now.
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