Marvel‘s superhero epic The Avengers is coming to DVD/Blu-ray on September 25, and so far all of the deleted scenes and blooper reels we’ve seen have gotten us even more excited to watch Joss Whedon‘s record-breaking film all over again. But there’s one change to the DVD that has a lot of viewers upset. It appears that in certain versions of the film released in Europe ahead of the U.S. DVD release, Disney decided to censor the movie’s major death scene. (So get ready for some spoilers, for anyone who somehow hasn’t already seen this movie.)
When Clark Gregg‘s character, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, gets murdered by Loki, it’s your typical disturbing Whedon death—partly because this character had popped up in every Marvel movie since 2008, but also because we watch Loki’s spear go straight through his chest. It’s the movie’s worst bit of gore, and while it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment, it’s not easily forgotten.
However, it looks as if Disney decided that this scene was too much for viewers. Bloggers reviewing foreign versions of the film have noticed that in Coulson’s death scene, the tip of the spear has been erased entirely. German film site Schnittberichte.com compares two screenshots, one from the censored version and then the uncut version, from the Italian DVD.
What gives, guys? The people buying this movie know what they’re getting into. Yet it’s as if Disney worries that its younger audiences will stumble upon this film — which is technically Disney, yes, but only because they bought Marvel — and be scarred by some violence. British site SFX reported that the movie’s rating didn’t even change despite that scene getting censored. It’s a serious enough change that the British Board of Film Classification is investigating whether the censored movie is in breach of the Video Recording Act. Shit’s getting real, you guys.
To add insult to injury, there are like five different UK Avengers DVDs, each with a different “extra”—the post-credits shwarma scene, a commentary track from Whedon, a 90-minute making-of documentary. All of these are available on the U.S. version, but if you live outside of the States you’re lucky to get just one depending where you buy the DVD/Blu-ray. This is seriously messed up and a major faux pas on Disney’s part.
And anyway, it’s pretty ironic that this is the studio that killed Bambi’s mom, and yet they’re trying to protect us from some gore?
.gif: lotsofloki on Tumblr