A little rain in the forecast couldn’t keep these heroes away—the Avengers assembled April 11 at the world premiere of Marvel’s The Avengers at the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. A block-long red carpet under a huge transparent rain tarp was the center of all the action as the film’s stars, along with a who’s who of Hollywood talent, arrived for the biggest movie event of the summer.
From the film we had Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Stellan Skarsgard (Professor Erik Selvig), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson). Also walking the red were writer/director Joss Whedon, producer Kevin Feige, executive producers Jon Favreau and Jeremy Latcham, and—of course!—the legendary Stan-the-Man Lee, who helped create the Marvel universe.
Jeremy Latcham said, “Hopefully what fans will love about this movie is that, continuing in the tradition of the other Marvel films, it’s truly a character-based story at its heart.”
Kevin Feige added, “It’s action, it’s adventure, it’s personality, it’s attitude, it’s Joss Whedon—our writer and director—at his absolute pinnacle. It’s the culmination of seven years of unbelievable work.” He goes on: “This has never happened before. It’s an unprecedented cinematic event.”
“Marvel had a very clear idea of what they wanted in the screenplay and the structure in which it played out,” Joss said. “That was really great for me because it gave me something to build off of, and the only thing I was interested in building was ‘how do we get there?’”
Roshon Fegan, from Disney Channel’s Shake It Up, and his Dancing with the Stars partner Chelsie Hightower shimmied across the red carpet: “As a Marvel lover, I always wanted to be a super hero,” Roshon said. “I can get down with a little Spider-Man—I was actually in Spider-Man 2 as a kid. That’s a dream come true.”
And what’s a Marvel red carpet event without a Stan Lee sighting? “I haven’t seen the movie yet,” Stan said, “but I did see my cameo—it’s a masterpiece.” He goes on: “Sometimes people make the mistake of just concentrating on the superpower while the real person beneath the costume gets ignored. Every character in Marvel’s The Avengers is flawed in some way and has a dynamic, interesting, personal story in addition to them saving the world.”
Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, said, “The best thing about this time around is that the fans have so gracefully accepted me as the Black Widow. So now I really feel like part of the Marvel family instead of like a stepchild that was being introduced.”
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, referring to the motion-capture process for creating Hulk on-screen, said, “Let’s just say that the leotard you have to wear for motion capture isn’t the most flattering, but I was real excited to use that technology to bring the Hulk to life in a way we haven’t seen him. Part of the reason I took the role was to be able to humanize the Hulk.”
Samuel Jackson added, “In this movie, you get to find out who Nick Fury is and what he does and what the Avengers Initiative actually is.”
For Robert Downey Jr., the idea of being in Marvel’s The Avengers started on opening night of the first Iron Man in 2008. “I remember when we were all huddled around the dinner table waiting for the numbers to come in,” he said. “We had planted some ideas after the credits of the film, hinting at the notion of The Avengers, and in Hollywood, I’m amazed when anything that difficult works out.”
Kevin Feige concluded, “All I have ever wanted to do in my 10 years at Marvel is give fans a film where there is an event so big and catastrophic that it requires all of these heroes to stop what they are doing, join together, and get along to fight back. Getting the Avengers together on the big screen is beyond my wildest dreams, and is certainly a career highlight for me.” Marvel’s The Avengers opens May 4.
By D23′s Jim Frye