In a high-tech room in a secret location, two men face off against each other: one trapped in a high-security glass cage, the other with his hand on the cage’s release button, ready to drop the prisoner to his death. This scene is just part of the exclusive footage from the upcoming Marvel Studios film “Avengers,” shown to attendees at D23, Walt Disney Studios’ entertainment and fan expo. Appearing at the very end of the “Inside The Walt Disney Studios” sneak peek screenings (a three-hour long series of clips and teasers for 2012 and 2013’s upcoming Disney and Pixar films) Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige came onstage to introduce the footage amid loud cheers from the crowd packing the convention arena’s floor.
Keeping things short and sweet, Feige told the audience he was also a huge Disney fan before dimming the lights and showing a sizzle reel which combined every single Nick Fury/SHIELD button that has appeared the end of Marvel’s movies in recent years. Ranging from the very first “Iron Man” button with Samuel L. Jackson’s Fury recruiting Tony Stark, to the Cosmic Cube “Thor” button, the video also interspersed clips from “Iron Man,” “Hulk,” “Thor,” “Captain America,” and “Iron Man 2,” ending with the “Avengers” title and the words: “Some Assembly Required.” This transitioned right into the exclusive footage, showcasing Nick Fury threatening Loki, who is trapped in a glass cage at a SHIELD base, as Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Maria Hill, and a smirking Bruce Banner watch via video feed. As Fury threatens Loki with imminent death should he try to escape, his hand hovering over the button that will drop the villain into thin air, Loki taunts Fury for being unable to handle the “ultimate power” Loki and the Cosmic Cube represent. “Well, tell me if the ‘Ultimate Power’ wants a magazine or something,” Fury snaps as he leaves Loki in the glass prison, prompting laughs from the audience.
Firmly setting up Loki as the main villain for “Avengers,” the footage also gave audiences the first glimpse of Mark Ruffalo as a wisecracking Bruce Banner, and named Black Widow and Hawkeye as ex-assassins, showing them firing their respective gun and bow at unseen threats.
The footage then goes into a rapid-fire montage of shots, showing all of the Avengers fighting: Captain America throws his shield, Thor screams and hoists his hammer into the air, Hawkeye and Black Widow fight an unseen enemy on a partially destroyed highway, and a CGI Hulk charges across screen. Finally the montage stops, showing a scene where Tony Stark is making himself a drink at his home while talking to someone off-screen.
“We’ve got a demigod, two ex-assassins, and a living legend that actually lives up to the legend,” Stark tells the unseen figure before adding, “And you’ve managed to piss off all of them.”
The audience gasped as the camera turned to show the subject of Stark’s speech is none other than Loki himself. Dressed in Asgardian clothing, Loki sneers at Stark, “I’ve got an army.”
“We’ve got a Hulk!” Stark shoots back, the scene jumping to a quick shot of the Hulk roaring at the camera. The video cut to the title screen once more the audience leapt to their feet, wildly applauding.
The footage ended in time for Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders and Chris Hemsworth to come onstage and wave before Downey Jr. convinced the cheering crowd to re-watch the footage. The audience gave the actors a standing ovation as Feige announced that there are only two weeks left until filming is wrapped and the cast exited stage, ending the event with a second helping of the video.
“Avengers” is slated to release in theatres nationwide May 2012.