"The Avengers" assembled Saturday night at New York Comic Con 2011 -- and it was pretty awesome. Some of the principal cast members of the upcoming Marvel superhero epic were in attendance, including Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, an unannounced Mark Ruffalo and even Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
At times it felt more like a sporting event. There was uncontrollable screaming, shaking and maybe even a few tears for a few lucky fans who were able to ask the stars questions. The noise was deafening. The panel opened with the trailer (and let me tell you, it looked even more amazing on the big screen), and the screaming and cheering was so loud, you couldn't hear a thing. But here's what The Huffington Post did learn, judging by scream levels: Fans love Tom Hiddleston's Loki, but aren't so impressed with Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow.
But the biggest cheers of the night came from the announcement that director Joss Whedon had cut new footage to be screened at Comic Con. What follows is all of the spoiler-y action and the six things that we learned at "The Avengers" panel at New York Comic Con:
New footage reveals that Bruce Banner hasn't turned into The Hulk in two years -- and he doesn't really want to talk about it.
The footage shows Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) tricking Banner (Mark Ruffalo) into a confrontation in India, and it's full of sexual tension. Nick Fury sends Black Widow (Romanoff) to find Banner because he needs Banner and his scientific mind to help with the Cosmic Cube. Meanwhile, Romanoff teases Banner about his little secret, and Banner reveals he hasn't turned into The Hulk in two years. It's sort of a touchy subject, as he gets a little testy and Romanoff pulls out her gun. Another scene shows Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) at Stark Tower, where Loki tells Stark that he has an army waiting for them. In a third scene, Stark tests Banner (by zapping him) in the Stark labs to see if The Hulk will appear.
Mark Ruffalo claims that he's the only actor who officially gets to play Bruce Banner and The Hulk.
Previous films based about Bruce Banner have leaned heavily on CGI to create The Hulk, but in "The Avengers," Ruffalo will actually play Hulk using stop-action, stop-motion capture. Think "Avatar" but greener.
Everybody loves Tom Hiddleston.
Seriously. The cast loves him -- especially Chris Evans -- and the fans must really love him, because Hiddleston was the subject of almost every single question asked during the Q&A. Everyone wanted to talk about Loki. At one point, when Chris Evans was finally asked a question (okay, it was a panel question, but that counts, right?), he said, "Sorry, I got lost in Tom's glow. What was the question? Was it about Tom? I love Tom, too."
Perhaps supervillans are more interesting than superheroes? Or is the Norse god of mischief just that bad-ass? Or is it because he can sing? For the last question of the night, Hiddleston recalled an incident from drama school when his classmates said he looked like Gene Wilder, so he then wooed the crowd with the theme from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Now if he was dressed as Loki, that would have been quite a sight. Regardless, it looks like Hiddleston may be the true breakout star of this "Avengers" film.
Clark Gregg made up his own "Avengers" theme song
Regardless of all the Tom Hiddleston love in the IGN Theater, I really love Clark Gregg. Not only does he seem like an awesome guy, but I have a soft spot for Agent Phil Coulson. The crowd prompted Gregg to perform the "Avengers" theme song he wrote, and he eventually did sing it for the crowd -- but not before telling the crowd to imagine Trent Reznor singing it. Here's a sample of the lyrics: "We've got muscles so bulky, and we have a Hulky."
Gregg also wins for funniest line of the night. When asked how it felt to see all of the Avengers assembled together (minus The Hulk), Gregg replied, "I felt like it was the 'Make-A-Wish Foundation,' like I only had a week to live and no one told me, so this was how they were going to break the news to me."
The Avengers assembled! ... in Albuquerque for a little post-filming fun.
It started with a text. Gregg revealed that the greatest text message he ever received in his life was from Chis Evans, and it said simply "Assemble." The cast then reminisced about a post-shoot gathering in Albuquerque -- a night that no one can seem to remember. There was a lot of dancing, and Gregg seemed to believe that Scarlett Johansson had the best moves in the Avengers bunch. However, Evans and Hemsworth didn't take part in the dancing, instead they were trading workout tips.
"I look over," said Hiddleston, "And there was Chris Evans asking Chris Hemsworth, 'But how do you get that right here?' and Hemsworth was like, 'I don't know, just work out, mate.'"
Kevin Feige is in pre-production talks for "Iron Man 3" with director Shane Black.
Feige calls it Phase 2 of the Avengers Initiative and will lead into an "Avengers" sequel. Feige also confirmed a post-credits scene at the end of "Avengers." He also mentioned that "Guardians of the Galaxy" would be its own movie and won't be introduced in any of the other movies.