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Comic-Con 2012: 'Iron Man 3's' Robert Downey Jr. Surprises Fans at 'Avengers' Blu-ray Event

Speaking via video from "a bathroom stall in Wilmington, North Carolina," Downey thanked fans who participated in a scavenger hunt to find the location of a special screening of the short film "Item 47."

The Avengers' Phase One BD Art 2012
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Since making his career comeback with Iron Man in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has dutifully – and enthusiastically – participated in numerous press opportunities to sell Marvel projects to the company’s fans. On Friday night at the United Artist 14 Theater in San Diego’s Westfield Plaza, Downey made a surprise appearance via video to introduce a screening of “Item 47,” a short film to be attached to the forthcoming Blu-ray for The Avengers.

PHOTOS: The Scene at Comic-Con 2012: Day 2

Following a lengthy scavenger hunt where Comic-Con attendees hunted for clues in order to discover the location of the screening, the lights went down in the auditorium and a video began playing featuring Downey, sitting on a toilet and holding a microphone. “I am coming to you live from a bathroom stall in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I am prepping to shoot the very famous toilet escape sequence from Iron Man 3,” he said.

“I’d like to congratulate you for being here, sitting where you are today, as am I, dropping a water moccasin.”

“Item 47” is a Marvel One-Shot, and the latest in the company’s series of short films which serve to expand the company’s cinematic universe. Starring Jesse Bradford and Lizzy Caplan, the film follows a young couple who discovers how to use an alien weapon left behind by the Chitauri after their defeat at the end of The Avengers. Downey explained its premise with predictable irreverence.

“So everyone’s seen The Avengers, right?” he asked to approving cheers from the capacity crowd. “You know that at the end of The Avengers, we left New York in tatters. And while there’s plenty of clean-up, one very important item was left behind. So I’ll let you see it for yourself – this exclusive short film directed by my dear friend and Marvel co-president – isn’t that synchronistic – Louis D’Esposito.”

Organizers then screened the short film, which was met with excitement and laughter from the crowd. Afterward, there was a q&a hosted by Entertainment Weekly Senior Writer Anthony Breznican, who spoke to the cast and crewa bout the experience of bringing the short to life.

“Item 47” will appear on the Blu-ray and DVD for The Avengers, which is set for release on September 25, 2012.

Email: mtgilchrist@yahoo.com; Twitter: @mtgilchrist