With the home video releases of Captain America and Thor, Marvel included two 4-minute short films, both featuring fan-favorite Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), that amusingly tied into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because of the success of these shorts, Marvel is now exploring the potential of a short film franchise, with each film expanding the Marvel Universe, and possibly even introducing more minor Marvel superheroes like Ant-Man.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Marvel will be starting this new endeavor with the upcoming 12-minute short titled “Item 47,” which will premiere on The Avengers home video release. But before the short makes its debut on Blu-ray it will first come to the world of San Diego Comic-Con.
Starting on Friday, July 6, 2012, fans will be able to download The Avengers Second Screen app from iTunes, gaining them access to clips and information. But SDCC attendees will also be able to use the app to participate in a city-wide scavenger hunt, with the prize being a screening of the complete 12-minute short, “Item 47.”
The short itself stars Marvel newcomers Lizzy Caplan (True Blood, Party Down) and Jesse Bradford (Flags of our Fathers). It will focus on a young couple who find one of the weapons left over from the alien invasion seen in The Avengers, and proceed to go all Bonnie & Clyde with it. Meanwhile two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, played by Maximiliano Hernández (seen in Thor and The Avengers) and Titus Welliver (Lost’s Man in Black himself, making his Marvel debut) are tasked with stopping the couple and retrieving the alien weaponry.
Like the previous two shorts, “Item 47” explores a less superhero side of the story. “The world is topsy-turvy now. There’s been an alien invasion, and things are crazy,” Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito (who also directed “Item 47”) tells Entertainment Weekly. “So when this gun literally fell into their lap, this is a sign: We’re going to rob a few banks, we’re going to buy a boat, we’re going to the Caribbean, and all our problems will be solved.”
It’s uncertain if “Item 47″ will introduce any new Marvel superheroes like Ant-Man, but D’Esposito certainly doesn’t rule out the option of attempting that in the future, though there is some concern about casting the superhero before bringing on a feature director.
“There’s always a potential to introduce a character. We have 8,000 of them, and they can’t all be at the same level. So maybe there are some that are not so popular, and we introduce them [with a short] – and they take off. I could see that happening,” D’Esposito explains to EW. “Let’s say we wanted to introduce Ant-Man [in a short], and that would mean we have to cast him prior to having a filmmaker. That’s difficult and something we wouldn’t want to do.”
It looks like fans will have to wait until SDCC to see if Ant-Man, or any Marvel superhero, will make an appearance in “Item 47.” If nothing else, EW also reports that director Edgar Wright had recently shot some test footage for the perpetually upcoming Ant-Man film. While Marvel would not confirm that this footage will screen at SDCC, it would most certainly be a welcome treat for the thousands of fans that made The Avengers one of the biggest films of all time.
by RL Shaffer