Just when you thought that The Avengers might remain untainted with the weird competition that seems to saturate all Hollywood ensemble films, out comes this story in USA Today about how Marvel‘s “favorites” are Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk). Sure, the other cast members are fun, but this is the foursome that the studio really wants to push—as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige readily admitted,
“These guys are known as the core four… Getting Thor, Captain America, the Hulk and Iron Man in one room—that’s why we made this movie. Whether they are fighting each other, or the bad guy, seeing these guys clash was the appeal.”
But where’s the love for Black Widow? Or Hawkeye, who I had never heard of but who seems really badass for not having any superheroes? Or Nick Fury?! This favoritism makes sense pragmatically, as all these characters starred in their respective movies — and have more coming up — but it also seems like a move that would split up this ensemble cast that doesn’t have a single untalented member. It bears uncomfortable similarities to the jokes about Chris and little brother Liam Hemsworth having to duke it out over movie roles.
And yet, it’s difficult to envision studio heads trying to tear apart the real-life Avengers when you see how well these four get along. Take this exchange from the roundtable, where they compare notes over their various headpieces and other confining costumes:
Q: The Captain America suit makes you claustrophobic?
Evans: You just know you can’t get out of it.
Ruffalo: It’s his helmet. They strap it on. It takes 20 minutes to put it on and 45 to take off.
Hemsworth: Well, try wearing a long blond (expletive) wig. Talk about claustrophobic. My God.
Downey: (To Hemsworth) By the way, for all the wig meetings we had and I was looking, I never noticed a moment, not one, where I thought, “That’s not a good hair moment for you.”
Hemsworth: I did.
Ruffalo: Wait, that was a wig? Come on!
Hemsworth: In the movie. Sure.
Hemsworth: Well, that’s good that you didn’t know.
See? Quotes like this make it seem less like a calculated move and more like a natural friendship that cropped up during filming. Anyway, Scarlett Johansson can take care of herself, especially if they bring on another female hero for The Avengers 2, right?
Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA Today