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25 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Avengers’

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It's hard to believe that it's been a year since The Avengers (2012) hit theaters worldwide, forever changing the superhero landscape, and cementing Joss Whedon as Marvel's shepherd for the near future.

What better way to celebrate the anniversary - and prepare yourself for Marvel Phase 2 - than to watch the movie over again. We'd be willing to bet that much of the behind-the-scenes planning and Avengers trivia still goes unnoticed by even the most devoted of fans. But fear not: we're here to help.

Easter Eggs, trivia, or useless facts to enrich your viewing experience: here are 25 (5 included, rest at source)Things You Didn't Know About The Avengers.

Embodying Whedon's Women



After Loki arrives on the scene and the task of introducing 'the good guys' begins, it is Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who kicks things off. The scene was actually a particular treat for Whedon, who had studied the Russian language and literature in college, finally getting to put them to use.

Whilst filming the scene (which despite its order in the film, took place quite late in the shoot) executive producer Jeremy Latcham noted to Whedon that the scene was the only one which appears in the film exactly as it was written in the director's first draft of the script.

Perhaps that's not entirely surprising, given Whedon's flare for heroines (most notably in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Whedon himself confessed that the Widow introduction is essentially "my career in microcosm," featuring a 'helpless female' tied to a chair, who turns out to be much stronger than the men around her.

Banner's Bassinet

In one of the first scenes filmed during production, the introduction of Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) has the mad scientist explaining to Natasha Romanoff that despite his wishes to keep from unleashing his alter-ego, he warns: "I don't every time get what I want."

The line had been written long before the time came to shoot, but when Joss Whedon noticed that the set decorators had included a crib (splattered with green paint) among the objects found in the improvised Calcutta setting, he realized the words would carry far more weight if Banner touched it as he uttered the line.

Ruffalo agreed, and the shot made it into the final cut of the film. It's an easy moment to miss, but for those paying close attention, the shot offers one of the only glimpses into the life Bruce Banner might have led.

A Dash of Pepper

It may come as somewhat of a surprise - given how memorable the scene turned out to be - but Joss Whedon's original script didn't feature Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) at all. It was only Robert Downey, Jr.'s insistence that had Pepper included to give Tony some depth (he would later go on to insist on Pepper sharing a larger part of Iron Man 3 as well).

Whedon didn't object, claiming that the addition of Potts gave him the chance to "write three minutes of The Thin Man," referring to the quick-and-witty 1934 film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. The film was infamous for the banter between its leading couple, and is even set to be remade with Johnny Depp in the main role.

The remake has since run into delays, but don't expect Depp to discuss it with Whedon any time soon; it was The Avengers' mammoth box office that limited Depp's last remake, Dark Shadows, to a disappointing domestic gross.

Thought and Memory

Another 'blink and you miss it' Easter-egg can be found when Thor retrieves his brother and begins his mountaintop interrogation. The two ravens startled from their perch by the approaching Asgardians (and later seen circling back) may seem like everyday birds, but fans of Norse mythology know Huginn and Muninn when they see them..

To the Norse, the ravens serve Odin, traveling throughout the world to gather information and reporting it back. The Norse were more than fond of this particular bird, with some scholars arguing that the release of the ravens could also mean Odin himself embodied them on their journey, seeing what they saw and hearing through their ears.

In Marvel comics, the brothers Hugin and Munin act as messengers and assistants, and even show up perched on the throne of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) in the coronation scene of Thor. Even if the 'all-father' couldn't be present to witness this argument between his sons, he was at least represented.

Trading Card Callback

When Fury tosses the still-unsigned collector cards pulled from Coulson's jacket (locker), the image of Steve Rogers' WWII-era USO costume is given top billing. Not hard to understand, since the blood-tinged photo of a young, innocent, and naive Rogers helps set the tone for the scene of disillusionment and the death of a fan-favorite character.

But a closer look at the other cards in the deck shows just a small glimpse of Captain America mid-punch. The card is actually a recreation of the cover to "Captain America" #1, featuring Cap delivering a knockout blow to Adolf Hitler.

It's a quick Easter egg that even die-hard fans might miss, but a nice hint that the rich history of Captain America's legend isn't forgotten in the live-action universe.

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