- Avengers (First appearance; disbands)
- Hawkeye (Agent Clint Barton) (Joins and leaves team)
- Black Widow (Agent Natasha Romanoff) (Joins and leaves team)
- Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner) (Joins and leaves team)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Joins and leaves team) (Main story and flashback)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Joins and leaves team)
- Thor (Joins and leaves team)
- Stark Industries
- Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
- NASA (First appearance)
- Georgi Luchkov (First appearance)
- World Security Council (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only) (Shadow only)
- Howling Commandos (Only in flashback)
- Dum-Dum Dugan (Only in flashback)
- Hydra (Only in flashback)
- Red Skull (Johann Schmidt) (Only in flashback)
- Howard Stark (Mentioned)
- Destroyer (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- General Dreykov (Mentioned)
- Dreykov's daughter (Mentioned)
- Mephisto (Named only)
- Audrey Nathan (Mentioned)
- Dr. Heinrich Schafer (First appearance)
- Odin (Mentioned)
- Jane Foster (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Phase 2 (Only appearance)
- Beth (First appearance)
- United States Army
- Shawna Lynde (First appearance)
- Senator Boynton (First appearance)
- Senator Stern (Voice)
- F.B.I. (Mentioned)
- Stan Lee (On-screen)
Races and Species:
- Leviathans (First appearance)
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Bilgesnipes (Mentioned)
- United States of America
- Mojave Desert
- New York
- Virginia (On-screen)
- New Mexico (On-screen)
- Puente Antiguo (On-screen)
- Portland (Mentioned)
- West Bengal
- Arctic Circle (Only in flashback)
- Atlantic Ocean
- Budapest (Mentioned)
- Madripoor (Mentioned)
- United States of America
- Asgard (Mentioned)
- Space Stone (Behind the scenes)
- Loki's Sceptre (First appearance)
- Mind Stone (Behind the scenes) (First appearance)
- Iron Man Armor MK VI
- Iron Man Armor MK VII (First appearance)
- Arc Reactor
- Captain America's Shield (Main story and flashback)
- Captain America's Uniform
- Hawkeye's Suit (First appearance)
- Black Widow's Suit
- Hawkeye's Bow
- Trick Arrows
- Black Widow's Gauntlets
- Tony Stark's New Element
- Destroyer Armor Prototype Gun (First appearance)
- Chitauri Gun (First appearance)
- Life-Model Decoy (Mentioned)
- Super-Soldier Serum (Mentioned)
- Space Throne (First appearance)
- Chitauri Bomb (First appearance)
- Chitauri Neural Link (First appearance)
- Chitauri Staff (First appearance)
- Chitauri Armor (First appearance)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier (First appearance)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet (First appearance)
- Captain America's Motorcycle
- Stark Industries Jet
- Acura Cars
- Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
- Boeing 737 Business Jet
- Chitauri air chariot (First appearance)
- Chitauri mother ship (First appearance) (Destruction)
Loki encounters The Other, an envoy for an alien race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract, an energy source of limitless power, the Other promises Loki a Chitauri army with which he can subjugate the Earth. Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and his lieutenant Agent Hill arrive at a remote research facility during an evacuation, where physicist Doctor Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains that the object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy, as well as low levels of gamma radiation. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a portal, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Selvig and several agents, including Clint Barton, to aid him in his getaway.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the "Avengers Initiative". S.H.I.E.L.D. moves to their new base of operations, the Helicarrier, where Coulson contacts Agent Natasha Romanoff, who at the moment was in the middle of an interrogation where she was tied to a chair. But Coulson tells her that "Agent Barton has been compromised", Romanoff breaks loose of her bondage and manages to defeat her captors, Romanoff is then sent to India to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner; Coulson visits Tony Stark to have him review Selvig's research; and Fury approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract. While Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract's power, Loki causes a distraction in Stuttgart, Germany, leading to a confrontation with Rogers, Stark, and Romanoff that ends with Loki's surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, his adoptive brother, arrives and frees him hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s flying aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. There Loki is imprisoned while Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract.
The Avengers become divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extra-terrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki's other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Stark and Rogers try to restart the damaged engines, and Thor attempts to stop the Hulk's rampage. Romanoff fights Barton, and knocks him unconscious, breaking Loki's mind control. Loki escapes after killing Coulson and ejecting Thor from the airship, while the Hulk leaves on his own. Fury uses Coulson's death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them publicly to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Loki uses the Tesseract, in conjunction with a device Selvig built, to open a portal above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.
- All right, listen up! Until we can close that portal up there, what we need is containment. Barton, I want you on that roof, eyes on everything. Call out patterns and strays. Stark, you've got the perimeter. Anything gets more than three blocks out, you turn it back or you turn it to ash. Thor, you've gotta try and bottleneck that portal, slow them down. You've got the lightning - light the bastards up! [turns to Natasha] You and me, we stay here on the ground, keep the fighting here. And Hulk, smash!
- --Captain America's instructions to his comrades.
The Avengers rally in defense of New York City, but quickly realize they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. With help from Barton, Rogers, Stark, and Thor evacuate civilians, while Banner transforms back into the Hulk and goes after Loki, eventually beating him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the portal, where Selvig, freed of Loki's control, reveals that Loki's scepter can be used to close the portal. Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet. The missile detonates, destroying the invaders' mother ship, thereby disabling their forces on Earth. Stark's suit runs out of power and he falls back through the portal, but the Hulk saves him from crashing to the ground. Romanoff deactivates the portal to prevent further invasion. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard. Fury notes that the Avengers will return when they are needed.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man / Tony Stark
- Chris Evans as Captain America / Steve Rogers
- Mark Ruffalo as Hulk / Dr. Bruce Banner
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor
- Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow / Agent Natasha Romanoff
- Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye / Agent Clint Barton
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki
- Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
- Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill
- Jenny Agutter as Councilwoman Hawley
- Jerzy Skolimowski as Georgi Luchkov
- Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig
- Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury
Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maximiliano Hernández reprise their roles as J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper Potts, and Agent Jasper Sitwell, respectively. Alexis Denisof portrays The Other. Powers Boothe portrays an unnamed member of the World Security Council. Ashley Johnson appears as Beth. Romy Rosemont and James Eckhouse appear as Shawna Lynde and Senator Boynton, respectively. Stan Lee makes a cameo. Damion Poitier appears as Thanos in the mid-credits scene.
- The world premiere was held at the El Capitan Theatre on April 11, 2012.
- At the time of its release, the film broke numerous box office records, including the biggest opening weekend in North America and tied with Avatar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 for fastest film to gross $1 billion. With a worldwide total box office gross of about $1.51 billion, this film became the highest grossing film of 2012, and at its peak the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
- Marvel's The Avengers is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be released by Walt Disney Pictures. Four of the preceding Marvel Studios productions (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger) were released by Paramount Pictures and The Incredible Hulk was released by Universal Studios. The Paramount logo appears on Avengers posters and the film's opening titles as part of the deal between Disney and Paramount. Walt Disney Pictures is not credited until the final moments after the credits.
- Walt Disney Pictures retitled the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland to avoid confusion with the unrelated 1961 British TV series of the same title, which in turn had its own similarly titled movie adaptation in 1998. The film was retitled Avengers Assemble, after the popular catchphrase from the comic books. The reaction to the title change was mixed.
- The post-credits scene was filmed on the 12th of April (after Marvel's The Avengers world premiere). It features the six Avengers eating at the shawarma restaurant mentioned by Stark. Chris Evans had to wear a prosthetic face mask to hide his beard growth and further conceals the mask behind his hand as he eats. Due to the late filming of this scene, it was not ready for the international release on the 25th and therefore does not appear on Marvel's The Avengers presentations in many countries.
- The shawarma restaurant scene was inspired by Joss Whedon's own work in the TV series Angel, namely the ending of the fifth season's fifteenth episode.
- According to director Joss Whedon, Scarlett Johansson's participation in the film was in question early in the film's development. Because of this, Whedon's original script for the film included Wasp in her place.
- Disney and Sony Pictures agreed for Oscorp Tower from The Amazing Spider-Man to be included in the film, but the idea was dropped because much of the skyline had already been completed.
- The scene where Bruce Banner describes how he tried to shoot himself but failed was seen in a deleted scene of The Incredible Hulk, where Banner was in the Arctic. Captain America makes a cameo in this scene as well, where he and his shield are seen briefly as the ice shatters.
- While developing the film, worried that Loki Laufeyson wouldn't be enough match for the Avengers, Joss Whedon added Zeke Stane to the story as another enemy for the Avengers after his father's death, but Kevin Feige suggested Whedon to drop the idea.
- The Mandarin and Shang-Chi were considered to appear in the post-credits scene as a tease for the Chinese market, but Beijing's development team shot down the idea as they didn't want the first Chinese character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be a villain but there was no desire to cast any actor as Shang-Chi, leading Marvel to ultimately desist from the idea and instead filmed the tease with Thanos.
Links and References
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