Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City.
Robert Downey, Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury.
Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.
Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time.
The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.
The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).
Superherohype posted an interesting interview with Zack Penn on his work for Marvel’s THE AVENGERS and SyFy’s ALPHAS.
“I grew up reading X-Men. When I first got to Hollywood when I sold my first script, the first thing I said was, “Can I write the ‘X-Men’ movie?” At the time Marvel was… I don’t know if I remember if they were owned by foreign nationals or what was going on, but I’ve always been into comic books, and I’ve always really been into science fiction. But I grew up on Cameron and Spielberg and a very naturalistic sense of science fiction, and even the comic books I liked were the ones that were the most real. You know, the ones that bled over into reality the most, so that’s kind of where my heart lies.
I always point out to people AVENGERS is the first superhero movie I’ve ever written, because XMEN, THE INCREDILBE HULK, even ELEKTRA— none of those are really superhero characters. They’re all either science fiction premise, or something like the Hulk is not a superhero at all, and Elektra is an assassin. So THE AVENGERS is the first legitimate superhero movie I ever wrote, ironically.”
On his “real-world” superhero series for SyFy, Penn say he’s working from a “different paradigm”.
“… The show is probably closer to THE MENTALIST or THE X-FILES in its pitch. Seriously, that’s where we started from. And then I kind of got in some of the stuff I always wanted to do in superhero genre. I managed to find the real world equivalent of it.
So as opposed to HEROES, which is completely serialized—I haven’t watched the whole series, but it is a lot like X-MEN. We purposely started from the totally other direction in terms of what the show is actually like. In the same way that LAW & ORDER is nothing like HEAT. They’re two opposite ends of the genre. ”
I think for me I was less worried about that than I was about other procedural type shows that had some overlap with us. But luckily they all got cancelled.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, SyFy has picked up Universal’s “real world” superhero/spy series ALPHAS for an 11-episode commitment.
Created by Zak Penn (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND) and Michael Karnow (TIME SQUAD):
“ALPHAS follows a team of ordinary citizens whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn) investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve.
These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.”
A 90-minute pilot was directed by Jack Bender (LOST). Series production is set to begin early next year in Toronto for a Summer 2011 premiere. It’s possible there may be a title change on the production before it airs.