Assembled Avengers: Andy Burns Runs Down The Cast and Director Of The Avengers

The biggest news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend was actually confirmation more than anything else. Confirmation of who will be starring in the hugely anticipated Avengers film, set for release in Summer 2012. And confirmation as to who would have the huge task then of guiding to this film to the big screen. Here then is your rundown of your assembled Avengers:

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man: The biggest name and the hottest actor in the cast right now. Fans know that Downey has got Tony Stark down pat. We also know that he’s indebted to Marvel Studios for making him a superstar and a box office draw. The only question is, what sort of chemistry will Downey’s Stark have with his two younger co-stars?

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America: Evans’ casting was somewhat controversial, based on the fact that he was one of the few good things about a previous Marvel franchise, the Fantastic Four. However, Evans has subsequently received good notices for his role in The Losers and will be featured in this summers upcoming Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Evans has the chops, but he’ll really have to step up his game to stand beside some of his Avengers co-stars and make his Cap equal to Downey’s Iron Man.

Chris Hemsworth as The Mighty Thor: The least familiar actor of the ensemble who arguably has the biggest boots to fill, Hemsworth is tasked with making a god appealing and, well, godlike. Physically, he’s the perfect embodiment of the God of Thunder. As for his acting ability, he certainly demonstrated he could resonate strongly with his brief role as Jim Kirk’s father in last year’s Star Trek reboot. He’s also been working with Anthony Hopkins and Kenneth Branagh on The Mighty Thor film, so there’s no way Hemsworth isn’t adding some new tricks to his acting arsenal.

Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury: The lynchpin of Marvel’s line of films, expect Jackson’s Fury to be the man that puts this motley crüe together. Hopefully, Jackson will be able to tone down some of the (unintentional?) camp he brought to the role in Iron Man 2.

Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson: Gregg is arguably the luckiest member of the assembled ensemble, managing to parlay what had to be considered a minor role in the first Iron Man film into a core member of the forthcoming Avengers team.

Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow: ScoJo was one of the highlights of Iron Man 2. Not only was she easy on the eyes, but her take on The Black Widow was solid and strong. Considering how much the Avengers director loves empowering his female characters and that The Black Widow is currently the only woman on the team, Johansson should score some serious screen time.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye: The Oscar-nominated Renner will play fan favorite, archer Hawkeye, whose comic book origins were as a villain before he renounced his evil ways, going on to become a lynchpin of The Avengers. I have a feeling Renner won’t have any trouble playing cool and cocky, and we should expect to see some great scenes between him and Chris Evans’ Captain America.

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk: After much controversy, Mark Ruffalo will take over for Edward Norton, but my guess is we won’t see much of him on screen. Figure that the Hulk will be one of the main villains of The Avengers, and will rendered in CG, making Ruffalo’s role more of a solid cameo rather than a staring vehicle.

Joss Whedon, Director of The Avengers: The man I consider to be the biggest question mark of the film. While I was a huge fan of his Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as a big screen director Whedon has absolutely zero clout. His one foray, Serenity, was embraced by Firefly fans, but there only seemed to be five of them, as that film tanked at the box office. And while Whedon directed some absolutely brilliant Buffy episodes, making the transition to a huge summer blockbuster tent pole film isn’t going to be easy. Expect Marvel Studios to be extremely hands-on in helping Whedon manage all the egos involved. And then expect to hear how he didn’t enjoy the experience.

Regardless, there’s no question that Marvel has put together an absolutely stellar ensemble cast for what Robert Downey Jr described as one of the most “ambitious” films of all time. Now all we have to do is wait out the next two years until we can finally see these Avengers Assembled.

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