The Avengers (2012)
Frequently Asked Questions
When the tesseract, a key to unlimited sustainable energy, is stolen by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who intends to use it to enslave humanity and cause a global catastrophe; Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of SHIELD (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), calls upon superheroes Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to stop him, who are soon joined by Loki's brother, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
The Avengers is based on a comic book superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The screenplay was written by American snowrunner and filmmaker Joss Whedon (who also directed the film) and screenwriter Zak Pen. It follows the events of the films Iron Man (2008) (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008) (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010) (2010), Thor (2011) (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) (2011), and shares the same fictional universe as those films.
The main villain is Loki. This follows the original comics where Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man, and Wasp form the Avengers to defeat him. Loki allies with the Chitauri, the Ultimate universe version of the Skrull. The Chitauri are the reason the team, renamed the Ultimates, formed in the Ultimate Marvel comic line. The Skrulls were unavailable to Marvel due to the rights being owned by 20th Century Fox as part of the Fantastic Four characters (including Silver Surfer and Galactus). The Other (Alexis Denisof) is either the leader of the Chitauri. This is an original character, though Herr Kleiser (of the Ultimate universe) would be a close approximation. The giant flying "snake" Chitauri is also original. It has been suggested that they are based on the Midgard Serpent. During the end credits, it is shown that Loki and the Chitauri were in league with Thanos (Damion Poitier). In the comics, he is in love with the embodiment of Death. He is perhaps most famous for using the Infinity Gauntlet (seen in Odin's vault in Thor) to erase half the people in the universe. He makes an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (2014) and is the main villain in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (2018) and Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) (2019).
Yes. From 2012 onward, all Marvel Studios movies are part of the same universe, one of the many parallel universes in the Marvel multiverse. The product line is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and, from an in-multiverse context, it deals with the universe containing Earth-199999. This continuity begins with Iron Man and continues with every future Marvel movie except for those—that have already been made and owned by other studios—such as the Spider-Man trilogy (Spider-Man (2002) (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004) (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2007) (2007)) (whose movie rights belonged to Columbia Pictures before Sony before Marvel Studios), Daredevil (2003) (2003), Elektra (2005) (2005), the X-Men films and the Fantastic Four duology (whose movie rights belong to 20th Century Fox), Hulk (2003) (2003) (whose movie rights belonged to Universal Pictures), and a few others that have come out coinciding with the release of Marvel Studios' culminating product line. The movie rights to Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Nick Fury, Captain America and others all belong to Marvel Studios. Because of this, continuity is more easily achieved. When a deal with Paramount Pictures was made in 2007, Paramount released the Marvel Studios films Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008, plus Iron Man 2 in 2010, and Thor and Captain America both in 2011. Because of Walt Disney Studios' acquisition of Marvel in 2010, the Walt Disney Pictures label has further released the Marvel Studios films The Avengers and took over worldwide distribution for the MCU's Phase Two: Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World both in 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy both in 2014, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man both in 2015. Since studio deals are subject to change, it is suggested to keep an eye on Marvel.com or showbiz sites like HollywoodReporter.com for all the latest news.
While not spelled out, Loki rhetorically asks how much Dark Energy the All Father (Odin) used to send Thor to Earth, implying the "other ways" Loki briefly mentioned to Heimdall in the first film depicting both characters, as well as establishing Thor's coming to Earth as a costly move for Odin. Loki also mentions that Thor would need the Tesseract to return, implying that the Tesseract itself is going to be the energy source for both Asgardians to go home.
It appears as if for Hulk's first featured transformation, Loki was in some way influencing things. Romanoff says as much when inviting Banner to remove himself from the situation. There is also a somewhat dreamlike nature to the scene, with Thor's "petty humans" line, Stark rubbing his temples (as Banner did when he sees Loki arrive on the boat), without realizing it Banner picks up Loki's staff and so on (suggesting something unnatural going on) plus the strange camera movements and framing. With the second transformation, Banner was free from such interference. Arguments can also be made that (1) the first transformation was under stress after a fall during an attack whereas the second was a free choice; (2) the conversations with Stark about letting loose and realizing the Hulk absorbing the gamma radiation saved Banner, coupled with security guard's comment that the Hulk aimed for the abandoned factory, allowed Banner to realize that if he embraced the Hulk he could work with him. This is consistent with the character(s) of Bruce Banner and the Hulk; when provoked unexpectedly, the Hulk destroys in a blind rage, but when called upon by Banner's righteous anger, he can maintain a primitive understanding of friend and enemy; (3) that he was actually in control in the first instance, but he was angry with SHIELD and specifically Romanoff, for putting him in that situation and they were feeling his rage (perhaps still in part due to Loki's influence). He isn't on some out of control rampage, he stalks Romanoff, and then his attention is turned to Thor and the pilot.
Much of Banner's character revelation comes through subtext in his interactions with Tony Stark. Stark realises early that Banner is in control (and tests this theory by pricking him with something sharp that zaps him with a small electrical charge). All other characters in the film see Banner as an unstable element (including Romanoff, who brings a SWAT team with her to collect him), but Stark, knowing Banner's secret, treats and respects him as a peer. Later in Manhattan, Stark asks if Banner has arrived yet, but none of the team know what he's talking about, having already written Banner off. The simple answer to this question, then, is in the transformations seen in the film. The first time, Banner is shown to try to prevent the transformation. He is at odds with Hulk, not wanting to do harm to the people on the base. He is internally conflicted and loses control. The second time, as predicted by Stark, he brings Hulk to the battle with intent and thus is balanced and in control. When Iron Man is falling out from the portal, the audience is led to believe that Thor is going to rescue him, but it's the Hulk who jumps in to save his friend. Right before he enters his final battle in The Incredible Hulk (2008) (2008), Bruce says to General Ross and Betty that he can't control it but maybe he can "aim it." The last scene of the movie ends with him in a cabin in the woods meditating. In meditation, he opens his eyes and they are Hulk green as the "Incident Counter" drops to from 31 days to 0. This is followed by a simple grin and a cut to the Avengers cut scene.
While the term "gushing red" that Loki uses to taunt her evokes an image of shed blood, essentially what is meant is that she has done a lot of bad things in the past and hasn't yet done enough good to balance out the bad. The term actually derives from finance ledgers, where debts were denoted in red ink and profits in black ink. She owes a debt, on a karmic level.
The Tesseract does not feature in Thor (until the post credit scene where Nick Fury shows it to Erik Selvig). It is not the same thing that the Frost Giants used (that was the Casket of Ancient Winters) in Thor. The Tesseract was sent to Earth for safe keeping/lost on Earth and left there for everyone's best interests long ago, and is being guarded at the start of Captain America: The First Avenger, until Red Skull steals it for his own ends. At the end of The First Avenger, Howard Stark retrieves it from the ocean when he found it while looking for Captain America's crashed plane, and it has been in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s possession ever since.
Negotiations between Norton and Marvel eventually broke down, and the role was instead offered to Mark Ruffalo, who accepted. Norton wrote a public response to the decision on his Facebook page, stating that he will not be appearing in The Avengers, but thanked Marvel Studios for considering letting him reprise the role.
Near the very end of the movie, there is a montage of news reports and television clips with people talking about the Avengers. Stan Lee says to the camera, "Superheroes in New York?...Gimme a break!" There is also a deleted scene in which Steve Rogers has a conversation with a server at an outdoor cafe in New York City, after which Stan Lee turns to him from a nearby table and says, "Ask for her number, moron."
According to the Vulture blog, it breaks down as follows: (1) Hawkeye, 12 minutes, 44 seconds; (2) Thor, 25 minutes, 52 seconds; (3) Bruce Banner & the Hulk, 28 minutes, 3 seconds; (4) Black Widow, 33 minutes, 35 seconds; (5) Iron Man, 37 minutes, 1 second; and (6) Captain America, 37 minutes, 42 seconds. Although, the article is titled "How Much Screen Time Does Each Hero Get?", it only overs the actual members of the Avengers team (prominent superheroes); i.e. missing are the screen times for Nick Fury, Phil Coulson and Maria Hill, which are considerably shorter than the main heroes'.
From the Marvel Universe Wiki entry on Black Widow: Black Widow customarily wears two bracelets equipped to discharge the "widow's bite," high-frequency electrostatic bolts of up to 30,000 volts, capable of stunning even a superhuman opponent at a range of at least 20 feet, shoot tear gas cartridges and act as a radio transmitter. The bracelets various functions are activated by galvanic sensors keyed to Black Widow's wrist musculature. At times she carries plastic explosive discs equivalent to 4 pounds of TNT in her belt and uses automatic weapons and/or combat knives as necessary. There is a scene showing Black Widow powering her bracelets up and during a fight towards the end of the movie the bracelets can be seen (and heard) shocking an enemy.
Agent Coulson is killed by Loki midway through the film. Clark Gregg, the actor who plays Coulson, had said that Coulson's death was an essential part of the story and that he would miss playing the character but was satisfied with the way his story ended. However, Coulson is alive in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013–) as he was brought back to life using experimental medical technology on the orders of Nick Fury. As Gregg has reprized his role as Coulson, his statement to the media was perhaps (magician-like) misdirection on his or the studio's part. The nature of Coulson's resurrection turns out to be somewhat sketchy, though: His resurrected incarnation may not really be himself. Regardless, it's possible that Gregg will appear as Coulson on the silver screen again, much later.
Yes. It's Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) (2015). Marvel had announced that, with the success of The Avengers (2012), they would be producing a sequel. Age of Ultron follows the Phase Two movies Iron Man Three (2013) (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013) (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (2015). (Note: Ant-Man (2015) (2015) is also in Phase Two, but was released after Age of Ultron, in addition to having no forereferences in prior Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.) Director Joss Whedon had said he would like to make the next one smaller, more personal, and painful, and he did. Age of Ultron was released on May 1st, 2015, and had the second-largest weekend opening at the box office, placing it just behind its predecessor The Avengers.
Shawarma is a popular Levantine Arab meat preparation, where lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Although it can be served in shavings on a plate (generally with accompaniments), "shawarma" also refers to a pita bread sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. Shawarma is eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba. Shawarma is a fast-food staple across the Middle East, Europe and the Caucasus. A post-title scene at the very end of the closing credits shows the team in the shawarma restaurant, presumably after the final battle, looking collectively exhausted and eating. A large sign in the background declares the restaurant has the "best shawarma in the city". During the battle with the Chitauri, there's a very quick shot of a shawarma restaurant in the background. It's likely the same one that Stark refers to when everyone's standing over him after the battle.
Since only Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America and Hawkeye communicate with each other, they're probably wearing ear devices provided by SHIELD. In fact Captain America's suit was designed by Coulson and may have had a built in transmitter in the head gear. We also know that Tony Stark can communicate with anyone from his hacking into the Quinjet's P.A. system at Stuttgart. As the Marvel Universe Wiki entry on Black Widow explains, her wrist bands are also radio transmitters, and in the books, she wears a hidden ear piece when she is on assignment so she can communicate with SHIELD. Hawkeye is the only one that cannot be explained but as a shield agent he may also have a special ear device. In the Marvel universe, he was once 80% deaf due to an injury, but his hearing was restored. So it's safe to say that his hearing aid would be a SHIELD device. It's also not uncommon, at least in movies, that earpieces are incredibly tiny, fitting inside the ear, making them very hard to see.
According to the comics, SHIELD has cameras everywhere. It's not unreasonable to think SHIELD got hold of the footage the army shot of Captain America during World War II, as it would have been archived and used to show the public how the war was going and perhaps also used as a recruitment film. Seeing how many of the other heroes' footage was on the news, it's not hard to think SHIELD got a copy easily. As Agent Coulson stated, if it's connected to a satellite, SHIELD has access.
Nick Fury stated that the phase 2 weapons were not ready and were still in development. Since they were in development, it is unlikely that anyone would be trained to use them, and even Agent Coulson said he didn't know what it would do. Fury might have thought they were too dangerous for the team to use and could endanger them as much as they would Loki and the Chitauri armada. Coulson decided to take a chance and used it against Loki. Also, none of the heroes other than Thor saw Coulson use the gun, so it's likely they either didn't know what it could do, or simply didn't know it existed at all while the thunder god prefers to use Mjölnir—his war hammer—anyway.
Yes. Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye was the vampire Penn in the Angel episode "Somnambulist" (2000). Alexis Denisof who plays The Other was Wesley Wyndam-Price in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996) (1997-2003) and Angel (1999) (1999-2004), and was Senator Perrin in Dollhouse (2009) (2009-2010). Enver Gjokaj who plays the young NYPD officer talking to his superior officer during the Chitauri invasion was Victor in Dollhouse. Ashley Johnson who plays Beth, the waitress at the invasion site (and interviewed thereafter), was also in Dollhouse as Wendy (briefly imprinted with Caroline) in the episode "Omega" (2009), and as Hayden Leeds in the unaired pilot "Echo" (2009).
In this movie, Agent Coulson tells Thor that everything has changed since his fight in New Mexico with the Destroyer over a year ago. As the events of Thor (2011) and The Incredible Hulk (2008) take place at roughly the same time during the second half of Iron Man 2 (2010), this means they are the last films in the chronological timeline, so over a year has passed since those movies, showing how Stark Tower (substituting for the real-life MetLife Building) was built. It also means that future films could take place within this gap of time. Captain America's awakening is more recent, meaning that the opening and closing of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) takes place shortly before The Avengers.
During the Chitauri invasion, Bruce Banner reunites with the rest of the Avengers to take the fight to Loki. This is because he had found the Tesseract's location on his computer just before Hawkeye's assault on the Helicarrier, but the attack began before Banner could reveal his findings.
In Thor, Odin says that Thor's hammer (called Mjolnir) was "forged in the heart of a dying star." This could refer to neutronium, a theoretical substance created when giant stars collapse and their gravity becomes so great that atoms are crushed; electrons combine with protons forming a substance made entirely of neutrons with a density of tons per cubic centimeter. (Imagine all the matter in the solar system being crushed into a space smaller than Earth.) Even Thor couldn't lift such mass, but Odin also says that "whosoever is worthy" could wield Thor's power, probably meaning that Mjolnir is enchanted, its use limited to people of either Odin's or Mjolnir's choosing. Thor threw it knowing that it would temporarily distract the Hulk who would be momentarily surprised at not being able to lift the hammer. Alternatively, if the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows all other iterations of Mjolnir, the inability to lift Mjolnir comes from Odin's enchantment and not the material, which is known as Uru, a naturally(ish) occurring metal similar in durability to Proto-Adamantium (known as Vibranium in the movies), the material in Captain America's shield. Furthermore, Mjolnir would have to be enchanted as it stands to reason, since the explanation that Thor's hammer bears a mass of hundreds of tons would imply that a number of earthly objects including floors, tables, counters, shelves et al. wouldn't be able to support its weight and its pressure effect. So, perhaps it is more of an unmovable object*, but not an unstoppable force, that maybe somehow also lacks the ability to hover midair and definitely somehow can be drawn downward by earth's gravity until at rest. [*like the titular character of Hancock (2008) (2008)]
His plan was to manipulate the Avengers into fighting with each other long enough for Hawkeye (and Hulk) to take out the Helicarrier, which would cripple S.H.I.E.L.D.'s ability to stop the Chitauri. Also, had it worked, the Avengers likely would've died with the Helicarrier, removing them as well. The only way he could successfully do so was to continue manipulating them while on the ship. If he had run, it would only unite them against him, and leave them off the Helicarrier when it crashed. As Nick Fury says about Loki, "Why do I get the feeling he's the only one of us who wants to be here?"
Loki fought Captain America in Stuttgart, Germany. Once Black Widow and Iron Man showed up, Loki surrendered relatively easy. The suspicions of both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are raised, then Thor gets inside the transport and pulls Loki out. Thor, Captain America all get into a fight and Loki simply observes them. They then escort Loki to the Helicarrier which was part of Loki's plan all along. He wanted to manipulate the Avengers and wait for the assault from his own men. Then he would escape and hopefully the Avengers would be dead or at odds with one another.
The figure he is addressing is Thanos the Mad Titan. He is a major supervillain in the Marvel Universe who is a worshiper of Death. More precisely, he is literally in love with the female personification of Death and will do anything to earn her favor, such as causing the death of millions. Most likely, that is why he is smiling right after the Other notes that opposing Humanity is "to court with death;" he sees it as a welcome challenge to attract Death's favor.
Several home video releases in Germany, the UK and other countries feature an altered version of the movie that show a tamed down version of Coulson's death, i.e. one can't see Loki's staff spearing Coulson's upper part of the body. Marvel Entertainment took a stand on it and explained two different versions were made and countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland got the edited version. This version has also been used for home theaters without further alterations. It is highly possible that other countries are affected, too. The Italian Blu-ray release for example feature the spearing.
Although the order of released was (1) Iron Man (2008), (2) The Incredible Hulk (2008), (3) Iron Man 2 (2010), (4) Thor (2011), and (5) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), this is not the order in which the events of the movies occur. A rough chronological order for the films can be determined from the contents of each film:
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) (2011). With the exception of the films' two bookend scenes that take place in the modern day, the rest of the film takes place in the 1940s during World War II and is therefore the first film in the series, chronologically speaking. During the final scene set in the modern day, Nick Fury explains to Captain America that he has been asleep "for almost 70 years". It could therefore be assumed that this scene takes place at the same time as the movie's release (2011) which would be about 70 years after Captain America was frozen in 1944.
2. Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (2013) (2013). Spun-off from Captain America: The First Avenger, features Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, and Dum Dum Dugan from the film. Featured on the Iron Man 3 home video release.
3. Agent Carter (2015) (2015-2016). The series takes place in 1946, four years after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, and features characters Peggy Carter, and Howard Stark.
4. Iron Man (2008) (2008). The movie features scenes during the War in Afghanistan (2001 to present) and so can probably be assumed to take place in the present day of the movie's release (i.e. 2008). A prototype for Captain America's shield is briefly shown. The post-credits sequence also introduces Nick Fury first proposing "The Avengers Initiative" to Tony Stark.
5. Iron Man 2 (2010) (2010). This movie follows shortly after Iron Man and again features Nick Fury trying to convince Tony Stark to join the Avengers Initiative as a more prominent subplot this time around. A rather different prototype of Captain America's shield makes a brief cameo in this movie, probably as just an item that used to belong to Howard Stark (established to be the creator of the original shield in Captain America: The First Avenger) and later inherited by his son Tony.
6. Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer (2011) (2011) bridges the gap between Agent's Coulson's departure in Iron Man 2 and his arrival in Thor, showing a short scene featuring Agent Coulson stopping at a gas station on the way to New Mexico and foiling an armed robbery in the process. This short film was included among the special features of the Captain America: The First Avenger DVD.
7. Thor (2011) (2011). The post-credits sequence from Iron Man 2 features a scene taken directly from Thor in which Agent Coulson finds Thor's hammer in the New Mexico desert. Agent Coulson previously departs from Tony Stark's house for New Mexico midway through Iron Man 2, which would place the events of Thor roughly concurrent with Iron Man 2. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents even make comments about the resemblance (or lack thereof) between the Destroyer and Stark's armors, given the events involving Ivan Vanko's unmanned prototypes.
8. The Incredible Hulk (2008) (2008). A subtle background reference in Iron Man 2 (showing the aftermath of the university sequence) suggests that as with Thor the film runs slightly concurrent with the events of Iron Man 2. The soundwave weapons used by General Ross to stop Hulk in the university campus are branded "Stark Industries", and this very scene is watched by Tony Stark in Iron Man 2 as part of a news capsule. The film then ends some time after, backed up by the final scene which shows Tony Stark, now as a recruiting member of the Avengers Initiative, offering their services to General Ross in his pursuit of the Hulk. Though this film features possibly the fewest of Avengers references in terms of S.H.I.E.L.D. presence, the use of Captain America's super-soldier serum is alluded to in the creation of the Abomination. In a deleted/alternative opening there was an additional reference not used: Captain America's frozen body and shield are shown buried in ice after Banner causes an avalanche in the Arctic while trying to commit suicide but instead reflexively turning into the Hulk. As this is a deleted scene, and Captain America is found inside Red Skull's plane, this should not be considered canon.
9. Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (2011) (2012) (included on the Thor DVD) bridges the gap between the end of Iron Man 2, where Tony Stark is recruited as a "Consultant" for the Avenger's Initiative, and the end of The Incredible Hulk where Tony Stark is seen approaching General Ross in a bar. The short suggests that Agent Coulson was under pressure to add Emil Blonsky (aka the Abomination) to the roster for the Avengers Initiative, and so sent Tony Stark in his place to speak with General Ross, knowing full well that Stark would annoy the General to such an extent that he would be certain to refuse the request.
10. The Avengers (2012) (2012). Some loose details in the previous films have been addressed. Continuity points are expected to be developed in further films.
11. Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (2012) (2012) (included on The Avengers DVD) takes place shortly after the events depicted in The Avengers. Following the Battle of New York, regular couple Claire Wise and Benjamin Pollack discover a Chitauri weapon and use it to rob banks, and are subsequently hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell.
12. Iron Man Three (2013) (2013) takes place an unspecified amount of time after the events depicted in The Avengers and before the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
13. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013) (2013–) takes place after Iron Man 3, based on the references to Extremis throughout the first season. The first season spans a period of time that includes the events of Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both of which are referenced in episodes of the show.
14. Thor: The Dark World (2013) (2013) takes place during the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., shortly before "The Well" (2013, episode 1.08). That episode opens with the team in Greenwich, digging through the aftermath of the film's climactic sequence.
15. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) (2014) takes place during the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., concurrent with the events of "End of the Beginning" (2014, episode 1.16) and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (2014, episode 1.17). These two episodes are built around the film's major reveal that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by Hydra since the organization's founding shortly after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger.
16. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (2014) takes place at an uncertain point in the chronology. The mid-credits scene in Thor: The Dark World most likely takes place prior to Guardians of the Galaxy, since the Collector's archive appears to be the same in both films and was heavily damaged during the latter film. The prologue takes place in 1988, and the main part of the film is identified to happen 26 years later, which would set it roughly concurrent to its real-world release in 2014. It is probable that all modern-day stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) without specific date references are intended to take place roughly concurrently with their dates of release (except for The Incredible Hulk, which is conclusively placed after Iron Man 2), which would make the most likely placement of Guardians of the Galaxy between seasons one and two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the absence of other connecting references, however, this placement in the chronology is just speculative at this point. (The appearance of Thanos in both The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy does not provide any clues to their chronological relation, as no events from the former film are referenced in the latter.)
17. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) (2015) will take place after the events depicted in Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Given the apparent concurrency of MCU time and real-world time, it is likely that it will take place sometime during the last few episodes of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
18. Ant-Man (2015) (2015) mainly takes place some time after Avengers: Age of Ultron as there's reference to the Avengers being "too busy dropping cities out of the sky", an event that happened in "Age of Ultron".
The announced Hulk TV series (written and produced by Guillermo del Toro) is not going to take place in this same fictional universe.
It's possible, since Buffy/Angel and Cabin in the Woods all feature otherworldly threats and secret government organisations (the Initiative trying to exploit them, the Conspiracy trying to appease them, and Shield trying to combat them). Humanity may have left Earth to establish the Firefly/Serenity colonies after the Cabin in the Woods and Dollhouse apocalypses, and this would explain Paris being in ruins at the end of Alien: Resurrection. We also have the doll Miss Edith belonging to vampire Drusilla from Buffy/Angel in the basement in Cabin in the Woods; and Thor glimpsing the three figures dressed as a Wolf, a Ram and Hart in his dream in Avengers; Age of Ultron; Wolfram and Hart being the villains from Angel.
Being a direct sequel to all prior Marvel Studios films, some loose details in the previous films have been addressed in order to maintain or expand the canonicity for each main character's solo franchise:
• Professor Erik Selvig (from Thor) has been working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to turn the Tesseract into a limitless power source. He recognizes Loki just before being turned into a puppet mentally controlled by Loki himself (as foretold in the post-credits sequence in Thor). Later in the film, he is used (due to his knowledge of the Tesseract) to open the dimensional portal.
• Jane Foster's absence in the film is explained by Agent Coulson who, being aware of the coming threats, tells Thor she had been sent to a remote and secure location in Tromsø, Norway.
• The new Stark Tower is finished, which was 12% (one could argue 15%) personally designed by Pepper Potts, suggesting that she and Tony Stark really started a relationship by the end of Iron Man 2, and that Stark is becoming less egocentric, one small step at a time. The construction marks a significant gap of time between that film and The Avengers. Also, Tony Stark states that he's now in the clean energy business, which could potentially connect with Iron Man 3.
• The ambiguous ending in The Incredible Hulk is finally explained, showing that Dr. Bruce Banner has finally come to embrace The Hulk, even to the point of transforming at will but usually preferring not to.
• The mystery marksman briefly shown in Thor is revealed to be Hawkeye, who is established as having joined S.H.I.E.L.D. before The Black Widow did, given the fact that he recruited her some time ago, mentioning several missions together prior to her appearance in Iron Man 2. Hints at a sexual tension are present between both characters throughout the movie.
• Coulson attacks Loki with a weapon created from the remains of the Destroyer that appeared in Thor.
• Loki reminds Thor that they are not truly brothers; that he is, in fact, the son of Laufey, King of the Frost Giants of Jötunheim. Thor later says (in a moment of humor) that Loki is adopted.
• The Tesseract (Captain America: The First Avenger's MacGuffin) is central to this film's story, having been found by Howard Stark while trying to locate Steve Rogers in the Arctic. It's been used as a prototype limitless power source until Loki comes into play.
• Steve Rogers is clearly nostalgic/angry due the loss of his allies and friends from the 1940s and by the decades he's missed in his 70 years of suspended animation; therefore, he has been very recently awakened. This is reinforced by several jokes at his expense, particularly his anachronistic demeanor and his ignorance of modern technology and references.
• Loki questions how Thor was able to travel to Earth due to the destruction of the Bifrost, and implies that Odin had to summon dark power to send him to Earth.
• A subplot shows how HYDRA's weaponry, found at the time Captain America was rescued, has been reverse-engineered by S.H.I.E.L.D. as official weaponry in case the Avengers Initiative fails.
• Bruce Banner states that the last time he was in New York, he "kind of broke Harlem." This is in reference to his battle against the Abomination at the end of The Incredible Hulk.
• Agent Coulson is an obsessive fan of Captain America, even having trading cards, a callback to the Captain America merchandise.
• Loki is back due to Thanos' intervention. He gave Loki the scepter to lead the Chitauri army, and his presence will lead to further cosmic conflicts in succeeding Marvel Studios films.