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Trivia / The Avengers (2012)

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  • Acting for Two: Thanks to advances in motion capture technology, Mark Ruffalo got to not only play Bruce Banner, but also the majority of Hulk's part. This marks the first time in live-action Banner and the Hulk were portrayed by the same person.
  • Acting in the Dark: Damion Poitier didn't know he'd been cast as Thanos until he was actually in the makeup chair. Up to that point, he thought he was playing the Super-Skrull.
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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Apparently Robert Downey Jr. kept hiding/eating snacks on the set during certain scenes, so eventually it was incorporated into the film; "Blueberry?"
  • All-Star Cast: Not just with the actors themselves, but with all the heroes involved, as a movie of this magnitude was thought to be impossible a decade ago.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The popular meme "Cap understood that reference" usually depicts Captain America pointing with his finger. In the movie itself, Cap is no longer pointing with his finger by the time he said "I understood that reference."
  • California Doubling:
    • The scene taking place in Calcutta, India, was shot at an abandoned train yard in Albuquerque.
    • The outdoor scenes, which were supposed to take place in Germany, but were filmed in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, contain numerous Cleveland Historical landmarks including; Tower City, Higbee Building and Casino, the Renaissance Building, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.
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    • The climax, that takes place in New York City, was shot in Cleveland as well.
  • Career Resurrection: The film's success became this for Mark Ruffalo and (temporarily) Joss Whedon.
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  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the Japanese dub, Hawkeye is voiced by comedian Hiroyuki Miyasako, best known for being one-half of the comedy duo Ameagari Kesshitai.
  • Channel Hop: Why the film is credited to Paramount instead of the actual distributor, Disney.
  • Colbert Bump:
    • Arguably it gave one to Galaga; a webcomic about the game started up after the film's release.
    • In the comics, Hawkeye gained his own (very successful) title as a result of the film's popularity.
    • And the favorable reception of Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of The Hulk led to Marvel planning a sequel to the 2008 film, where none had been planned before. Unfortunately, legal issues with Universal nixed this plan.
    • And of course, Shawarma enjoyed a massive boost in popularity as well after the movie came out.
    • When Hawkeye was given his own book as a result of his popularity from The Avengers, fans immediately began clamoring for Black Widow to get her own book, too. First issue dropped in January 2014, just a few months before Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • The next solo films starring heroes who appeared in The Avengers (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) all saw noticeable box office uptakes compared to their predecessors.
  • Corpsing: Everyone was on the verge of laughing during the final stinger; Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson in particular look about five seconds away from cracking up.
  • Creative Differences: Why Edward Norton was let go early on from the film. When asked why Marvel stated that "Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members", which implied Norton was fired for not getting along with the other actors and crew. Norton's agent disputed this claim, but regardless the part was recast with the widely acclaimed Mark Ruffalo. According to Mark Ruffalo (who is friends with Norton), he mainly didn't like that Bruce Banner was struggling with his issues of the Hulk all over again, when at the end of the 2008 movie, it seemed as though Banner had actually accepted it, and thus, the Avengers movie wouldn't really be developing Banner's character much.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Jeremy Renner didn't like that he had to play Hawkeye as a brainwashed henchman for most of the film, feeling that the character got shafted in terms of screen time and character development. He apparently even tried to get Hawkeye killed off so he could get out of finishing the movie. He's since praised the subsequent movies for actually developing the character and giving him more to do.
    • Chris Evans isn't a fan of the helmet he had to wear for this movie. The lack of a chin strap meant that it kept moving around his head.
  • Defictionalization: Courtesy of prop collectibles company eFX, you can now purchase the very same Captain America trading cards that Coulson constantly asks Cap to sign. There's even variants that have Coulson's "blood" on the cards.
  • Deleted Scene: See here.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Chris Evans: played straight for the movie (he shaved off his mustache and beard to play the role), but averted in the post-test-screen pickups after Evans had regrown his facial hair for Snowpiercer. Rather than have to shave all over again for just a couple of scenes, Cap's face was concealed by a prosthetic or by his hand (most notably in the end-of-credits stinger in the shawarma restaurant).
    • Tom Hiddleston has naturally blond curly hair. As in Thor, it's straight and black here, and he also wore extensions.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Despite his reputation for killing off loved characters, Joss Whedon has stated that Agent Coulson's death was not his idea, and was something that was decided on from the very beginning. That said, he said the minute he got the order, he immediately knew the fans would think it was him, and would have a very hard time convincing them otherwise.
    • Marvel all but explicitly stated Edward Norton's attempt to do this was the reason he got Darrined out of the movie. Due to this bad blood, Mark Ruffalo called Norton personally before accepting the role in order to be sure he wasn't stepping on his toes.
  • Fake Nationality: The German Old Man? He is played by Kenneth Tigar, who is actually American. But he has BA and Ph.D. in German literature, which is why his German accent is so convincing.
  • Fake Russian: Not only Scarlett Johansson (who does speak surprisingly good Russian), but also Jerzy Skolimowski (Polish) as a corrupt Russian general interrogating her in her first scene.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The opening scene is at the famous radar array in New Mexico from Contact, where they make contact with an alien species. In both movies, the alien is a symbol of man's tiny place in the universe.
  • Not Screened for Critics: Despite the movie's immense popularity and success, not every Blu-Ray reviewer that requested an early copy received one.
  • On-Set Injury: While performing a 30-foot fall from a building, stuntman Jeremy Fitzgerald slammed into a pile of bricks and tore off a chunk of his scalp.
  • Orphaned Reference: Banner's line that "you could smell the crazy on [Loki]" was supposed to set up a Brick Joke of the Hulk doing just that — Loki would use duplicates but Hulk would find the real one by his scent.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Edward Norton was originally going to reprise his role as Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk, but negotiations broke down. Mark Ruffalo replaced him, making him the only Avenger actor to not appear in a previous film as his character. This is carried over to the various foreign dubs, with Atsushi Miyauchi taking over for Hiro Mizushima as Bruce in the Japanese dub and Mario Castañeda replacing Óscar Flores as Bruce in the Latin American Spanish dub.
    • Shuhei Sakaguchi originally voiced Hawkeye in the Japanese dub of Thor. Beginning with this film, Sakaguchi was replaced by Hiroyuki Miyasako, who would go on to become the de facto voice for the character.
  • The Pete Best: This is the only film in the MCU where Thanos isn't played by Josh Brolin, being instead played by Damion Poitier in what's basically a glorified body double role.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Promoted Fanboy: The film is directed by the man described by Honest Trailers as the "God of Nerds" himself, Joss Whedon.
  • Prop Recycling: The USMC Harrier II fiberglass replica used to film the climax of True Lies was later reused for the fight scene between the Hulk and Thor, where the Hulk rips a wing off to hurl at the God of Thunder. Afterward, the prop was purchased and restored by the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois.
  • The Red Stapler:
    • After the film's release, sales in shawarma spiked with some restaurants reporting increases of up to 80 percent!
    • Bootleg copies of Tony's Black Sabbath "Never Say Die" tour shirt became very popular on eBay and it was subsequently adopted by the band as a "13" tour shirt.
  • Referenced by...: The end credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features several close-up images of blueprints in a way similar to this film's end credits.
  • Scully Box:
    • Gwyneth Paltrow is notably barefoot in all her scenes in Stark Tower, while Robert Downey Jr.. is in 3 or 4 inch platform shoes, so he looks taller than her.
    • It's hard to see in some shots, but Hill's boots have significant heel to them. Most likely due the fact that while Cobie Smulders is fairly tall at 5 foot 9, she's frequently next to Samuel L. Jackson, who's 6 foot 2.
    • The scenes in the Helicarrier with Cap, Banner and Natasha are framed in a way it hides Chris Evans is One Head Taller than his co-stars.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: One of the main reasons Mark Ruffalo signed on not only to play Bruce Banner but, thanks to motion capture, The Hulk as well. Subverted when his daughters were too terrified to watch their father transform into a giant, green rage-monster.
    Mark Ruffalo: My daughter was saying, "Why do you want to kill that girl, Papa?" She really thought I turned into the Hulk. I had to leave the theater to convince her that it wasn't me.
  • Spared by the Cut: NYPD Officer Saunders appears in one scene of the theatrical cut (which he survives), but the last of the several deleted scenes where he provides aid in the final battle has him get shot and apparently killed.
  • Throw It In:
    • Joss Whedon just suggested to Marvel that there should be a Greater-Scope Villain plotting behind the scenes which enabled Loki to conquer the Earth. And that someone should be Thanos the Mad Titan. And all the executives just rolled with it.
    • Robert Downey Jr.. requested for Gwyneth Paltrow to be included as a way of exploring the Potts/Stark relationship that was established at the end of Iron Man 2. Whedon agreed, because "you should always, given the opportunity, put a Gwyneth on-screen."
    • Reportedly, Iron Man's "Let's just not come in tomorrow" speech was improvised by Robert Downey Jr., as was "Doth mother know thou weareth her drapes?" Since the shawarma bit was part of the "Let's just not come in tomorrow" speech, by proxy he threw in the entire second stinger.
    • Also, the Hulk bringing Iron Man back to consciousness by roaring at him was improvised by Mark Ruffalo during his motion capture performance.
    • Ruffalo also ad-libbed touching a baby's cradle in the abandoned house he meets Black Widow in, which was otherwise just another prop placed there.
    • The German police car skidding on its front end after Loki blasts it was a complete accident, as it failed to flip over initially.
    • As Joss Whedon noted, the "That man is playing Galaga!" line was ad-libbed by Robert Downey Jr., and worked so well that Whedon decided to insert an image of Galaga on "that man's" console as the scene's punch line.
    • The first shot after the title screen of the train passing by in Russia. They were apparently filming by an active train line and decided to put it in. This has a side-effect of exposing their California Doubling, since the train is both obviously an American model and still in its distinctive Norfolk Southern piping, which operates exclusively in the eastern US.
  • Trolling Creator: When Jenny Agutter was announced as part of the cast, she joked she was playing Spider-Woman.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Joaquin Phoenix was approached for the part of Bruce Banner before the casting of Mark Ruffalo. Phoenix was later considered to portray the titular character in Doctor Strange.
      • Matthew McConaughey reached out to the producers about playing Bruce Banner, but was turned down due to undisclosed reasons.
    • Jensen Ackles was approached for the part of Clint Barton before Jeremy Renner was cast, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Supernatural. Ackles previously auditioned for Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger.
    • Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead screen-tested for the role of Maria Hill before Cobie Smulders was cast. Baccarin would later go on to play Vanessa Carlyle in Deadpool.
    • Joe Carnahan and Sam Mendes were considered to direct the film before Joss Whedon was hired.
    • Early production ideas included Ant-Man and The Wasp joining the team, with Nathan Fillion and Zooey Deschanel in mind for the roles, like in the original comics and The Ultimates, which the film is heavily based on. It was ultimately decided that the script had too many characters and they were dropped.
    • In addition, a lot of stuff about Captain America's adjusting to the 21st century was left on the cutting room for time and for the future Captain America sequel, most notably a scene where he would have met a now very old Peggy Carter (which happens in that film).
    • Similar to the above, Whedon supposedly had a detailed backstory for Hawkeye written up, but was unable to even reference any of it due to time constraints. And, during the early planning stages (back when they were still writing Iron Man 2), Hawkeye was envisioned be depicted as a circus performer trained by supervilains who manipulate him into fighting the team, essentially a modernized version of his 616 origin story. At another point, he was planned to debut in Iron Man 2 as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Widow and Fury. In the end, he wound up being revealed to be a family man in Age of Ultron, like in Ultimate Marvel.
    • Captain America's costume originally had a scaled mask with holes for his ears, but this was changed at the last second. The costume designers also considered adding a chinstrap, but decided that it'd be a waste to cover Chris Evans' chiseled jawline. After the less than stellar reaction to his Avengers costume, the ear holes and chinstrap were reintegrated into Cap's costumes for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
    • One draft of the movie had it taking place from Tony's point of view.
    • Another draft, one of Joss' first when he came onto the project, would have done something similar, but with Wasp instead. He decided that too much time would end up being dedicated to this seemingly new character that he realized it would hamper the film. As there was no way to explain her, he had to cut her out, sadly, despite her being one of his favorites.
    • Adding to that, part of the reason Wasp was in the mix at all is because at one point, it looked like Scarlett Johansson would not be involved in the film. Salary negotiations with her agents weren't going very smoothly, so Marvel almost cut Black Widow from the project.
    • An alternate opening and ending frame the movie as a flashback from Maria Hill, allowing them to simultaneously flesh out her dislike towards Fury's methods yet her undying loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • There were plans to insert the Oscorp Building from The Amazing Spider-Man, but by the time the CGI model for the building had been finished, the Avengers skyline was already complete.
    • Natalie Portman expressed interest in having her character Jane Foster appear in the film. Due to her pregnancy at the time, she couldn't be in The Avengers so Foster's absence was explained as her working at an observatory in Norway alongside Darcy Lewis.
    • The fight between Hulk and Loki originally lasted a little longer, with Loki trying to use Self-Duplication to confuse the Hulk. This scene proved too expensive to make it past the animatic stage. Banner's line that "You could smell the crazy on [Loki]" was intended as a setup for how Hulk wins in this scene, figuring out which Loki was real by his scent.
    • At one point, there would have been a more physically active villain fighting the Avengers, presumably as The Dragon to Loki. Whedon would later reveal this would've been Ezekiel Stane, Obadiah's son.
    • Rhodey was considered to have a cameo in the post-credits scene, where he is wearing his War Machine armor, only to find out he came too late for the battle, and sits down with the Avengers, but the scene was thrown away to where they just show the Avengers eating. The scene was eventually adapted into the Iron Man 3 Prelude comic book tie-in.
    • Back when DMG was interested in co-producing, there was talk of creating a Stinger to tease a new character for the Chinese market. Shang-Chi and the Mandarin were the respective choices, though the development team felt the former was a safer bet, as they realized the government censors likely wouldn’t react well to the MCU’s first Chinese character being a villain. Therefore, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would eventually be announced, albeit for Phase Four of the MCU.
  • Working Title: Tom Hiddleston revealed in an interview with the Guardian that the code name for the film early in its production was "Group Hug".
  • Write What You Know: The Stinger was inspired by what the Angel cast looked like after filming the episode "A Hole in the World".
    Amy Acker: I just remember that at the end of the day we all went for a drink and were sitting in a bar and none of us spoke to each other. Apparently the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers was inspired by us just sitting there not talking.
  • You Look Familiar: Enver Gjokaj plays a street cop who talks to Cap during the final fight. He'll return in later Marvel productions playing the role of SSR Agent Daniel Sousa back in the 50s.

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