‘Avengers’: Nine Fun Facts From Joss Whedon’s DVD Commentary

The writer-director reveals his favorite scenes and biggest regrets on a commentary track for the just-released 'Avengers' DVD.

Even if you’ve already seen “The Avengers” a thousand times by now, here’s a reason to push that tally to 1,001: the Joss Whedon commentary track.

“Avengers” arrived on Blu-ray and DVD this week, boasting a number of special features ranging from deleted scenes to the gag reel . But it’s Whedon’s insightful, informative and downright hilarious commentary that stands out as the home video release’s decisive highlight. Read on for nine of our favorite fun facts gleaned from the writer-director’s “Avengers” commentary.

» Whedon likes the word “texture.” It’s said frequently throughout the commentary and it becomes increasingly clear that yes, “The Avengers” has lots of texture.

» Black Widow’s introduction is the only scene in the movie that’s completely unchanged from what Whedon wrote in his script. Whedon had hoped to write a scene featuring a prisoner handcuffed to a chair, and breaking said chair on an enemy in the middle of a fight sequence, for years.

» Jeremy Renner’s acting style is described by Whedon as “minimalist.” “What he’s not doing is what he’s doing,” according to the writer-director. As for Hawkeye’s several unique arrows, even Whedon had to make fun of himself over the “virus arrow” that’s featured in the S.H.I.E.L.D. assault. “What? That could totally happen! … Don’t make fun of me.”

» Whedon’s favorite scene in all of “The Avengers” is Black Widow’s interrogation of Loki. His favorite shot in the movie also takes place in this scene, as Loki’s reflection grows closer and bigger on the inside of his cage, glowering as he comes towards Widow.

» Another of Whedon’s favorite shots in the film is of Captain America and Iron Man finding out for the first time that Agent Coulson has died. Whedon said it looks to him exactly as if Bryan Hitch, artist of “The Ultimates,” drew the scene.

» Whedon has a thing for knocking Norse guys out of the frame. “It’s always fun to do that,” he confessed, regarding Thor and Loki’s propensity for getting spontaneously slammed out of scenes.

» The director is also extremely proud of how Hulk manhandles Loki at the film’s climax. “If I did nothing else for the last two years, if I literally sat on my bum doing nothing, and I made that little scene? I would feel that I had accomplished something in this world. Does anything make me happier? It does not.”

» The massive, uninterrupted shot at the heart of the final battle scene nearly didn’t make the final cut of the film due to budget and time concerns. Ultimately, it became clear that the scene had to stay, no matter the cost. “I think that’s why we’re here,” Whedon had realized about the shot. “This is where the Avengers become the Avengers.”

» As adored as the film is, “Avengers” isn’t without its problems. Whedon is more aware of this than probably anyone. Among the aspects of the film he isn’t wild about is how the nuclear bomb Tony Stark hurls into space singlehandedly shuts down the entire Chitauri threat. He didn’t love the “kill the queen bee, kill the drones” play, but felt it was necessary so that the Avengers could go on to enjoy their moment of triumph.

Did you pick up “Avengers” on Blu-ray or DVD? What did you think of the commentary track? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @roundhoward!

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Likes pizza, punch and pie. Dislikes the Chitauri.
@roundhoward