Somber Alternate Opening To 'The Avengers' Would Have Set Up A More Serious Vision Of Superheroes

Joss Whedon's The Avengers became one of the biggest releases ever, in part because it is an upbeat adventure that keeps a positive tone even as it features some pretty serious conflict. The film is hitting Blu-ray and DVD next month, and Marvel isn't letting anyone forget that. The latest reminder of the imminent disc release is a deleted alternate opening for the film.

In this version, The Avengers would have opened with a high, slow, Nolan-esque cruise over a battered Manhattan in the wake of the film's climactic battle. The bulk of the sequence sets up a flashback structure as it features Cobie Smulders as SHIELD Agent Maria Hill, speaking during a post-battle debriefing. "Who would bring those people together and not expect what happened," she wonders, bitterly.

Check out the scene below, which also features a really great shot of Chris Evans as Captain America.

It is difficult to watch that footage and not sense echoes of 9/11, especially as Cap stands watching a cop help an injured civilian. That's a nicely evocative image that illustrates the way in which superheroes can be totally out of place in daily life. And while this sequence isn't bad, it really doesn't fit with the movie Marvel and Whedon ultimately signed off on.

Yahoo has the clip. The Avengers hits disc on September 25.