Leaked Avengers Trailer

The geek hive was abuzz. A teaser for next year’s The Avengers had leaked online. And leak is the right word: There was nothing official about it.

But the footage was shaky, fuzzy, flickering, and obviously filmed on a cell phone. (Note the screengrab from Youtube, now defunct.) The most likely culprit was some cowering dude waiting for the red dot from an anti-piracy security ninja’s sniper rifle to appear on his forehead, presaging the hollow-point that will scatter fragments of his skull like so many Skittles clicking down onto a movie theater floor.

I exaggerate, but only slightly. Marvel is maniacal about piracy, and though stifling the release of pirated video footage can be like playing Whack-A-Mole, Marvel (and its parent company Disney) are stomping around wearing a pair of these bad boys.

Later on, they’ll be kicking back in mole loafers, and can give the rest away as presents for the cast and crew. The point is, most sites carrying The Avengers leak overnight are now boasting only “Content Removed” notices.

See below for how the footage most likely got out…

Sources within Disney and Marvel say the teaser will not be officially released online, but is meant to be the post-credits kicker on Captain America, out this Friday — which means fans won’t have to wait long to see it again.

Neither company would confirm where the footage came from, but Captain America prints have begun to ship and there have been several preview screenings this weekend. (The latter is the most likely scene of the crime, since audience cheering can be heard in the purloined footage.)

What do we see? Mostly glimpses, but what’s most important is what we don’t see. Cap knocks a punching bag loose. We see Mark Ruffalo taking off his glasses (that’s what we’re seeing in the screengrab above), but not him as The Hulk. There’s Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in his old suit, but we don’t see his new one. Thor is sporting a casual sleeveless look, and Cap also has snazzy new duds. He’s due for a shopping spree after 60-plus years, no?

There is still a lot left to reveal. The tagline “Some Assembly Required” is true in many respects: The movie still has more than a month of shooting left to go.

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