With the DVD and Blu-ray release of Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ on the horizon, the good folks over at Moviehole spoke to Marvel Studios’ Production President Kevin Feige about the movies home release, Marvel’s tradition of making spin-off shorts for their DVD’s and Blu-ray’s, and also their ten-disc, six-movie special edition “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled” collector’s set. Widely praised by fans and critics alike, Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is currently sitting comfortably at the third spot on the all-time world box office list with a hefty haul of $1.436, trailing only James Cameron’s ’Titanic’ ($2.185 billion) and ‘Avatar’ ($2.782 billion). Kevin Feige, who’s currently prepping a sequel to ‘The Avengers’ with original writer/director Joss Whedon, had the following to say about ‘Item 47,’ the short film accompanying ‘The Avengers,’ “We started a tradition on the release of the original Thor and Captain America Blu-ray discs where we created a Marvel one-shot, which is a short film that takes place in the Marvel cinematic universe. One of the Marvel one-shots helped tie-up Tony Stark’s cameo at the end of The Incredible Hulk. It’s called The Consultant and it can be seen on the Blu-ray disc for Thor. The other Marvel one-shot dealt with a tiny misadventure involving Agent Coulson. This gave fans a peek into Coulson’s life on his way to Thor’s hammer. The one-shot for The Avengers is much bigger. It’s called Item 47 and it’s directed by Louis D’Esposito, who is co-president at Marvel Studios and an executive producer on all of our films. He did an amazing job. At the end of The Avengers, the aliens leave behind a lot of guns and artifacts, as well as a lot of carnage. S.H.I.E.L.D. does their best job to collect all of the alien material so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands – but one gun is left behind. This gun falls into the wrong hands when it is found by a 20-something newlywed couple that decides to use it to their own ends. Agent Sitwell – who was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Thor, The Avengers and the Marvel one-shot The Consultant – is the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in this film and it’s up to him to get the gun back. 

Kevin Fiege goes on to talk about what can be expected from the Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ Blu-ray, “Blu-rays are an incredibly important part of the movie process. We finished the big-screen release of The Avengers on the Tuesday and we started working on the Blu-ray on Wednesday. It was very immediate. There are a number of deleted scenes and a few storylines that fell by the wayside during the editing process for the big-screen release. However, we are very proud of these scenes and [“Marvel’s The Avengers” director] Joss Whedon is very proud of them, too. That’s why we’re excited that fans will be able to see them on Blu-ray”, he says, noting that we’ll see a “a few more scenes with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders” and “some slightly different versions of Maria Hill and Nick Fury’s interaction with the World Security Council, which are great to watch – but there are a number of other fun scenes, too.”

Finally, speaking on the limited edition Blu-ray collector’s “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled” set, Kevin Fiege shares how the idea for that came about, saying, “Every movie we’ve made, in particular The Avengers, all started with a group of people – including executive producers Louis D’Esposito, Jeremy Latcham, Victoria Alonso and myself – saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this? And, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that?” We’d sit around and say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do an Iron Man movie? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make a Thor movie? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make a Captain America movie? Wouldn’t it be cool if they all led towards The Avengers?” Every decision we make starts with a question, and talking about this collector’s set is something we’ve been talking about and planning for years – just like with the movie itself.”

The Marvel head honcho continues, “We’ve always said that our movies have to standalone; Marvel movies have to be their own experience. But for the fans that want to pay attention and are following along, there’s a wealth of connectivity between the movies. There’s a wealth of Easter Eggs and there’s a wealth of connecting the dots – and we want a collector’s edition that allows people to dig as deep as they want to go. That’s why we are including a number of files containing memorabilia and prop reproductions of various items from each of the movies in the collector’s set, all of which track the connectivity between the movies. The six movies – Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers – are all going to be in their own custom, original artwork slipcases. Plus, when you open up the collector’s edition case, there’s a glowing Tesseract inside. It’s going to be great! We’re really excited about the collector’s edition. In fact, we can’t wait for everybody to see it.”

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in ‘Iron Man,’ ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ ‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘Thor,’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ the global box office for ‘The Avengers’ has obliterated the totals of those individual films. The totals for those preceding films are: ‘Iron Man’ with $585.1 million worldwide, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ with $263.4 million worldwide, ’Iron Man 2′ with $623.9 million worldwide, ’Thor’ with $449.3 million worldwide, and finally ‘Captain America’ with $368.6 million worldwide. Directed by Joss Whedon, ‘The Avengers’ (‘Avengers Assemble’ in the UK) stars Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). The likes of Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, and Stellen Skarsgard co-star. ’The Avengers’ is available as a 2D Blu-ray Combo Pack, a 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack and on DVD from September 17th in the UK and September 25th in the US. The “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled” collector’s set arrives in the US on September 25th, while it currently has no UK release date. The nearest thing to it on these shores is the Blu-ray “Marvel’s The Avengers – 6-Disc Box Set”, which lands on September 17th. The synopsis and production notes for Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ can be read below.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. 

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.

The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2″), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).