The Avengers has previewed a new deleted scene from its forthcoming Blu-ray and DVD release, taking the form of an alternate beginning to Joss Whedon's superhero smackdown, just as more news arrives on Marvel's spin-off TV show, S.H.I.E.L.D.
The new scene follows on from the events of the film's final act (setting up the rest of The Avengers as a flashback), showing downtown New York in a state of serious disrepair. The action then cuts to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, being interrogated by her superiors in the aftermath of the battle with the Chitauri.
As she fields various questions about the event, some of Hill's misgivings about Nick Fury's methods come to the fore, and the divide between the two colleagues is made clearer than it ever appeared in the theatrical release.
Take a look at the new scene, below…
While the theatrical release's opening seemed to work fine to us, this alternate scene does a good job of establishing the great odds the Avengers will find themselves up against, and even places a seed of doubt in the viewer's mind as to whether they emerge victorious or not.
To check out a whole wealth of deleted scenes and behind the scenes material, you can snap up The Avengers when it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 17 September 2012.
And in Marvel TV show news, Deadline is reporting that ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D., which will be written (and possibly directed by) Joss Whedon, alongside alongside Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Production is expected to begin imminently.
What do you think of the alternate opening? Tell us, below!