12:02pm PT by Jordan Zakarin
'Avengers' Alternate Opening Features a Smoldering, Somber New York City (Video)
No schwarma here.
The Avengers, the biggest comic book film of the summer (and, all time) was a sort of light-hearted affair, mixing its spectacular (and CGI-assisted) action sequences with the quippy one-liners and physical humor that have long been the trademark of director Joss Whedon. But it could have been much different.
As a new DVD/Blu Ray extra released online Tuesday reveals, Whedon directed a much more somber and serious opening for the film that would have, presumably, been a preview of how the story ended (Spoiler Alert: in the actual film, the good guys won and yukked it up in Central Park afterward), which featured a wrecked New York City and a less-than-victorious Earth's Mightiest Heroes. As Captain America looks on at a city in ruins, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill is required to answer to the government's higher-ups, who are less than happy with Nick Fury.
Of course, it's not as if NYC got off without a scratch in the real film -- there was about $160 billion in hypothetical damage to the city, THR found -- but from the looks of it, it would have been worse in this alternate universe.
This version would have brought Avengers much more in line with this summer's other gigantic superhero film, The Dark Knight Rises, which completed Christopher Nolan's grim look at humanity and near-destruction of Gotham.
Of course, it's hard to fathom the Avengers actually losing the battle -- there is a whole next generation of films, including an Avengers sequel, on the way. But they would have at least suffered a bit more.