While there are still a few roles that need to be cast, yesterday's report that actor Chris Evans will play Captain America provides one of the final pieces in a long-developing puzzle that, when completed, will bring together a host of Marvel Studios superheroes for "The Avengers."
Currently scheduled to hit theaters in May 2012, "The Avengers" will team Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Nick Fury against an unknown enemy (possibly The Hulk) that the heroes must unite to defeat. And though we're still not sure what form that enemy will take, Evans' casting as soldier-turned-superhero Steve Rogers now gives us a pretty good idea how Earth's Mightiest Heroes will look when they arrive on the big screen.
From familiar faces in new roles to unknown actors playing some of the world's most iconic characters, it's time to get to know your Avengers, folks.
IRON MAN: Actor Robert Downey Jr. made Tony Stark a household name when he first donned the Mark I armor in 2008. Two years later, it's hard to imagine any other face under the mask of Marvel's armored Avenger.
With "Iron Man 2" primed to further cement Downey's association to the face of Iron Man's alter ego (while also introducing potential Avengers members Black Widow and War Machine), Tony Stark will easily be the most well-established member of the team's lineup when the film hits theaters.
NICK FURY: While the relationship between the chief of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers has taken various forms over time (and between different Marvel universes), one thing that's certain is the face of Nick Fury in the Marvel movie universe. Ever since Samuel L. Jackson first approached Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark during a post-credits scene in "Iron Man" and mentioned "The Avenger Initiative," art has become reality and the model for Fury in Marvel's "Ultimates" comic book universe has become the live-action head honcho of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Even though Jackson has said Fury won't see action in "Iron Man 2," it's a good bet that there will be enough to keep his face and Fury's name connected in fans' minds until "Avengers" rolls into production.
THOR: Chris Hemsworth's role in "Star Trek" was a brief but memorable turn as the doomed George Kirk, but that's really all we have to go on at this point when it comes to Marvel's god of thunder. We've been told he's becoming "a beast" for the part, but as far as costume goes, we've heard more about Thor's dad, Odin, than we have about the hero who wields the magical hammer Mjolnir.
How will his mythical style mesh with the more modern look of Tony Stark and Nick Fury? Hopefully we won't have to wait until 2011 to find out!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: If you're a fan of comics and comic book movies, there's little to no chance that you've missed Chris Evans in one of his many featured roles. Steve Rogers will be the fourth comic book character Evans plays on the big screen after becoming the face of Johnny Storm ("Fantastic Four"), Jensen ("The Losers") and Lucas Lee ("Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World").
While all of the characters he's played have shared a certain charisma, it's worth noting that they've all featured different hairstyles, hair color, degrees of facial hair and certain accessories (Jensen's ever-present earpiece, for example). It will be interesting to see which physical elements of past characters will be present in Evan's take on Steve Rogers.
Still Uncertain: While these four characters are certain for "The Avengers," there are still some big questions as far as casting and team lineup. We've been told Hulk will be in the film, but will Edward Norton reprise the role of Bruce Banner? What about Black Widow and War Machine? And finally, will anything come of those Hawkeye and Wasp rumors?
Keep it locked to Splash Page for more "Avengers" movie news as it develops.
What do you think of the lineup thus far? Which characters do you want to see in "The Avengers"? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!