They are Hollywood’s version of YMCMB, MMG, The Wu-Tang and The Hit Squad rolled up into one. The silver screen’s mightiest super clique, The Avengers, finally hit the box office at midnight on Friday (May 4) and as destiny would have it, the heroes have already triumphed. The movie, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Ruffalo, among others, already has broken the record for midnight movie gross with $18.7 million and has hauled in $300 million worldwide, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fans and critics have praised the movie and the hip-hop community definitely isn’t too cool to get involved in the frenzy.
Legendary lyricist Big Boi was among the thousands participating in midnight Friday showings. “The movie was incredible!” he raved to XXL on Friday afternoon, a few hours after seeing the action vehicle. “I saw the movie because I’m a die-hard comic book fan. My favorite part was when the Hulk slammed Loki!”
Def Jam Senior Vice President of A&R and former President and Producer for G-Unit records, Sha Money XL, is among those highly anticipating the film.
“Watching ‘Avengers’ for the first time is way iller then [seeing] “X-Men,”” he said. “There are more of the super hero that are my favorites from Iron Man, to Hulk to ,Thor. I’m very excited to see it.”
Vice President of A&R at Shady Records, Riggs Morales, marvels that Marvel has done the seemingly impossible.
“It’s quite an achievement,” he determined about the film actually being produced. “It’s not something that as an Avengers reader you would ever thought [it] would be possible, let alone executed the way it was. As a comic book fan, it’s exciting to watch it come to fruition. The fact that Marvel took control of their characters and strategically set it up for what was once deemed an impossible project is to be commanded. It’s a game changer in the sense of now anything is possible with Marvel Universe and its characters.”
Seeds had been planted for The Avengers since 2008’s Iron Man. Cameos by characters or references in subsequent Marvel hero films The Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
Veteran Queens MC N.O.R.E. says he’s been anxiously awaiting Avengers since it was announced a couple of years ago.
“You never outgrow you love of a super hero movie,” N.O.R.E. says. “And in Avengers they have all the heavyweights in one film, of course I’m in.”
N.O.R.E. says he’s most looking forward to seeing the Avenger who doesn’t wear a costume and the Avenger who is always cracking jokes.
“I’m a Hulk type of dude, but for this one, I think I’m rolling wit Iron Man because Robert Downey just kills that roll every trip,” he said.
Well, both the Hulk and Iron Man steal the show in this movie. In The Avengers, not only do the fans get see The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye all team up and fight an army from another world who vow to take over earth, viewers also get to see the heroes fight each other. Director Joss Whedon delivered close to two and half hours of non-stop action.
“I think the exciting thing speaks for itself; that bunch of characters, that bunch of actors playing them, that much money. That’s kind of a no brainer,” Whedon, alongside the cast, said in a room full of reporters recently in L.A. It was the day after the movie’s world premiere in L.A. and a few hours before they filmed the very last scene in the movie (make sure you stay until the very last credits are rolled when you go see the film). The hardest part is and always will be structure. How do you put that together? How do you make everybody shine? How do you let the audiences’ identification drift from person to person without making it feel that they’re not involved. It had to be right. It had to be earned from moment to moment. It’s a very complex structure. It’s not exactly innate or original, it had to be right. That’s exhausting. That was still going on in the editing room after we shot it.”
“For me, it’s capturing the essence of the comic and being true to what’s wonderful about it while remembering it’s a movie and not a comic,” he added. “I think Spiderman—the first one in particularly—really captured [it]. They figured how [to] ‘tell this story they told in the comic.’ It was really compelling. That’s why it’s iconic. At the same time, they did certain things that only a movie can do that were in the vain of the comic. You see things like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where they throw out the comic or Watchmen where they go frame by frame and neither one of them work. You have to give the spirit of the things and then step away from that and give something new.”
Confessed comic fanatic and comic movie buff, XV, says he wasn’t overly impressed by the previews, but is inspired by Whedon’s track record and has every faith the director’s vision will be a masterpiece.
“I’m one of the very few who thought the trailers weren’t that amazing, but I believe in Joss Whedon the same way I believe in Christopher Nolan,” XV admitted. “So besides the Dark Knight, this might end up being my favorite super hero movie of all time.”
Samuel L. Jackson praised Whedon’s helming of the film.
“Allowing an audience to see these guys that have super powers, but they have normal kinda attitudes,” Jackson said. “They get pissed with each other, they argue about petty shit and they can just be jerks. But they are eventually gonna find a way to love each other. Thank God we had somebody to guide us in that direction.”
Jackson and Whedon like the rest of the cast, said it was surreal when all of the characters assembled on set in their fighting uniforms.
“For me, so many things are memorable about it,” Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, Thor’s adopted brother and the main villain of the film. “It was a long shoot. We shot the whole summer together. It was an amazing time for me to work with some of the greatest actors in the world. If you said ‘how was the Avengers shoot?’ There’s an image in my mind which is the first day on set that everybody was there together. It was insane. The picture of everybody in costume, all of these actors in there, all of these characters in their capes and their armor—except Mark Ruffalo in his grey and white pajamas—but to see everybody finally assembled, it was an extraordinary moment. Just the picture of the Avengers was amazing.”
“People kept asking me, ‘Are you excited?’ Whedon remembered. “I don’t feel things necessarily in the moment, but it will happen? “Then came the scene when almost all the Avengers come together for the first time. I was giving Chris Evans a piece of direction. Then I walked into the hall and I stopped and I said to the producers ‘it happened, I’ll tell you later.’ That was the moment it flooded over me. That’s nice, excitement.’”
“We all know each other,” Jackson said. “We all laugh together, and once we saw each other in that particular setting, it was like, ‘OK, we’re actually going to do this. This is gonna be fun.’ It’s almost like an ‘Our Gang’ type of film. ‘I’ve got some costumes. I’ve got some film. My dad’s got a studio.’”—Shaheem Reid (@ShaheemReid)