"Avengers" Film Villains Possibly Revealed in Canceled Game Art

Marvel Studios' upcoming film "The Avengers" is generating all sorts of buzz even nearly a year out from its Memorial Day 2012 release. As expected, numerous collaborating products are being released alongside it, including action figures, clothing and other goods. That said, it's not a stretch to believe a licensed video game will eventually be announced, with players taking control of Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the team as they fight against injustice.

Well, we aren't the only ones thinking along those lines. According to reports which surfaced recently at WouldYouKindly, game developer THQ was at one point planning a game tie-in to go along with the film. Produced at their Australia studios, the game would have followed on the heels of its previous Marvel-licensed efforts, namely the all-ages "Marvel Super Hero Squad" and its various follow-ups, including one coming later this year.

We say "would have" because the project was apparently scuttled before development really got off the ground. THQ closed its Australia studio as part of a corporate reshuffling, putting several concept artists out of work and leaving the "Avengers" project in cancellation mode. It hasn't disappeared without a fight, however, as several of these artists, including former senior animator Mike Smout, have posted early concept art from the game, showing what appears to be a colossal battle between the Avengers and the Skrulls, the long-rumored threat the super team must face in the upcoming film. A German illustrator who was on the team, Christian Nauck, also posted his concept art featuring Captain America, Iron Man and Thor in full battle mode, though he didn't indicate whether the project had been undertaken on behalf of THQ or Marvel.

It's a shame the game will never be finished, because some of this concept art actually looks quite fascinating, though CBR does note that the some of the character designs, especially Thor, do seem to fall more in line with The Ultimates more so than the Avengers as we've seen them on the big screen and in photos and video from Joss Whedon's upcoming movie. The Skrull designs and LinkedIn accounts of several of THQ Australia's staff, however, do support the theory that the game may have been a movie tie-in, with one profile specifically listing "The Avengers (Cancelled - PS3, Xbox 360 & PC)" as part of their resume.

Ultimately, the one thing fans can walk away from this with is the fact that despite this game being destined for the dustbin, they will most certainly be able to take control of their favorite character next summer when the inevitable "Avengers" game hits consoles everywhere.

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