Yes, that is a naked Incredible Hulk behind the scenes from the Avengers DVD. No, that is not the best part. During the director’s commentary, Joss Whedon talks about the Captain America trading card theme that he created and how it almost never happened. The resulting revelations are true genius.
We will not spoil the movie, just in case you have not seen it. Time will surely mark this film as one of the greatest achievements in superhero cinema history, and for a card collector like me it may never get any better. Joss Whedon actually used mythical Captain America trading cards as a central focus of the storyline. He also feared that the cards would eventually be cut from the final version of the film. He geeked out to the depths of collector ecstacy when the studio allowed the movie to keep his ultimate nerd moment intact. As a collector himself, Joss Whedon snuck the term “slight foxing” into the Avengers. In the director’s commentary on the DVD, he squeals with joy when he talks about having it survive into history.
Here’s one of the things he said about the trading card theme, which evolved and grew by itself as the movie was being filmed:
“And here come the cards again. It’s one of those things that kept unfolding, and making me happier and happier.”
Thank you, Joss Whedon. Thank you for sharing your process with us. Thank you for including trading cards in this magnificent movie. Thank you for being one of us, and for taking us with you to the promised land. We really appreciate it.
(Sketch card by Charles Hall, from Upper Deck’s Captain America set.)