'The Avengers' trailer: What it shows us, what it doesn't


Okay, so this rules.

Then again, as Loki whispers in the first seconds of this trailer for The Avengers: “You were made to be ruled.”

There should be enough here to simultaneously satisfy fans who have been yearning for this movie ever since Samuel L. Jackson turned up at the end of 2008’s Iron Man to say, “You have become part of a bigger universe,” and made everybody angry that May 4, 2012 couldn’t come sooner. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry.

Let’s break down what we see in the trailer (embedded after the jump), and what we don’t.

First of all, it’s nice to see the planet getting some serious menace. One sticking point with Thor was that the desert town he protects lacked scale. Not to say the world wouldn’t miss that 7-11 and its newspaper box, but you know what I mean. Here we see a densely populated city street get carpet bombed as people scramble for their lives. You have a bigger team, so you need a bigger menace.

Marvel is still holding back on just what creatures are helping Loki — Thor’s black-sheep, exiled brother — in his conquest of Earth. (They could be Skrull or Kree or some other extra-terrestrial force.) But with seven months to go, it’s okay to save a few surprises.

“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so that when we needed them they could fight the battles that we never could,” intones Jackson’s Nick Fury, the superspy-turned-coach for the world’s most dysfunctional band of good guys.

In addition to seeing sparks fly in battle, we see some of the inter-office hostility that will elevate The Avengers above just the usual save-the-day theatrics. “Big man in a suit of armor, take that away – what are you?” says Chris Evans’ Captain America to an unperturbed Robert Downey Jr. “Uh… genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” Iron Man answers. (Cut to Thor chuckling in the way we humans do at pictures of cuddly kittens wearing fruit as hats: Amuse me, inferior!)


Writer-director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) is wisely setting up not just conflicts within the team, but conflicts within the personalities themselves. Never mind that Captain America was once a scrawny little shrimp who knew that what truly counted was a person’s inner strength. (My, my… how quickly we forget after being encased in arctic ice for seven decades.)


The fighting between heroes isn’t going to be limited to verbal jabs. We also see Cap and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor having a brawl in the woods, with the big, blond god from Asgard swinging his hammer down on the crouched soldier’s upraised shield. What’s going on there? (My guess is the trailer is throwing some mixed up chronology at us, and that’s Thor’s return to Earth, where he lashes out at the guy in the colorful suit because… who wouldn’t?)

They don’t just fight each other, of course. We’re also treated to Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye blowing up some stuff with explosive arrows, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow leaping up onto some henchman’s shoulders with her legs wrapped around his face, thrusting him down against the ground as he surely thinks to himself: All things considered, there are worse ways to go.


Downey’s Tony Stark speaks for the team, telling Loki (who’s not seen in this shot, but in other footage is standing in front of him during this scene): “If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”

We have a title!


In addition to the particular alien menace, Marvel is also holding back on The Hulk — but we get a little sample at the very end: The trailer features just a flash of the creature, and a look at Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner.

“Dr. Banner,” Stark says, shaking the scientist’s hand. “Your work is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.”

“Thanks,” Ruffalo replies.

On Twitter: @Breznican

Read more:
‘The Avengers': Exclusive photos!
‘The Avengers’ dis-assembled! EXCLUSIVE cast portraits revealed

Comments (260 total) Add your comment
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  • Rob


    • Jameson


      • jc


      • art

        And? We are nerds. So what. Deal with it.

      • wsugar


      • Grandpa

        It’s not something to be proud of. In my days, us men went to war and we returned scarred for the rest of our lives. You kids have it good with your music and your action movies.

      • Angela

        What art said.

      • Nerd Vet

        @Grandpa… In THESE days, men and women go to war and return scarred if LUCKY. But, you’re damn right that we also have it lucky with our music and movies. Now go roll your wheelchair away from your grandkid’s fancy computer machine and reminisce about about the good ol’ days while soiling yourself.

      • Grandpa

        @ Nerd Vet : why am I not surprised by your lack of respect towards an old man who gave his better years so people like could enjoy the freedoms you currently do? Disgraceful.

      • Billy Carlyle

        Nerd, we prefer the term “Intellectual Badass”

      • Billy Carlyle

        @ Grandpa…. Nerd is something to be proud of…. the computer you are using right now… invented by some nerd. The tv you watch… invented by some nerd. Your favorite books… written by some nerd. An education…. taught to you by some nerd. Anything and everything that makes this country special (why you fought for it) was due to the brilliance of nerds. Yeah, nerds might not of been something you guys were proud of during your days… but times have changed and that outlook is as stupid as the people who promoted it. It’s cool to be a nerd… it means you are very smart, and I ask you this… when has being dumb been what you should strive to be? Do you want your children/grandchildren to be the smartest they can be? Get a great paying job? Make a difference in the world? Yeah, exactly… you want them to be nerds.

      • finalthread

        @ Grandpa: why am I not surprised at your indignation towards people currently enjoying the freedoms you gave your better years for? If you’re so disgusted by people enjoying their freedoms, why did you bother sacrificing your better years for them? Seems like kind of a waste of your life. His disrespect is certainly disgraceful. But your disdain is just plain stupid.

      • finalthread

        @ Grandpa: I also tend to believe that you’re not really an old man grandpa vet. I think you’re just a smartass kid trying to start something with people. Why else would some elderly veteran who hates comic book nerds be reading this story, watching the trailer, leaving comments, and obsessively coming back to see if anyone replied to them? Smells like a troll to me.

      • switbo

        In case, you haven’t noticed – Nerds rule the world. (Hello Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell…)

      • Wow

        I thought it was pretty apparent from Grampa’s first post that it was all a joke….

        C’mon people, get a sense of humor!

      • john

        We Are Many!
        We Control The Internet!
        Nerds Outnumber Trolls!
        Go Back to the Twilight page where your skill is useful

      • DDubSolider

        Yeah,John,Yeah!!!!! Woooooo this movie looks like the bomb!!!!!! Can’t wait 4 May 2012!!!!

      • Doug Butabi


      • ncc-1701

        Puh leeeease. This has nothing to do with nerds. Nerdom was worshiping Star Trek in the 70’s with only 3 seasons of material and no precedent of it ever coming back. Watching runs and naming shuttles required quite a commitment for 10 years. These movies are well done and big, big, big main stream revenue generators. A lot of people will see these, not just comic book fans. Rest assured, unless you’re asking trivia questions like “3 of these Avengers debuted in different issues of ‘Tales of Suspense’ Who are they and what issue numbers?”, you’re still reasonably cool.

      • Joe

        HA! The last time any of you saw pie was when you shot out of your mamas’ birth canal.

        But hey, at least we’ll get to see Downey acting circles around the rest of this pathetic lot.

      • Troller

        @switbo While there is certainly nothing wrong with being a “Nerd”, Nerds don’t even come close to ruling the world. The ones who do rule the world are old men, entrenched in old ideas, and hidden from public view so that they can escape scrutiny and recourse.

    • Jon

      The film looks like a Big Mac to TDKR’s expensive steakr, but sometimes a Big Mac is nice. To continue this labored metaphor – I’ll eat both.

      • Jon


      • Eric P

        I’ve always felt Marvels characters have a cheapness to them. The way i’d compare them to DC’s characters would be Marvel= Daytime soap actors, DC= normal movie or TV actors. But that’s just my personal opinion. The trailer looks ok but i wont be going to see it.

      • Esox

        Eric P.- I agree with you. But good God, Marvels movies compared to DC’s? DC would be your Daytime Soap SHOW. Marvel would be your Big Budget Blockbuster. No comparison.

      • BG 17

        @Eric P – the funny thing is that I always felt the opposite. DC had clowns and penguins for villains and very black and white ideas behind who was good and bad, where Marvel had actual characters, with angst and turmoil behind their heroics or villainy. I guess it might be the eras in which we were introduced to the characters, as they definitely have both gone through their cheesy phases…

      • Esox

        “angst and turmoil behind their heroics or villainy”
        -Sounds like a Soap Opera to me.

      • Liz

        I semi agree with Eric about the cheese factor. But all comic books have their cheese why else would most of them have some sort of love interest. But I’ll go see this even if the trailer is kinda of cheese with the music and the sparks reference to avengers

      • Joe

        @ Eric and Esox, Marvels characters have always been more down to Earth with flaws that make them more *human*. Until recently DCs have always been more like the perfect ideal heroes.

      • Esox

        Agree with you. I also like the soap opera analogy. It fits.

    • Traci

      I second that awsome, Rob!

      @Jameson: Yep! I’m a nerd and proud of it. Get over it.

    • Marcia

      Very underwhelming action and those “jokes,’ well, they definitely fell flat. Then again, we might need more context. However, for all the alleged hype, it was a very “meh” trailer.

      • Necro

        Agree with Marcia. The Whedon-speak is apparent.
        Hate it.

    • Burton

      Meh! Looks boring, should appeal to the comic geeks.

      • Nick

        That’s a bizarre post. First, you shout Meh, which runs counter to its meh-ness. Then you say a boring film should appeal to the comic geeks, who typically like action movies. You’re a contradiction. Or a dumba$$.

      • RyanK

        Okay I’m glad you said this Nick. I was worried I was the only one bothered by somebody using an exclamation point with the word meh.

      • Martin

        Double Meh!!!

    • DDubSolider

      YEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! Mark Ruffalo may surprise us! He actually looks okay,he’s from my state!!! Cannot wait!

      • Adwina Lambert

        Scar-Ho is soooo over-rated and over-exposed!!! tee-hee!!

      • DDubSolider

        Geeettttt aaaa liiiiffe!!! Tee hee

    • Necro

      Not so excited.
      Bring on Dark Knight Rises!

  • Crystal

    Looks pretty amazing. All things considered though, you put the words Joss Whedon, movie, Robert Downey Junior, etc., into one sentence and I’m all in anyway.

    • Joe

      All I needed was Joss Whedon

      • Asha

        I have seen none of the movies that set up the other characters. However, you slap the name Joss Whedon on a movie and I’m there because it will be excellent.

      • lauren

        I’m a diehard fan of Joss….if they let him do his thing and dont get it in the way, this will rock!

    • Emma

      Me too. But it looks like it might turn into Iron Man 3: Plus company. Robert Downey Jr. just has a way of stealing the show.

      • Traci

        I noticed that too. He’s so damn good that he can’t help stealing the show! Robert is the best!

      • znachki

        It was actually smart to feature RDJ in the trailer. The Iron Man movies are the biggest so far, so you want to attract that.

      • Gabe

        Yeah it’s great marketing to feature the star of the most successful of all the franchises.. But I think he won’t be as domineering in the actual movie, as Joss Whedon has a way of making ensemble casts click really well and everyone gets their moments.

      • Abe Froman

        Right, because Iron Man 2 was a masterpiece :-/

      • John

        Downey says he butted heads with Whedon inthe beginning because RDJ was all “This script is okay but Tony should be the emotional center of the movie. He’s the main character.” And Whedon said, “Hmm. Not really. No.” We’ll see how that actually played out.

  • lettergirl

    you had me with the NIN music….

    • skeeve

      Roger that

  • Lorraine Carano

    Woooo! The Avengers will be the biggest movie ever! Watch out Avatar!

  • Zaggs`

    I think Cap’s line to Stark was more about how Tony has to be a hero on the inside, not just when he’s wearing the suit.

    • Joe

      I think it was more about how Tony doesn’t have any real powers/skills, he requires the suit whereas captain america and the others are genetically enhanced.

      • PDDB

        We do not know if the Black Widow and Hawkeye’s talents are genetically enhanced. But the patriot and the playboy/ex-munitions dealer were bound to have some sort of conflict. Good for Josh Whedon for this kind of dialogue.

      • nadine

        Black Widow and Hawkeye aren’t genetically enhanced so there goes your theory ;-)

      • Ruff

        Something’s genetically enhanced with the Black Widow, but it ain’t her powers…

      • myself

        Marvels Cards say she has normal strength and agility. But her fighting ability is 6 of 7. go figure.

      • TM

        If you remember right cap and Tony’s father competed for the same girl in the latest Captain America film. Could be a little animosity there.

  • Johanna

    Wohoo!! Scarlett Johansson looks like a strong, empowered and sexy Black Widow. Hahah.. freakin’ fantastic, can’t wait! Man! I feel like a woman!

    • Jameson

      She’s so empowered she has to throw herself crotch first into some dude’s face to kill him….

      • Chris

        Well, he’s right when he says that there are worse ways to go…………….

    • Marcia

      That is yet another example of how this is definitely a fanboy affair. The kind of move designed to elicit “there are worse ways to go” quips, and that could only be written by overgrown fratboys like Whedon: “Hey, you know what could be really cool, if this hot chick in leather grabs your head between her crotch and legs, and kicks your ass, man!!!” Ugh.

      • Dominant

        From one chick to another…..Quit being a tampon! I think this flick looks like a lot of fun and is certainly full of man-candy. Sheesh….you strident types are a total buzzkill! Lighten the f**k up!

      • Ace

        On the other hand, there’s a lot more eye candy for the ladies in this movie than for the fellas. (Have you SEEN Chris Hemsworth?) This fangirl is a happy camper.

      • jes1

        Whedon is anything but an overgrown fratboy. There are lots of those in Hollywood but he isn’t one of them. He doesn’t have anything to do with how the trailer is cut anyway. And if you’ve ever seen Buffy or Angel than you know that the oggling will be equal opportunity.

      • MK

        “could only be written by overgrown fratboys like Whedon: “Hey, you know what could be really cool, if this hot chick in leather grabs your head between her crotch and legs, and kicks your ass, man!!!””

        You obviously aren’t familiar with Joss Whedon or his previous work.

      • avalon

        Joss Whedon has a degree in Women’s Studies, has been recognized by NOW (National Organization of Women), and is a self-identified feminist. I would seriously reconsider calling him a ‘frat boy’. This man has done much in the way of writing strong female characters for TV and Film. And also, THE AVENGERS IS GONNA ROCK!

      • strickens girl

        Everyone who knows anything knows that Joss is all about the strong badass female characters. I have no doubt that she’ll more than hold her own against these boys.

      • RyanK

        Wow Marcia. There probably isn’t a single living movie director who has done more to show women in diverse, strong, and complex roles than Joss Whedon. You are in serious need of context.

      • Asha

        Yea um even the weakest women in most Joss Whedon stuff are stronger than the strongest women in mainstream movies.

      • Hans

        Joss Whedon typically has very strong female protagonists in his stories, that don’t adhere to typical, fragile Hollywood convention. His work doesn’t reflect anything you just said. Sure, a hot girl did a crazy stunt and the writer of an article reacted in a humorous manner. Doesn’t say anything about the actual work, which no one has even seen yet.

      • Greg Brady

        Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…..*shaking head*

      • Fray

        Yeah, Wesleyan is famous for it’s frats, LOL!

      • Brian C

        Joss Whedon has a history of strong female characters? What about River Tam? Oh, wait, never mind…….

  • pie thrower

    I’m going to the movie theatre after work to get in line and camp out. May, 2012 is just around the corner.

  • onestell

    I like the trailer. On a slightly different topic, does anyone else think that releasing a superhero movie seemingly every week will cannibalize the genre? Remember when superhero movies were something special, rather than what was the expected?

    • QT PIE

      I understand what you’re saying, but I think the reason that so many superhero movies are being released is valid: they want us to be introduced to each of the superheros before we see them come together in The Avengers. I think it’s a good idea.

    • Matt

      Totally agree; even beyond movies, the constant rebooting, and the neverending incarnation of the cartoon shows, too, may put Superheroes in a precarious position akin to the 1990s Marvel Bankruptcy. I don’t think it will cannibalize the genre exactly, but there is a definite chance it will be watered-down. Then again, with SFX better than ever, it may be that Superheroes may move from (primarily) comics to enjoy greater exposure in TV and movies.

    • Jack

      I would have thought this was impossible back in 2007 (the idea of a Thor movie? Laughable, let alone getting them all in one movie) – but damn, looks like Marvel pulled it off.

    • Quirky

      Is it any different than the multiple spy movies or the multiple cop movies? We never seem to get tired of those either.

      • Nick

        Or westerns, or rom coms, or . . .

  • Michael

    Look ok kinda of felt like they took some stuff from the X-men

    • Withered205

      Such as…?

  • dawn1970

    This movie is going to ROCK! Joss Whedon is a genius and the cast is amazing…let’s hope that when there’s a sequel, everyone is ALL IN.

    • CP

      I agree about Joss (especially in the dialogue dept.), but he has amazingly bad luck and is very under-appreciated. Lets hope he breaks his string of unwatched movies with this one.

      • Cris

        Agreed. It’s time for Joss to move up from having a small and loyal following. Time for him to truly break into the big time. I hope this movie does it for him.

    • Brett

      Whedon’s no genius. I still worry that the dialogue is going to sound faux-psuedo-hip, like what a grown man thinks teenagers sound like who doesn’t hang around with them.

  • QT PIE


  • SM

    Why are they always attacking San Francisco? What did we ever do to anybody????

    • VER

      Actually, it is being filmed in Cleveland…

      • T

        Where’s Howard T. Duck and Beverly ?

  • mockingbird

    I know I’m in the minority here but I hope that they do justice to Hawkeye, and give him some good lines and some character. It’s just that in the comics he is the one guy you wern’t always certain would succeed but you wanted him to. He was the most normal and down to earth of all the avengers, and the avengers made his life better. It gave him an identity that he was lacking and allowed him to become one of the best avengers ever. He is also in my opinion the only avenger you would want to get a drink with. Iron man is a drunk jerk, cap is just way to much of a good guy, thor is a bloody god who talks funny, the hulk will hulk out and kill you, and the black widdow is a boring character ( if you don’t believe me watch iron man 2, she was the worst part of that movie), and hawkeye would just be the normal everyday guy you would talk about the game with. I don’t know hawkeye is my favorite avenger because I always felt that with a little hard work I could be like him, he was the achievable superhero.

    • Lily

      I have hope that Hawkeye’s character will be handled very well. I fell in love with him/his actor’s portrayal in the few moments that he was shown in Thor.

      “D’you want me to slow him down, sir? Or are you sending in more guys for him to beat up?”

      “You better call it, Colson. ‘Cause I’m starting to root for this guy.”

      Freaking awesome!

    • Justin Poppiti

      I’d like to have a drink with Captain America. And, I’d also like to get a drink with Black Widow since she’s hot.

      • josh

        not sure i agree about having a drink with Cap. have you ever had a drink with a WW2 vet? it can be brutal conversation (read earlier comments by grandpa) …im only slightly kidding. I’m an army guy and I do a lot of military funeral services and have listened to war stories from every war since WW2.

    • the_girl

      I don’t know about wanting to have a drink with Hawkeye, but I would love to have a drink with Jeremy Renner. He is awesome.

      • d

        and i’d like to have a little time with tony stark, if you know what i’m sayin :)

    • T-riz

      I actually love Hawkeye. He’s just a regular guy…who is a total badass, of course. I’m really hoping this movie takes advantage of Renner’s considerable talents and gives him some face time. I’m confident it will happen, I can’t see Joss burying talent. He did a great job showcasing everyone on Firefly.

    • RyanK

      They’re already doing the character some justice via the great decision to cast Jeremy Renner in his role. And with Whedon’s knack for dialogue and character, I feel confident that that Hawkeye won’t go overlooked. After Hurt Locker, Renner pretty much had his pick of Hollywood scripts. I couldn’t imagine him taking a role unless he felt very confident in the character and the story.

  • Firstsonxb

    I’m still upset that Edward Norton got replaced by Mark Ruffalo. I mean seriously, he’s the best you could do, huh?

    • Matt

      I think Ruffalo’s quiet intensity will lend itself well to the character, and it may be the greatest Hulk incarnation yet.

    • Jack

      Sure, would have preferred Norton simply for consistency, but Ruffalo is a fine actor.

      And let’s face it, nobody is going to see the Avengers for puny Banner. HULK SMASH!

      • Lily


    • Jeremy

      These Edward Norton posts come standard with Avengers updates, I guess.

      • Mike

        And yet no Eric Bana complaints? :-) (Kidding!!)

      • Caleigh

        Every. single. time. It’s pretty much on par with any drinking game.

      • Anne

        True. But at least it’s not a complaint involving Fast Five.

    • Caleigh

      Mark Ruffalo was Joss Whedon’s first choice, not some last ditch effort.

    • Brandon

      I’m not sure about Mark Ruffalo being a terrible choice, but I as well am still bummed. Edward Norton is so good.

  • Bernadette

    Really cool (as a native) to see all the scenes that were shot in Cleveland. When they shot SpiderMan 3 here, I really couldn’t tell, but this time around its apparent.

    • kfran

      I am also a Clevelander who works downtown, and it was so much fun to watch the filming from my building!

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