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The news is grim – a team member has gone down, the worst is feared – and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) exchange pensive looks while, all around them, the agents of a super-spy agency called S.H.I.E.L.D. tend to their duties as an off-planet enemy force threatens the entire planet.
The scene, being filmed on an elevated set, was watched from a safe and ironic distance by Joss Whedon. "You know, you shouldn't worry too much," the director and co-writer of "The Avengers" reassured a visitor to the New Mexico set. "This kind of stuff happens here almost every day in the Marvel universe."
It does feel sometimes like Hollywood has become a digital factory dedicated to cosmic dangers and
costumed heroes, but "The Avengers" is a special case even in this summer when Spider-Man and Batman will also be back in action on planet popcorn.