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Inside 'The Avengers': 10 Things You Might Have Missed

If you didn't see "The Avengers" in its opening weekend, you might have been the only one: the superhero mash-up scored the biggest opening weekend ever with an estimated $200.3 million in its first three days. The story of Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and co. trying to save the world from an evil alien army is a smashing crowd-pleaser, complete with big explosions, confusing scientific jargon and winks toward the Marvel diehards.

While the whizz-bang special effects and snappy screenplay of "The Avengers" have lit up many a multiplex in its opening weekend, a few of the most interesting cameos, voiceovers and general nuances may have slipped by its millions of onlookers. Check out these 10 fun facts about "The Avengers" -- WARNING: major spoilers ahead!

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1. Mark Ruffalo is the third movie Hulk in the last 10 years.You thought Andrew Garfield quickly replacing Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man was bad? Just look at the film history of Dr. Bruce Banner, one of Marvel's most iconic characters who happens to turn into a big, burly green guy when he gets ticked off. Australian star Eric Bana crashed U.S. shores in 2003 in Ang Lee's "Hulk," and five years later Edward Norton picked him up in "The Incredible Hulk." Negotiations with Norton for "The Avengers" stalled, so in stepped Ruffalo, a veteran of quieter indie flicks like "You Can Count on Me" and "The Kids Are All Right." Will another actor play the Hulk in "Avengers 2"? With the character's track record, anything can happen.

2. Nifty voiceover work: the gruff, growling vocals of the Hulk were actually provided by an uncredited Lou Ferrigno, who played the green guy in 70s TV series "The Incredible Hulk" and beat up Jason Segel for calling him 'Hulk' in "I Love You, Man." Meanwhile, U.K. vet Paul Bettany ("A Beautiful Mind," "Priest") reprised his role as Jarvis, the computer program that helps Iron Man navigate through his tougher physical demands, as he did in "Iron Man" and its sequel.

3. Hemsworth Domination: 28-year-old Aussie Chris Hemsworth, who returned as Thor for "The Avengers" after headlining in his own comic book vehicle last year, just starred in the movie with the top-grossing opening weekend of 2012. And who was featured in the movie with the second-highest debut weekend of the year? None other than his 22-year-old brother, Liam Hemsworth, who played Gale Hawthorne in the big-screen adaptation of "The Hunger Games."

4. In one of the scenes in the Avengers' high-tech aircraft, Tony Stark is shown wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt. Sabbath, of course, were the group behind the rock classic "Iron Man." Rock on, Mr. Stark.

5. Two inspired cameos from great, old dudes: Harry Dean Stanton of "Repo Man" fame plays the security guard who stumbles upon a naked, recently-crash-landed Bruce Banner and promptly gives the Hulk his pants back. And Marvel president Stan Lee makes his expected cameo in the waning minutes of the film, to tongue-in-cheekily blow off the thought of real-life superheroes during a news segment.

6. "The Avengers" is only director Joss Whedon's second feature film and first flick in seven years, following the underappreciated 2005 film "Serenity." But don't call the man inexperienced: Whedon has been appealing to thoughtful nerds for years, as the creator of the beloved "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" TV series and cult classic space cowboy series "Firefly," which, incidentally, spawned "Serenity." If "The Avengers" isn't enough to satisfy your Whedon craving at the multiplex, check out the widely championed horror flick "The Cabin in the Woods" which was released in April and co-written by the director.

7. Not sure why everyone gets so bummed out when (again: major spoiler alert) Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. is killed by Loki? Neither were we. After all, Coulson is just a pleasant dude who delivers classified information and enjoys vintage trading cards. However, actor Clark Gregg has been portraying Agent Coulson over the course of five years, first in 2008's "Iron Man" and then in "Iron Man 2" and "Thor." He even voices Agent Coulson in the "Ultimate Spider-Man" TV series. So, pour one out for the character that no one really goes to the movie to see, but is an integral piece of support nonetheless.

8. After a few credits run at the end of the film, a secret scene in space goes down between "The Other" and a mysterious new villain with a purple face who calls humankind "unruly" and flashes a sinister grin before the scene cuts out. The Marvel film tradition of previewing upcoming adaptations in teaser scenes is a storied one -- "Iron Man" included a glimpse of Nick Fury, "Iron Man 2" teased "Thor," etc. -- but usually, the clues are more revealing. Who is this purple people hater, and why should we care enough to fear his wrath? According to many a fan site and movie blog, the new villain is Thanos, an all-powerful alien who has a thing for mass destruction. It's still unclear whether he'll be featured in the sequel to "The Avengers" or to that of "Thor," but get ready for more Thanos lighting up the Marvel movie universe either way.

9. The song that plays over the end credits is "Live To Rise," from Seattle grunge survivors Soundgarden. The lead single from the "Avengers" soundtrack is actually Soundgarden's first new song to be released in a whopping 15 years, and previews their long-awaited first album of fresh material since 1996's "Down on the Upside," due out this fall. It's a fitting choice for the soundtrack: Soundgarden broke up in 1997 and its members subsequently pursued other projects (frontman Chris Cornell became the singer for Audioslave), but, like a legion of superheroes, the group reformed in 2010 to save the world from boring guitar riffs and humdrum vocals.

10. If you left the theater before all of "The Avengers'" credits rolled -- you missed another scene! Remember when Iron Man is talking about getting some shawarma after ridding New York City of extraterrestrial assholes? The tossed-off suggestion actually comes to fruition during the final credits, as Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye all take a breather and chow down. No one says anything, and Thor takes a mighty bite of a pita. Genius!

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Halle Berry Receives Praise For Refusing To Skip Black Journalists On Red Carpet

Halle Berry is receiving all the praise at the moment, not only for her latest role in the new John Wick movie but for refusing to skip two interviews with a pair of black journalists on the red carpet.

Emerald Marie, a reporter from Where Is The Buzz TV, was one just two black journalists who were sent to the premiere of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Emerald recalled being excited to interview the Oscar winner, but was quickly cut off by the actress' publicist. Instead of walking away, however, Berry made the decision to turn around and speak with Emerald and the other black male journalist, Lamar Dawson.

“I can't skip my brother and sister,"  Berry said, according to Marie.

The latest incident is unfortunately common for black journalists and media companies. "Oftentimes, black reporters and black outlets are pushed to the end and unable to get the proper interview that they need,” Marie explained. Because of Berry's generosity, Marie said she has a "newfound respect" for the actress.

Dawson also released a statement to VIBE about his interaction with Berry. "Emerald and I were standing next to each other on the carpet and were discussing how too often Black reporters are skipped at these events--and then it nearly happened to us. It's a big issue that needs to be addressed. Our stories deserve to be told, too," he said. "When Halle came back, I was able to talk to her quickly about her show 'Boomerang' and how important it is for the show to feature Black, LGBTQ storylines--an interview question the mainstream outlets aren't going to ask thus underscoring the importance of diversity in newsrooms and the importance of outlets that seek to give a voice to marginalized people. I'm grateful for Halle for seeing us out there."

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum starring Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry hit theaters today (May 17). Check out Emerald Marie and Lamar Dawson's full recaps from the red carpet below.

 

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I wanted to share this story because so often we hear people say “support black business” We all know it’s hard being the Minortity in many industries! For Halle Berry to make a conscious effort to turn back around and make sure the only two black faces we recognized & allocated the time to get our coverage is just another reason why she is a Leader & Queen 👑 @halleberry ❤️‼️🎤 #blackbrandsmatter #johnwick3 #blackreporters thank you @whereisthebuzz for this platform

A post shared by @ emerald.marie.tv on May 15, 2019 at 6:34pm PDT

 

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Last week, I shared a story about how too often Black journalists are often skipped on red carpets, but at the “John Wick 3” premiere I was covering, Halle Berry came back to talk to me and the only other Black reporter, @emerald.marie.tv. The story has been getting traction and Halle was asked about it today at another premiere by @hay_itslay and I am deeply moved by her response and the response from many of you. I hope it sparks much needed change in the industry. ✊🏾

A post shared by LAMAR DAWSON (@dirrtykingofpop) on May 16, 2019 at 2:35pm PDT

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Uzo Aduba To Play Shirley Chisholm In Upcoming FX Series

Actress Uzo Aduba is reportedly slated to portray legendary congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm in the upcoming series, Mrs. America for FX, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Orange Is the New Black actress reportedly verified the reports on Twitter on Tuesday (May 14). The series will follow the backlash surrounding the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), THR reports. Aduba joins Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, and other all-star actresses.

ERA, which prohibited gender discrimination, was introduced in Congress in 1923 but has yet to become law. Chisholm, who became the first black woman to serve in Congress and the first black woman in the United States to run for a major party’s presidential nomination, was a prominent advocate for ERA before she died in 2005.

Dahvi Waller wrote the nine-episode series and will also serve as the show's executive producer. Mrs. America is set to premiere on FX in 2020.

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Will Smith And Queen Latifah To Produce Hip-Hop 'Romeo & Juliet' For Netflix

Will Smith and Queen Latifah are joining forces to produce a film that blends hip-hop and Shakespeare. The pair are reportedly gearing up to produce an upcoming hip-hop musical of Romeo & Juliet for Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will be a contemporary musical on Shakspeare's romantic tragedy that is set in New York City. The updated rendition will portray a young waitress from Brooklyn who falls in love with an aspiring musician from a wealthy family.

Solvan "Slick" Naim will reportedly direct from a script he wrote with Dave Broome. Latifah will produce the musical through her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner. Smith will act as an executive producer under his Overbrook Entertainment, with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett.

Hip-hop and Shakespeare might sound like they don't miss, but you probably forgot that Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet. The film, which starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio, also took a more urban, hip-hop approach.

It's unclear when the upcoming musical will hit Netflix at this time.

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