News

21 Most Memorable Movie Moments: Avengers Assemble in New York from The Avengers (2012)

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says it wasn't until he the final touches that The Avengers' most indelible image became truly iconic.

by | April 22, 2019 | Comments

Watch: Kevin Feige on the making of The Avengers above.

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating the 21 Most Memorable Moments from the movies over the last 21 years. In this special video series, we speak to the actors and filmmakers who made those moments happen, revealing behind-the-scenes details of how they came to be and diving deep into why they’ve stuck with us for so long. Once we’ve announced all 21, it will be up to you, the fans, to vote for which is the most memorable moment of all. In this episode of our ‘21 Most Memorable Moments’ series, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige details the creation of one of the MCU’s most iconic moments.

VOTE FOR THIS MOMENT IN OUR 21 MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE MOMENTS POLL


The Movie: Marvel's The Avengers (2012) 92%

When Marvel Studios kicked off the MCU with Iron Man, success was not a guarantee. Audiences didn’t know the character, and Robert Downey Jr. was not the superstar he is today. And yet lightning struck. It would strike again and again for the studio, but never as spectacularly – at least until the past two years – as it did in 2012’s The Avengers, the mega successful Marvel superhero team-up written and directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Audiences got to see characters they had started to love (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow) unite with a new version of the Hulk/Bruce Banner as well as a guy with an arrow, to square off against Loki, god of mischief, brother of Thor, and man on a Tesseract mission. The film was in many ways as much of a gamble as Iron Man: Disney and Marvel Studios spent a reported $220 million on it, and the filmmakers had the challenge of balancing multiple storylines, generating real chemistry between multiple A-listers, and meeting colossal expectations. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says his own expectations were exceeded.

Joss Whedon and Scarlett Johansson
(Photo by Zade Rosenthal, © Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection)

“The big danger of the first Avengers was just getting overwhelmed with action.”

“Early on we realized that the role of the filmmaker on our films is to bring a tonality — Jon Favreau, amazing job! — [to] bring a unique tonality and be able to maintain and ride that tone over the course of production and through post production. To bring the characters to life, to make them realistic, grounded. And that we have amazing artists and technicians who can help with the scale, that can help with as big a canvas as it is. What the filmmakers need to do is not get lost in all of that and to focus on the great character work. And the big danger of the first Avengers was just getting overwhelmed with action. So many superheroes, so much spectacle, so many special effects. And we knew there would be plenty of that. But the most interesting thing about the Avengers is: why in the world are all these people in the same room together and what would they do when they were in the same room together?”

“Joss exceeded all of our wildest expectations – twice.”

“Joss Whedon was an amazing writer, and had done amazing things – the entire Buffy series, he had written X Men comics in the years preceding that – that showed the character would not get lost amongst the spectacle. And he of course exceeded all of our wildest expectations – twice.”


The Moment: The Avengers Assemble in the Battle of New York

If there is a moment that has come to define The Avengers, and potentially the entire MCU, it is the moment when our key heroes assemble during the climactic battle in New York. The six key “original” Avengers – Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Hawkeye – form a circle, ready for battle, as the camera pans around them and Alan Silvestri’s now-iconic music soars. According to Feige, it was a moment both he and Whedon knew the movie needed.

Captain America in The Avengers
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

“The moment I realized that this could be an iconic moment, not just for the MCU, but for these kinds of films, was on the mix stage.”

“The shot of all the Avengers assembling for the first time was shot in an open-air warehouse in New Mexico, not in New York. It was nothing but green screen behind them. Iron Man wasn’t in the shot. Hulk wasn’t in the shot. They were CG and put in later. But it looked pretty cool. And Joss had a great vision for it. Cut to many months later: the visual effects are coming together, Iron Man’s there now, landing, Hulk is there… But the moment I realized that this could be an iconic moment, not just for the MCU, but for these kind of films, was on the mix stage. When the effects were final and when Alan Silvestri’s amazing score was coming in, and the timing, and the experience of watching the whole movie up to that point. When you just watch the dailies, when you just watch the visual effects shots coming in, you don’t get the experience of watching that final playback on the mix stage with Silvestri’s amazing score put in, building to that moment… that[‘s when] I got chills and I realized Joss had pulled it off.”


The Impact: We’re in the Endgame Now

Kevin Feige and Scarlett Johansson
(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

To understand the lasting impact of The Avengers and its key inspiring moment, you only need look to the box office. The movie made $623 million domestically, and more than $1.5 billion globally, which made it the third highest-grossing movie ever at the time. It’s since been beaten out by a handful of films – including Avengers: Infinity War, which would top $2 billion internationally. Avengers: Endgame could make even more than that. But it all started in Phase 1, which began to build the universe audiences love today, and which culminated in the first Avengers movie.

Those early films, and The Avengers especially, also changed modern blockbuster moviemaking: Seeing what Marvel did with the MCU, and what Warner Bros. and DC did with the Dark Knight trilogy, studios and filmmakers began to chase the same magic, drawing from beloved comics and graphic novels for inspiration. They began to build their own universes, some more successful than others, trying to capture the imagination of audiences in the way that Feige and his team had done, and continue to do, as we head into the Endgame.


Marvel’s The Avengers was released on May 4, 2012. Buy or rent it at FandangNOW.

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 105.568%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: Marvel Studios presents Marvel's The Avengers-the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man,... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

Tag Cloud

American Society of Cinematographers Binge Guide History 24 frames game of thrones Mary Tyler Moore free movies Writers Guild of America Universal true crime Certified Fresh MCU psycho National Geographic Year in Review TCA Awards Photos renewed TV shows Song of Ice and Fire mission: impossible Anna Paquin Holidays Tarantino Elton John green book MSNBC FX classics political drama A&E indiana jones CNN Esquire Amazon Prime LGBTQ breaking bad screenings social media Black Mirror indie mockumentary Film Turner cats binge RT History Discovery Channel NBC Comic Book Food Network Box Office Awards toy story HBO diversity YouTube Premium Interview rotten cooking Opinion WGN animated Election Reality Competition Avengers politics WarnerMedia Television Academy 007 SDCC Biopics Arrowverse stoner dc Schedule OneApp spinoff BBC 2017 AMC Netflix war strong female leads The Arrangement Super Bowl comic 2019 police drama DirecTV twilight Marvel TCA NYCC Apple TV Plus Cartoon Network IFC cancelled television VICE Disney Channel doctor who Baby Yoda screen actors guild Mudbound Showtime Sci-Fi Quiz Emmys Superheroe PaleyFest Shudder Music Lucasfilm sag awards Family vampires Mary poppins festivals First Look space 2015 Dark Horse Comics The Walking Dead Holiday Lionsgate USA Network facebook zero dark thirty Fox News crime award winner cancelled TV series news singing competition Hear Us Out Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt crime drama CW Seed The Witch boxoffice TIFF Spectrum Originals San Diego Comic-Con DGA President Valentine's Day Heroines TBS ABC Pixar Toys all-time TV Turner Classic Movies supernatural GLAAD Musical serial killer Britbox Hulu critics Vudu Red Carpet Marathons Infographic Thanksgiving psychological thriller Ovation Extras films Logo Starz 4/20 Fantasy New York Comic Con Trivia universal monsters Winter TV RT21 book BAFTA Country Cannes ESPN stand-up comedy nature Comedy hist child's play romantic comedy justice league Women's History Month Pirates Sneak Peek SundanceTV Christmas adventure sitcom batman Cosplay Peacock crossover Endgame Marvel Television Adult Swim FX on Hulu ratings TCA Winter 2020 historical drama adaptation Kids & Family Trailer versus Nat Geo discovery period drama Summer finale Calendar YouTube spy thriller Best and Worst Teen Horror 21st Century Fox Hallmark documentaries Acorn TV The CW jamie lee curtis 45 VH1 Rocketman E! 72 Emmy Awards Stephen King technology quibi documentary dogs anthology theme song sports latino SXSW Apple TV+ Martial Arts dark Paramount crime thriller game show Hallmark Christmas movies Fall TV A24 Emmy Nominations criterion name the review biography Sundance Now Classic Film cops directors revenge robots laika spain dramedy Animation teaser ABC Family 20th Century Fox Video Games die hard FXX Chernobyl Reality Apple IFC Films Premiere Dates Pride Month The Purge harry potter Captain marvel USA Tomatazos Ellie Kemper BBC One Mary Poppins Returns reviews Black History Month composers Amazon Prime Video Ghostbusters Rocky scary movies canceled DC Universe Western OWN talk show Pop Marvel Studios reboot science fiction Countdown video on demand obituary zombie romance joker TCM richard e. Grant Disney+ Disney Plus medical drama Lifetime Christmas movies best Disney canceled TV shows Funimation slashers Sundance Tubi Tumblr Action rotten movies we love CMT GoT zombies Trophy Talk kids Awards Tour YA Set visit video Walt Disney Pictures 2016 worst tv talk elevated horror Drama Star Wars hispanic Academy Awards ghosts 2020 werewolf Rock El Rey comedies CBS All Access MTV Comics on TV FOX Grammys See It Skip It hollywood HBO Max independent TNT spanish language what to watch Watching Series satire Oscars TruTV CBS disaster dceu VOD asian-american Shondaland comiccon children's TV Podcast Disney Plus Rom-Com Warner Bros. christmas movies mutant Mystery Amazon dragons Nickelodeon halloween BET Awards Columbia Pictures spider-man nbcuniversal based on movie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series movie 2018 GIFs Disney streaming service Star Trek chucky Spring TV BET cancelled TV shows Winners LGBT Epix concert Brie Larson cars stop motion Sundance TV comics transformers movies foreign DC Comics miniseries sequel blaxploitation emmy awards PlayStation Musicals Nominations Masterpiece blockbuster Amazon Studios Crackle natural history Superheroes aliens X-Men south america TLC cults BBC America anime Sony Pictures Creative Arts Emmys docudrama television Mindy Kaling a nightmare on elm street cartoon First Reviews TV Land parents thriller witnail YouTube Red travel 71st Emmy Awards Syfy franchise PBS cinemax Crunchyroll fast and furious superhero ITV Television Critics Association Character Guide TV renewals Lifetime E3 Travel Channel HBO Go unscripted Spike Pet Sematary streaming Freeform Film Festival Bravo Polls and Games golden globes TCA 2017 casting cancelled DC streaming service Pop TV APB Paramount Network Netflix Christmas movies Comedy Central