Suggested alternative titles for The Avengers
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Though, in the words of Shakespeare, an epic blockbuster by any other name would rock as much...
Marvel has renamed their upcoming superhero movie, The Avengers, in the UK. It’ll now be known as ‘Marvel Avengers Assemble’, seemingly to avoid confusion with the 1960s British TV series The Avengers, and the somewhat less popular 1998 movie adaptation of the same name. Presumably, they want to avoid the need for British fans to keep clarifying, “No, your *other* Avengers…”
‘Avengers Assemble' is probably a decent title. After all, the Avengers do assemble; it’s kind of their thing. But still, it seems like they could have done better.
Here are some alternative suggestions for titles that Marvel could have gone for, some more tongue-in-cheek than others:
Joss Whedon's The Avengers
For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Serenity, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, Astonishing X-Men, Fray, Sugarshock, or any of the man’s other work, the fact that Joss Whedon is writing and directing The Avengers is a huge selling point. Not only is he one of the greatest storytellers of all time, but all of his writing derives from a deep love of the characters, he’s a big fan of comic books and superheroes, and has plenty of experience at juggling ensemble casts.
And for those who aren’t yet familiar with his work, it’ll give people more awareness of who directed this awesome movie, so that they can then go and check out some of his other work. (Which is awesome.)
This would be a nice homage to Joss Whedon’s acclaimed run at writing the comic book title Astonishing X-Men. Also, judging from the trailers we’ve seen so far, the adjective would be no exaggeration.
Some Assembly Required
Reportedly one of the working titles for the film, this nicely sums up the key theme of the film: a bunch of wildly disparate characters coming together to form a kind of family. And it would also function as a reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which had an episode of the same name, though not one of the more well-regarded ones…
However, this title may not make it clear enough to the mainstream that it’s a superhero movie. It sounds like a quirky, offbeat indie movie/flick, possibly set to an achingly hip soundtrack.
Another working title for the film, this also sums up the key theme of the film in an amusingly ironic (and, ironically, ultimately non-ironic) way.
However, this title also has a similar downside, in that it sounds like either a small, feelgood indie flick, or a bleak, utterly depressing social drama where the title is the bitterest of ironies.
In the latter film, perhaps one character, starved of love, goes around bear-hugging people to death. It would be Grizzly Man meets a serial killer story. Maybe this could be a series of films, about serial killers with ridiculous MOs, and Bill Murray could play a detective who summarises the cases in hilariously deadpan fashion.
Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Not only a reference to what the Avengers are known as in the comics, but it also just sounds really cool.
As with any title change to something that doesn’t have ‘Avengers’ in, though, it could potentially confuse non-comic book fans who’ve already seen marketing for The Avengers.
Basically, Iron Man 3
An homage to this fan-made spoof trailer (though admittedly to the least funny line in it), this should at the very least get across the key role played by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and appeal to fans of the Iron Man franchise. However, since there’s already going to be an Iron Man 3 (directed by Shane Black, in fact), this could get confusing.
Captain America 2
Joss Whedon has said that the story will be told from the perspective of Steve Rogers/Captain America, as he’s from another time and so everything is new to him.
Also, he’s kind of the straightforward, heroic perspective in the film, so it makes sense, given the overall tone the film seems to be going for.
But, similar to the previous entry, there could well be an actual Captain America 2 (hopefully so, since the first one was great), which the writers are said to be working on a story for, so this could get confusing.
Is Loki the Coolest Villain Ever?
(starring Tom Hiddleston…and other people)
Tom Hiddleston tweeted something to the effect of the film being all about Loki, and why not? He’s a complex and threatening character who worked brilliantly as the villain in Thor, and hopefully this movie will take Loki to even greater heights of characterisation. Tom Hiddleston is an excellent actor, so no doubt he’ll take this and run with it.
Best. Movie. Ever. / Best. Film. Ever.
This would be bound to annoy the critics, but who cares what they think? If a movie’s awesome, it’s awesome, and this one looks to be more awesome than any other so far.
See previous entry.
Why Joss Whedon is Awesome (and Hence Why Firefly Should Be Put Back on TV Immediately)
This should be obvious to anyone who’s seen any significant amount/proportion of Joss Whedon’s work, but it would be nice for the mainstream to finally recognise this too. Not that there’s a realistic possibility of the prematurely cancelled Firefly returning to our screens (we’ll probably have to content ourselves with the good-but-far-too-short-and-infrequent comics), but the more fans Joss Whedon gets, the more slightly-less-distant this possibility becomes, and the more likely it is that the network (and it’ll be cable this time) will carry his next show (because, let’s face it, the man was born to make TV shows) just that little bit further.
Lots of Superheroes Smashing Things
Let’s face it, this is what people want to see. Even if Joss Whedon had no involvement in the movie, this would be sufficient to make it awesome. The trailers squarely represent this anyway, so why not embrace it in the title too?
This title starts off like The Avengers, plus they *are* awesome.
This does make it sound, though, like a crossover movie with Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, Devon (Captain Awesome) Holcomb from Chuck, Captain Hammer from Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, and Chuck Norris from…all the Chuck Norris facts. Which I would be totally fine with, for the record.
Hello, My Name is Tony Stark (I Am Iron Man); You Killed My Planet; Prepare to Die
This is not only a reference to Tony Stark’s line in the first theatrical trailer for The Avengers, but also a reference to The Princess Bride. Which makes it awesome.
A literal yet more colourful version of the title, this might be better-suited to an anarchic, alternate universe version of the tale.
Les Hommes (et Femme) de Vengeance
Translate it into French, post-convert it into black-and-white, and viola! You have a pretentious art film, sure to have the critics raving about it!
They Are Like the Justice League...But They Are Not the Justice League
Like with 'Basically, Iron Man 3', this is also a reference to the awesome low-budget spoof trailer from a while back (seriously, check it out). And it’s technically accurate, if rather lengthy. And it will be several years, if ever, before we see a Justice League movie in cinemas. Marvel have really beaten DC to the punch with the whole epic superhero movie crossover thing. As my colleague Caleb Leland pointed out, this is one of several things DC could learn from Marvel, movie-wise.
I Still Believe in Heroes
Nick Fury’s line from the Super Bowl spot neatly sums up the reconstructionist sensibility behind many of Marvel’s superhero movies, and The Avengers in particular. In an age of cynicism, this is refreshing.
Of course, this title also makes it sound like a documentary about fans who think Heroes didn't go off the rails after Season 1, and that it was cancelled too soon. (A perfectly reasonably point of view, imo, though sadly not too common.)
So, readers, what do you think of the new title? Do any of these alternative titles grab you, or do you have your own suggestions? Have your say in the comments below.
Marvel Avengers Assemble stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson. It will now be released on April 26, 2012 in the UK, a day earlier than previously scheduled, and on May 4, 2012 in the US.
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