The Avengers (Film)
Avengers Movie Poster


Joss Whedon


Joss Whedon

Release Date:


April 25, 2012

United Kingdom:

April 26, 2012


May 4, 2012

Running Time:

143 Minutes

The Avengers (also known as Avengers Assemble in the UK and Ireland) is a 2012 superhero film and the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the superhero team the Avengers created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The film is a crossover of all the films independently produced by Marvel Studios set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). In the film, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury assembles Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye to battle Thor's adoptive brother Loki, who attempts to subjugate humanity by leading an invasion by the extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri.

The Avengers is the first major crossover in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to be released by Walt Disney Pictures; the previous films were released by Paramount Pictures (apart from The Incredible Hulk which was distributed by Universal Studios) and as part of the deal of transfering the distribution rights from Paramount to Disney, the Paramount logo appears on the film, its promotion and its merchandise, as well as Paramount earning 8% of the films income. The Walt Disney Company is credited at the end of the film, however.

The Avengers was directed by Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was successful financially and critically and broke box-office records as the biggest weekend opening for a film and the fastest film to gross $1 billion worldwide. The film is statistically the most successful film released by Walt Disney to date and it regarded by many as one of the greatest superhero films of all time.


Nick Fury, the director of the espionage agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., a remote research facility, during an evacuation. His second-in-command, Maria Hill, explains that the Tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential, has activated and opened a portal through space, from which the exiled Asgardian prince Loki, steps through. Loki takes the Tesseract, and uses a sceptre to control the minds of several S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel including Agent Clint Barton, and physicist consultant Dr. Erik Selvig in order to aid in his getaway.In response, Fury reactivates the Avengers Initiative. Agent Natasha Romanof recruits Dr. Bruce Banner in India, while Agent Phil Coulson visits Tony Stark and requests that he reviews Selvig's research. Fury himself approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract from Loki; Rogers is familiar with the Tesseract as it played a vital role in his World War II exploits.

Romanoff, Coulson, Rogers, and Banner meet on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier before it goes airborne. It's there that Romanoff first mentions Coulson's collection of vintage Captain America trading cards. Dr. Banner is escorted to his lab after a brief meeting with Fury; Banner has been consulted to trace the gamma signature that the Tesseract radiates. After spending some time tracking the whereabouts of the Tesseract on the Helicarrier, a man of Loki's description is located in Europe.

Iron Man, Captain America, and Romanoff travel to Stuttgart, Germany to apprehend Loki, who, with the aid of a mind-controlled Barton, is stealing iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract and demanding that people there kneel before him. After a battle with the heroes, Loki surrenders and is being returned to the Helicarrier in the Quinjet. Thor, Loki's adoptive brother and the Asgardian god of thunder, attempts to free Loki and reason with him. After a confrontation with Iron Man and Captain America, Thor accompanies them to imprison Loki on the Helicarrier.

After Loki is put into the cell originally intended for the Hulk, Thor reveals to the team that Loki is allied with the Chitauri, a powerful and technologically advanced extraterrestrial race unknown to both Earth and Asgard. Stark orders J.A.R.V.I.S. to hack into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database while he works with Dr. Banner (and attempts to annoy him to the point of 'Hulking out.') Rogers is less than thrilled at Stark's behavior and confronts him. He then tells the two scientists to resume their work and investigates Phase Two, S. H. I. E. L. D.'s top secret weapons program. While all of this is going on, Romanoff speaks one on one with Loki, and eventually discovers that he plans on using Banner as a means of dismembering the team.

After all of these things come to light, the Avengers are divided over how to deal with Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plan to harness the Tesseract’s power to develop weapons. Fury admits that the events in New Mexico a year before made S.H.I.E.L.D. aware of other extraterrestrial races that may threaten Earth. Weapons developed from the Tesseract would form a means of deterrence. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines. As Iron Man and Captain America attempt to restart the damaged engines, Banner transforms into the Hulk, despite Romanoff's efforts to calm him, and runs amok inside the ship, soon battling Thor. During a fight with Barton, Romanoff discovers that knocking him unconscious breaks Loki's mind control. Loki escapes his cell with the help of a possessed agent and traps Thor in the cell. Coulson confronts Loki in an attempt to rescue Thor, and Loki then stabs Coulson through his back with his staff before ejecting Thor from the ship and getting hit by Coulson's Revenge, a gun reverse-engineered from The Destroyer's energy. Fury confronts the expiring Coulson, whose words suggest his death can be used to give the team something to avenge.

Fury uses Coulson's death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. At Stark's New York-based home, Stark Tower, the group realizes that defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them in a public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Using a Tesseract-powered inter-dimensional generator Selvig has built, Loki opens a portal to the Chitauri fleet over Manhattan, summoning an invasion. The Avengers rally in defense of New York, but quickly conclude they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri and Leviathans descend. With help from Barton, Captain America and Thor evacuate civilians, while Banner transforms into the Hulk again and goes after Loki, comically beating him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to Selvig's device, where Selvig, freed of Loki's control, reveals that Loki's staff can be used to close the portal.

Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Despite Agent Hill and Fury's orders to not fire, a rogue jet launches the missile at Manhattan. Iron Man intercepts it and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet before running out of power and plummeting back to Earth. The Hulk catches him as he falls. The Avengers then apprehend Loki, who is still weak from his encounter with the Hulk. News channels confirm the legitimacy of the extraterrestrial attack and some Americans regard the Avengers with praise and thanks while others feel threatened by them and even call for their arrests. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard to take responsibility for his crimes. Fury notes that the Avengers will go their separate ways until such time as a new world-threatening menace emerges.

In the first post-credits scene, The Other tells his shadowy master that attacking Earth "would be to court Death". His master, Thanos turns and smiles.

In a second post-credits scene, the Avengers — gathered at a shawarma restaurant and looking a bit worse for the wear — eat in silence.