The Avengers Speak - Quotes from the Stars of the Superhero Blockbuster

Marvel Studios
With The Avengers set to open in the USA on May 4 (and a week earlier in the UK, April 27), what better time to hear what the key players in this epic have to say? I've compiled some quotes that you might have  missed in the last few weeks that will get you primed and ready to go on opening day. Both the writer/director, Joss Whedon and the film's stars have given a ton of interviews over the past year, but sometimes the good bits got lost in the flood of hype surrounding the long-awaited team-up. Check out the quotes below and let me know if you have any Avengers news you'd like to share.

Here's how Whedon described his take on the characters -
"It goes back to the very first incarnation of The Avengers, it goes to The Ultimates (an updated comic book version of The Avengers - CoF), it goes to everything about it. It makes no sense, it's ridiculous. There's a thunder god, there's a green "id" giant rage monster, there's Captain America from the 40s, there's Tony Stark who definitely doesn't get along with anybody. Ultimately these people don't belong together and the whole movie is about finding yourself from community. And finding that you not only belong together but you need each other, very much. Obviously this will be expressed through punching but it will be the heart of the film."via io9

Robert Downey Jr.
In the early stages of the production, Robert Downey Jr. wanted Tony Stark/Iron Man to be the lead character and the driving force, but he changed his mind. He explained his first meeting with Whedon this way -
“Well, I said, ‘I need to be in the opening sequence. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but Tony needs to drive this thing.’ He was like, ‘Okay, let’s try that.’ We tried it and it didn’t work, because this is a different sort of thing, the story and the idea and the theme is the theme, and everybody is just an arm of the octopus." via EW

Watch The Avengers trailer here 

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo, who plays scientist, Bruce Banner, talked about Banner's struggle with his alter-ego, the Hulk -  
"He's a guy struggling with two sides of himself—the dark and the light—and everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control. I grew up on the Bill Bixby TV series, which I thought was a really nuanced and real human way to look at the Hulk. I like that the part has those qualities". via EW
Ruffalo on how the Hulk fits into the team - 
"He's like the teammate none of them are sure they want on their team. He's a loose cannon. It's like, 'Just throw a grenade in the middle of the group and let's hope it turns out well"! via YouTube
Scarlett Johansson talks about her character, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and fellow assassin, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner -

Scarlett Johansson
"Our characters have a long history, they've fought together for a long time in a lot of battles in many different countries. We're the two members of this avenging group who are skilled warriors – we have no superpowers. Black Widow is definitely one of the team though. She's not in the cast simply to be a romantic foil or eye candy. She's there to fight, so I never felt like I was the only girl. We all have our various skills and it feels equal". via FilmInk  
Chris Hemsworth, who plays the demi-god, Thor, showed how seriously he took on his role when he explained Thor's motivation -
Chris Hemsworth
"I think [Thor's] motivation is much more of a personal one, in the sense that it’s his brother that is stirring things up. Whereas everyone else, it’s some bad guy who they’ve gotta take down. It’s a different approach for me, or for Thor. He’s constantly having to battle the greater good and what he should do vs. it’s his little brother there... I’ve been frustrated with my brothers at times, or family, but I’m the only one who is allowed to be angry at them. There’s a bit of that." via EW
When I read these quotes, I'm struck by how much thought and preparation was put into the making of The Avengers by all those involved. It seems like Whedon and company strived to elevate this superhero movie way beyond previous films, in terms of character and story. That's fitting, because the source material - the comic book written and drawn by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Don Heck, and many others, set the standard for superhero team books.

The early reviews of The Avengers are arriving as I write this, and it sounds like fans and critics alike think the movie has likewise raised the bar for cinema superheroes. Here's to many more awesome installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

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