If a film adapting the Marvel Comics superhero team The Avengers never comes about, it wouldn’t be for lack of planning.
For the uninitiated, the Avengers is made up of several of Marvel’s more popular characters, most of whom are currently being developed for their own solo pictures. The long term goal of Marvel is to establish the characters on their own before bringing them together for an Avengers film. To facilitate the notion that they all exist in a shared world, Marvel plans on planting little references to the other heroes in each others films.
During the panel for June’s The Incredible Hulk at the New York Comic Con yesterday, fans got a glimpse of some of those cross-references.
In one of two scenes from the film that were screened for con attendees, Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky is seen being given injections of a chemical to boast his physical strength and agility, in order to track down and capture the Hulk. General Ross (John Hurt) explains this is a bioweapon leftover from an abandoned World War II project which tried to create a “Super Soldier Serum.”
Any semi-literate comics fan can tell you that the Super Soldier Serum is what was used to transform the 98-pound weakling Steve Rodgers into the Nazi-smashing Captain America, who would subsequently be frozen and not revived until modern times. Marvel currently has a Captain America film in development.
When questioned about the mention of the Super Soldier Serum, Incredible Hulk director Louise Leterrier remarked, “Did you guys see the color of the serum? Blue. It’s Captain America’s color.”
As for an Avengers movie in everyone’s future, producer Kevin Feige stated, “Depending on how these films do, depending on how people respond to how we are making these films, I would certainly like to see that happen.”
When asked point blank by a fan if there was any truth to the persistent rumors that Samuel L. Jackson was going to appear in the Hulk film as spymaster Nick Fury or that Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. was going to cameo as Tony Stark, Feige remained elusive.
“I like when people are surprised in movies,” he stated. “It doesn’t happen very often any more. The truth is that there are some rumors you may have read about online that are not true, there are some rumors that are closer to true. You’ll find out soon enough.”
Fans didn’t know how soon Feige meant though. At the end of the panel, a new trailer for Incredible Hulk screened, followed by the questioned Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark cameo. In the short scene, General Ross is in a bar, knocking back a drink, presumably after another failed attempt to capture the Hulk. Stark chides Ross over the problem he seems to be having with his bioweapon, stating he prefers mechanical weaponry. Ross, a bit drunk, compliments Stark on his suit. “You always have such nice suits.”
The Incredible Hulk opens June 13, 2008.