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I was chatting with someone recently about differences in the UK and US versions of The Avengers (which of course extend even to the title, since the UK had some other movie called Avengers that a few people apparently liked, resulting in Avengers Assemble in the UK). I was curious, so I did a little online research, and came across a couple of interesting things I hadn’t heard about before.

To the misfortune of understandably disgruntled Avengers fans in the UK (and I guess wherever else they’re buying the UK disk), there are at least two problems with the UK Blu-Ray.

First, because the disk was released in the UK (and the rest of the entire planet and all the Nine Realms) before it was in the US, Joss Whedon’s commentary wasn’t ready in time and wasn’t included on the disk. A DVD without a commentary? I’d be very unhappy. Couldn’t they have just held the disk? I’m sure fans would have rather accepted a delay than be stuck with a DVD sans commentary. Personally, for me, the commentary is hugely important, and is often the make-or-break factor in whether I purchase a disk or not. This problem, at least, I understand. There’s pressure on the studios to get this stuff out quickly, while the consumer fire still burns, and they have a lot of stuff to put together to get on the disk, and here they basically missed a deadline. That doesn’t make it acceptable, of course. Simple problem, seemingly simple to fix. Maybe there were contractual obligations and they would have taken a huge financial hit if they didn’t deliver the disk according to the deadline.

Second — and this one’s really bizarre, to me — well, let me just let Disney UK’s spokeswoman explain (via an article on The Guardian‘s website, Sept. 2012):

“Thanks to those of you who have let us know about an issue on the Marvel Avengers Assemble UK Blu-Ray and DVD release, which has a less graphic depiction of Agent Coulson’s confrontation with Loki,” said Disney in a statement. “Each country has its own compliance issues relative to depictions of violence. Unfortunately, another region’s elements were inadvertently used to create the UK in-home release which minimally altered this scene in the film. We thank our fans for their vigilance in recognising this and apologise for the mix up.”

Disney has even taken the unusual step of suggesting that fans purchase the US Blu-Ray of the film, which should work on UK players. “We know that hardcore fans with Blu-ray players are probably going to end up buying the US release, which has the commentary,” Rodrigues told Home Cinema Choice. “The American Blu-Ray is region-free.”

Wow. That’s amazing. Disney UK is basically telling Marvel fans to buy the US Blu-Ray. Because someone screwed up and put some other country’s version of the movie onto the UK disk. Oh, and BTW, earlier statements from Disney UK assured fans that the disk contained the movie exactly as it was shown in UK theaters (the same as in the US, except for the final bonus scene, which was shot very late — ha, take that, Rest of the Nine Realms! We got it and you didn’t, ha!)

So in the scene in question, as we know, Loki appears behind Coulson and stabs him with the “glowstick of destiny,” and we see the tip of the spear protruding from Coulson’s chest, from a side angle, we don’t such much blood at all, and, always disappointingly to me, we don’t get a good look at Loki’s face (like a quarter of a second or something, and only in profile). I’d always kind of wondered about this (this could just be because I’m Loki-obsessed). Anyway, in some countries they showed a version where you didn’t see the spear tip sticking out of Coulson’s chest. You can see screenshots of the two versions, with and without the protruding spear, in this article, also linked to in the paragraph before, and here’s a YouTube video of the version without the spear tip — in my quick search I actually couldn’t find one with it!

Turns out this scene was a problem for Marvel all along, and not just with this embarrassing good on the UK disk. This article from Screencrush.com, citing Movies.com, tells us that when The Avengers was originally submitted to the US organization that gives movies their ratings, the MPAA, it was given an R rating! According to the article, Avengers “was actually submitted twice and received an R-rating both times, before [Joss] Whedon finally made the appropriate edits. Says [Kevin] Feige of the scene that got them into hot water: ‘Well, whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.'” [What?! Loki created issues?!] This makes me so curious about the original cut. Just how graphic and bloody was it?? And how did they obtain the final version? Did they recut from existing material, or have to obtain anything new? Is this why we only get profile shots, which don’t show us the actors’ expressions as well as a front-shot would have?

The same article also notes that Cap 2 didn’t have any trouble getting its PG-13 rating, this despite the much more real-life violence of that movie. Real-life except…why did the bad guys keep shooting at Steve’s shield? Surely they figured out quickly the bullets wouldn’t go through. Now if they’d aimed lower, gone for the legs… Well, movies and TV shows do this all the time, rain bullets down on the heroes and they somehow emerge unscathed. Ha, slight tangent. Couldn’t help myself!

Says Feige of the scene that got them into hot water:

Well, whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.

Read More: ‘The Avengers’ Was Originally Rated R | http://screencrush.com/avengers-rated-r/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_152097&trackback=tsmclip

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Visit Us At: http://screencrush.com

was actually submitted twice and received an R-rating both times, before Whedon finally made the appropriate edits.

Says Feige of the scene that got them into hot water:

Well, whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.

Read More: ‘The Avengers’ Was Originally Rated R | http://screencrush.com/avengers-rated-r/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_152097&trackback=tsmclip

Follow Us: Facebook

Visit Us At: http://screencrush.com

was actually submitted twice and received an R-rating both times, before Whedon finally made the appropriate edits.

Says Feige of the scene that got them into hot water:

Well, whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.

Read More: ‘The Avengers’ Was Originally Rated R | http://screencrush.com/avengers-rated-r/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_152097&trackback=tsmclip

Follow Us: Facebook

Visit Us At: http://screencrush.com

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