Kevin Feige wants your money.
As if the one-point-whatever billion dollars Joss Whedon’s Hulkapolooza has already raked in wasn’t enough, there are rumours now circulating that a director’s cut of The Avengers (Assemble) is maybe going to get a possible cinema release in August.
Back during the press tour for the initial release, Whedon and his cast frequently referred to around 35 minutes of stuff that had been chopped out, a lot of which was apparently focussed on Steve Rogers and his culture-shock* (including what could be a great emotional scene where Steve meets up with an aged Peggy Carter).
I got wind of this via a friend on Facebook who sent me a link to an io9 article on the matter, but the original source seems to be a post on ComicBook.com which SuperheroAuthority.com then chased up. Nothing has yet been confirmed by Marvel or Disney, but the timing lines up with the Blu-Ray release which will include all the deleted material, which I’m guessing could be re-cut back into the film itself on the disc.
The Avengers (Assemble) is currently sitting at number 3 on the all-time top grossing chart, but there is a considerable gap to James Cameron’s one-two punch. Remember though that both Avatar and Titanic have had re-releases too – Avatar’s being just a few months after the original. The point is that there is a precedent here; this is not necessarily beyond the realms of possibility, and with so much extra material for Whedon to work with, there could be some major changes to the overall tone of the film. Director’s cuts aren’t just about shoehorning stuff back in though. If the focus does shift more towards Cap then some of the other characters may end up on the wrong end of the pruning shears.
What I’m really wondering about is the 3D. If the movie was put through the extra-dimensionaliser before the final cut was locked down then these extra scenes could be glasses-ready. If not, then will they be retuned or will any re-release be 2D only? If Disney and Marvel are doing this for the blatant cash-grabbing opportunities it presents, then it would stand to reason that they would want to maximise that return.
There is one more thing to consider here about a late-summer re-release: competition. When The Avengers (Assemble) opened in late April/early May it had a good three weeks pretty much uncontested. An August re-release puts it right up against The Dark Knight Rises‘ ongoing momentum as well as Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy (which has Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner, taking over the spy-on-the-run mantle from Matt Damon).
I saw The Avengers (Assemble) three times during its initial run, the first in IMAX 3D (my review is here) and twice in garden variety. While the 3D wasn’t the worst I’ve seen, I didn’t miss it when it was gone. If this does come to pass, I’ll go again, but will all of you? What say you, people of t’interwebz? Are you looking for more big-screen Avengers action so soon?
*Plus, I really want to see more of Mark Ruffalo’s scene with Harry Dean Stanton’s security guard. And there had better be more Coulson.