Marvel's The Avengers(classified under the name Marvel Avengers Assemble in the United Kingdom and Ireland),or simply The Avengers, is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor to form a team that must stop Thor's brother Loki from subjugating Earth.
The film's development began when Marvel Studios received a loan from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the original screenplay by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, in August and New York City in September. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.
The Avengers premiered on April 11, 2012, at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre and was released theatrically in the United States on May 4, 2012. The film garnered numerous critical awards and nominations, including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for achievements in visual effects and has set or tied numerous box office records, including the biggest opening weekend in North America. The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide, and became the third-highest-grossing film—as well as the first Marvel production to generate $1 billion in ticket sales. The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on September 25, 2012. A sequel, titled Avengers: Age of Ultron, was released on May 1, 2015, while two additional sequels, titled Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, are scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.
The Asgardian Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract,2 a powerful energy source of unknown potential, the Other promises Loki an army with which he can subjugate Earth. Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and his lieutenant Agent Maria Hill arrive at a remote research facility during an evacuation, where physicist Dr. Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains that the object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a wormhole, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Selvig and several agents, including Clint Barton, to aid him in his getaway.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the "Avengers Initiative". Agent Natasha Romanoff is sent to Calcutta to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions. Coulson visits Tony Stark to have him review Selvig's research, and Fury approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract.
In Stuttgart, Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract's power while Loki causes a distraction, leading to a confrontation with Rogers, Stark, and Romanoff that ends with Loki's surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, his adoptive brother, arrives and frees him, hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s flying aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. There Loki is imprisoned while Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract.
The Avengers become divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki's other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Stark and Rogers try to restart the damaged engine, and Thor attempts to stop the Hulk's rampage. Romanoff fights Barton, and knocks him unconscious, breaking Loki's mind control. Loki escapes after killing Coulson and ejecting Thor from the airship, while the Hulk falls to the ground after attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. fighter jet. Fury uses Coulson's death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that for Loki, simply defeating them will not be enough; he needs to overpower them publicly to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Loki uses the Tesseract, in conjunction with a device Selvig built, to open a wormhole above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.
The Avengers rally in defense of New York City, the wormhole's location, but quickly realize they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. Banner arrives and transforms into the Hulk, and together he, Rogers, Stark, Thor, Barton, and Romanoff battle the Chitauri while evacuating civilians. The Hulk finds Loki and beats him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the wormhole generator, where Selvig, freed of Loki's control, reveals that Loki's scepter can be used to shut down the generator. Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Midtown Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the wormhole toward the Chitauri fleet. The missile detonates, destroying the Chitauri mothership and disabling their forces on Earth. Stark's suit runs out of power, and he falls back through the wormhole just as Romanoff closes it. Stark goes into freefall, but the Hulk saves him from crashing to the ground. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard, while Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return if and when they are needed.
In a mid-credits scene, the Other confers with his master3 about the failed attack on Earth. In a post-credits scene, the Avengers eat in silence at a shawarma restaurant.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
- Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America
- Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner / Hulk
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
- Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
- Maximiliano Hernández as Jasper Sitwell
- Alexis Denisof as the Other