Avengers Assemble is a 2012 USA action sci-fi by Joss Whedon.
With Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. See IMDb
There are 2 versions available worldwide, one omits the sight of the spear protruding from a man’s chest as he is stabbed through his back. The cut version has the same running time but sees the man fall without the sight of the bloody protrusion.
The cut version has appeared in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and in UK video releases, while uncut versions have been reported in Italy, Australia, USA, and in UK cinemas.
The Uncut version was passed 12A for cinema release by the BBFC. The BBFC confirmed that this was the uncut version of the stabbing. The BBFC wrote:
A slightly stronger moment occurs when a man is stabbed through the back by the chief villain’s spear. The detail of the impact is not shown, only the tip of the spear protruding from the man’s chest with a small amount of blood on it. The image is not dwelt upon and serves an important narrative purpose. The BBFC’s Guidelines at 12A’/’12 state Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context .
Initially the BBFC suggested that UK DVD and Blu-ray releases would be uncut, but have now explained the error in a media release:
The DVD/Blu-ray version of MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE is classified 12. It differs from the theatrical version submitted to the BBFC which is classified 12A.
In publishing the Extended Classification Information (ECI) for the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, a technical error occurred and the theatrical ECI was published on the BBFC website instead of the DVD/Blu-ray ECI.
The theatrical ECI highlights a scene in the film where the tip of a spear is seen protruding from a man’s chest. This scene was absent from the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE and does not appear in the DVD/Blu-ray ECI. The website error has now been rectified and the correct ECI for the DVD/Blu-ray is now available.
Meawhile Disney have been spouting bollox on the topic. Addressing the controversy with Home Cinema Choice, Disney UK’s Home Entertainment spokesperson Lydia Rodrigues claimed:
There’s been no censorship, no foul play. The version of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on Blu-ray disc in the U.K. is the same as the version shown theatrically. It really is. The simple fact is for a 12 certificate film in the U.K., that scene was deemed inappropriate. So Marvel Studios chose to remove the spear tip digitally.
Rodrigues also noted that some of the special features available on other versions of The Avengers, like Joss Whedon’s Director’s Commentary, weren’t included in the U.K. release. She attributes it to the Digital Linear Tape required to replicate the disc not being delivered in time. She adds that there are no plans to include it on future versions.
US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:
- US 2012 Walt Disney [2D + 3D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
- US 2012 Walt Disney [2D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
- US 2012 Walt Disney VOD to rent/buy [US only] at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
Update: Disney Come Clean
20th September 2012. See article from bleedingcool.com
After some confusion, Disney have now clarified just what’s going on and sent the following statement to bleedingcool.com :
Thanks to those of you who have let us know about an issue on the Marvel Avengers Assemble UK Blu-ray and DVD release, which has a less graphic depiction of Agent Coulson’s confrontation with Loki. Each country has its own compliance issues relative to depictions of violence. Unfortunately, another region’s elements were inadvertently used to create the UK in home release which minimally altered this scene in the film. We thank our fans for their vigilance in recognizing this and apologize for the mix up