The biggest superhero movie ever comes to blu-ray September 25th and Marvel Studios is already beginning to let everyone know about it. Below is the trailer for the blu-ray combo package.
Now notice how there were no details given about what’s in it. The scenes they showed were exactly what we’ve all seen before in TV spots and the movie itself. So we still have no confirmation if whether or not a director’s cut is planned for the blu-ray release on September 25, or in the theaters in August beforehand like some are speculating. In fact the trailer was as vague as possibly as it could be. Director Joss Whedon told Collider back in March that his first cut was three hours long and scaled it back to two hours and 15 minutes. When asked if a director’s cut could find it’s way onto the home release, Whedon replied:
“No [there won’t be a director’s cut on the DVD]. I… believe very strongly in putting the director’s cut into the theaters. I believe that the director’s cut is the best movie for the studio and the best version of the movie for the audience. I’ve never really been in a situation where I had to pull the beating heart out of something that I did. I think people get to see a lot of extraordinary extras because I did shoot a bunch of stuff that I love, but the movie is the movie I want it to be.”
Sounds simple enough. But then, Whedon couldn’t have predicted his film would make nearly $1.5 billion worldwide. Japan is the only market yet to officially release the film in theaters and will do so August 14th. Everyone who is hoping Marvel does a re-release to try and get the #2 spot on the all-time domestic charts, surpassing Titanic ($658 million). The Avengers, which just eclipsed $600 million in box office this week, would need one mighty re-release to do so, especially if they’re trying to hit the $2 billion mark. The temptation of a studio like Disney to do this is tempting, especially if they’re looking to make up some of that money lost on John Carter.
In an ideal world we get a re-release of The Avengers in August with the rumored 30 to 45 additional minutes (that’s a long time, people!) as long as it honestly makes the story better and not worse. Then we get a fully loaded blu-ray that has both the theatrical cut, the director’s cut, and any additional material that deserved to be cut as deleted scenes–a taste of plenty more extras. That’s me being completely optimistic. I would pay for a longer cut, even at the risk of it dragging a bit if we get some cooler moments or story elements that play out better with more material. That extra time had better be good though and I would think the magic number is 15 minutes. Anything less and people aren’t paying for extended conversations and alternate takes. If there is something cool that was cut, that’s worthy of making it back in though, then why not see it on the big screen?
The cynic in me also think that the vague trailer means we are going to get a bare bones blu-ray release, a Directors Cut in the theaters months later in the fall, with an additional 15 minutes (again, provided that it is good material that’s put back in) and another holiday release of the “Ultimate” Director’s Cut with more added, more extras (yes, I love my extras) and grabbing our money several times over, on top of how many times we contributed to the incredible box office.
To Marvel Studios credit, they’ve yet to do this kind of silliness with any of the Avengers related solo films. That tactic is something more that Fox has shown a propensity of doing with the X-Men 1.5 release and I’ve lost count how many times the Aliens Quadrilogy was released, each time had just a little more added to the extras. Warner Bros. did it with Blade Runner too. Maybe Whedon is good on his word and we never see director’s cut, which I could be fine with as well. That would squash any conversation of, which is better, the theatrical or director’s cut? Terminator 2: Judgement Day was one of those films where the debate lives on. Whedon is the ultimate geek, so curiosity fills a fellow geek’s mind. What could he have shot to fill another 45 minutes?
What do you think? Would you want a theatrical re-release of the film with an extended cut? Or are you satisfied with The Avengers as is?