Avengers: the beginning of a generational saga

Avengers: the beginning of a generational saga


While Disney + is continuing to show us the evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with series like WandaVision and The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, we can't help but miss the characters who have been most identified as the pillars of this complex narrative universe, Iron Man and Captain America. But as devoted as one may be to these two icons of the Marvel Universe, it cannot be denied that the turning point of the MCU came when on April 11, 2012, the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood had the privilege of hosting the preview. of the film that would have imprinted its identity on the cinematic universe of the characters of the House of Ideas: Avengers. Looking back now, after we've witnessed fratricidal struggles, excellent entrances into the training of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and having attended the end of an important chapter in the history of this superhero family, it seems easy to recognize the status of the film directed by Joss Whedon. cult, but when the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to life in 2008, this central narrative passage in the future MCU was not so obvious. On the other hand, the heroes of comics in the cinema came from a transitory period, in which the encouraging performances of the first cinecomics dedicated to characters such as Blade or the X-Men seemed to encourage investing in more ambitious and structured projects. Avengers was to be the central piece of the mosaic that was being created in Marvel Studios.

It was called "Project Avengers"

The idea of ​​making a film starring the Avengers had been in the air since 2003, when Avi Arad, head of Marvel Studios, planned to start working on the film in April 2005, giving life to a series of films that presented the characters of the House of Ideas at the cinema. The idea was to create a complex narrative arc, in which individual films and other choral films were present. Only the main characters would benefit from dedicated projects, in order to create reference figures for the spectators, around which other minor heroes would act.

After relying on Merryll Lynch as an economic partner, the Marvel Studios planned to bring to life three films that would introduce the leading heroes of their universe, then have them meet in an ensemble film. From this principle, work began on the first two Iron Man films, Captain America and Thor, always bearing in mind that these three big names from Marvel should have joined forces in a choral adventure.

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe took its first steps relying on the Hulk, Iron Man and Thor, Marvel Studios were already working hard on creating the MCU's turning point. Agreements were made with actors already part of this world, such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Heimsworth, central roles were defined for some new entries, such as Scarlett Johansson who would replace Emily Blunt as Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2, a role that would later coated for a decade.

While the cast was slowly completing itself, from a narrative point of view what would become the key figures in the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were emerging. After helping to lay the foundation for the MCU with the first two Iron Man films, Jon Favreau was named executive producer, but he would not sit in the director's chair. Favreau, while making a creative contribution, was aware of what the challenges would be in making Avengers:

“It was tough, because I was really very involved in creating the world of Iron Man, and Iron Man is a hero based on technology, but in Avengers supernatural aspects would have been introduced with the presence of Thor. In the comics, the union of these two elements had worked, but it is necessary to think a lot so that everything works and does not detonate the reality we created "

In fact, while we were already working on Avengers, Thor was not still out in theaters, so the studios also had to take into account that the God of Thunder could potentially be a character not welcomed by the public. Reason why Zack Penn, in charge of the script, was in a decidedly unhappy condition:

“My role is to mix the different films and verify that we are replicating the structure of the comics, matching all the films . There is only a blackboard on which the points where the films intersect are indicated. I'm trying to get everyone to make as many animations and storyboards as possible so that we can be sure that we are all aligned on a common vision. But production needs always take precedence ”

This Penn meant trying to focus more on the characters that were already popular with audiences and who could be the foundation on which to build Avengers. Following this cue, Penn tried to minimize Thor's role, although after seeing Hemsworth's performance he gave him more space, also re-evaluating his initial idea of ​​using the Red Skull as a villain, bringing attention back to Loki. All this took place between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, an intense period that was experienced with apprehension even by the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige:

“People forget that we started shooting Avengers earlier that both Thor and Captain America were out in theaters. What if people hated Thor? What if they considered Loki ridiculous? What if no one had bought the story of the super soldier frozen in ice? We were already well into the production of this massive film and we didn't want to stop. At that moment, we had to play it all ”

In March 2010, the actor who would play Captain America, Chris Evans, was also cast, who would carry the Sentinel of Liberty Shield for two other films besides Avengers : Captain America: The First Avenger (released a few months after Avengers) and Captain America: the Winter Soldier. But the real turning point for Avengers was the entry into the scene of the architect of its success: Joss Whedon.

The Avengers ... we call ourselves that

With his arrival, Whedon radically upset what hitherto imagined, especially by Penn. When the creator of Buffy was offered the chance to rewrite the script and direct the film, Penn saw his work completely canceled, as Whedon decided to appeal to a component of the Avengers myth that aligned with the essence of the project. Marvel Cinematic Univers: Create a team of heroes. An idea that Whedon had very clear:

"We had to get to the first incarnation of the Avengers, the Ultimates, everything they were. I didn't make sense, it was ridiculous. There is a god of thunder, there is a big green giant, Captain America from the 1940s, Tony Stark who basically doesn't get along with anyone. These people are not meant to be together and the whole film is all about making them a group. And understand that you may not feel part of this group, but that you need it "

After looking for different ideas, for the villain of the film Whedon he let himself be inspired by Loki, inspired by the first story of the Avengers comics, in which Loki's brother tries to conquer the Earth, but collides with a formation composed of some of the main heroes published at the time by Marvel. A story born of emergency, when the first issue of Daredevil was not completed in time, but which thanks to Kirby and Stan Lee became the starting point of one of the great heroic formations of the Silver Age.

While Whedon rewrote the script for Avengers, completing the casting of the latest characters, hiring Jeremy Renner for Hawkeye and confirming the central presence of Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. Surprisingly, however, Ed Norton was replaced as the Hulk, giving Mark Ruffalo the opportunity to take on the role of Bruce Banner. Decision that was explained by Feige as necessary, as they were looking for performers who could create an alchemy between them that would benefit the film, an opinion that led to a certain tension with Norton, who, through his agent, accused the production of wanting to discredit professionally.

As happened before, for his new appearance Iron Man would have had to have a new armor. In each different adventure, Tony Stark improved his alter ego and for Avengers Phil Saunders, concept illustrator, was asked to give life to the new MarkVII, following Whedon's input:

“Joss was looking for a cool element similar to the briefcase version of Iron Man 2, which was compatible with a combat armor that could also work in the final fight "

The result was an Iron Man armor that was not only presented in a way daring during the preamble to the Battle of New York, but which also proved perfect for defeating the Chitauri army.

Avengers, unite!

Despite some flaws in the script (as Banner knew) where to find the others in New York? And how exactly did Thor get to the quinjet on which Loki was imprisoned?), Avengers was an incredible success. Going beyond the incredible performance in terms of box office, the first chapter of the film saga of the Mightiest Heroes of the Earth laid the foundations not only for the continuation of this super team, but also for the individual evolution of the men behind the mask.

Especially Tony Stark. Having crossed the portal into the skies of New York and discovered a wider reality than what the brilliant inventor has experienced so far, became the engine that drove him to seek new solutions to protect the Earth (creating Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron) or radically change his perception of his role, eventually leading to his heroic death in Avengers: Endgame. Although born with Norton's Hulk and strengthened by Robert Downey Jr.'s lucky choice as Tony Stark, the first moment the MCU takes on its true form is in Avengers, the instant synergies are set in motion. and the interpersonal dynamics that will give substance to the complex cinematic world of the heroes of the House of Ideas.

An influence that extended not only to the most well-known products of the MCU, such as the films of the saga, but which was also the starting point of Agents of SHIELD and which was also mentioned in series not directly related to the MCU, such as Netflix's Daredevil, in which the Battle of New York was mentioned. But above all, Avengers was the embodiment of the dreams of generations of readers who saw their favorites fight like in the tables of their beloved comics, thanks to a visual construction that enhanced the prowess of this team of superheroes alongside a spectacular column. Avengers, in giving a new spirit to the narrative style of cinecomics, brought the authentic spirit of the Avengers into the room, delivering it to a new generation of True Believers.

Powered by Blogger.