In the end, it was censorship that led Agent Phil Coulson’s death scene in The Avengers to be altered for the U.K. version of the Blu-ray and DVD, not Marvel’s secret plan to bring the fan-favorite character back from the grave.
Addressing the controversy with Home Cinema Choice, Disney UK’s Home Entertainment spokesperson Lydia Rodrigues asserted that there was “no censorship” involved in the re-editing of the pivotal scene, but admitted the spear tip had been removed because it was “deemed inappropriate” for U.K. audiences. Unfortunately for all of our conspiracy theories, it seems the absence of the spear is as simple as that.
“There’s been no censorship, no foul play,” Rodrigues said. “The version of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble [the U.K. title for The Avengers] on Blu-ray disc in the U.K. is the same as the version shown theatrically. It really is. The simple fact is for a 12 certificate film in the U.K., that scene was deemed inappropriate. So Marvel Studios chose to remove the spear tip digitally.”
Rodrigues also noted that some of the special features available on other versions of The Avengers, like Joss Whedon’s “Director’s Commentary,” weren’t included in the U.K. release. She attributes it to the Digital Linear Tape required to replicate the disc not being delivered in time, but says there are no plans to including it on future versions.
“That’s been the subject of heated debate here (at Disney U.K.), but we don’t think we can really ask fans who have bought this version to buy another just to obtain the commentary,” she said. “So at the moment we are thinking it won’t be released. We also know that hardcore fans with Blu-ray players are probably going to end up buying the U.S. release, which has the commentary. The American Blu-ray is region-free. We don’t think we can ask people to buy both versions.”
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