8:00 PM, 31st May, 2012
This is it! The film we've all been waiting for ever since Samuel L. Jackson popped up unannounced at the end of Iron Man way back in 2008. Alluding to 'The Avengers Initiative', Jackson's appearance as SHIELD chief Nick Fury set fans up for something they could only have ever dreamed of: a live-action superhero team-up movie.
While the rights to multiple heroes often reside under the same roof on the printed page, where such team-ups are commonplace, the film rights for Marvel's most prized properties were quickly divvied up in the early 2000s after everyone realised what a gold mine superhero movies could be. This meant that, unless rival studios were going to play nice and share (unlikely!), Spider-Man wasn't going to be dropping in on the X-Men anytime soon.
Fortunately, Marvel held onto the rights to a few B-list heroes that didn't exactly scream 'box office gold' to the studios: specifically, an armoured, womanising industrialist, a hammer-wielding Norse God, and an American flag-wearing WWII soldier. In addition to the Hulk (whose rights they re-acquired), these characters incidentally also made up the key roster of a certain superhero team. And now, five solo films and over $2 billion in box office bounty later, the ultimate pay-off has arrived.
Bringing together Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Captain America (Evans), Thor (Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in their fight against a common enemy - as well as each other - The Avengers is a rousing, mega-blockbuster of the highest calibre and a film you'd simply be mad to miss!