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The Pentagon refused to cooperate with The Avengers because of Shield's unreality

May. 8, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

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It's true, superhero movies are generally not known for their adherence to strict reality. No surprise there, though I'd say it could be argued that Marvel has actually done a passable job of finding real-world ways and reasons for its heroes to possibly exist (Thor obviously excluded).

But in an angle that I freely admit I would never have anticipated, when the Pentagon chose to withdraw its support for Marvel's THE AVENGERS due to its "unreality" they were actually referring to SHIELD any not any of the super-powered beings found therein.  “We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” said Phil Straub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison.  “To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn’t do anything with the film."

Avengers SHIELD Helicarrier

As an example: while the humvees which show up at the end (driven by members of the National Guard) were used in cooperation with the Defense Department, any of the military planes seen on or around the Helicarrier ("F-22 Raptors and what looked like F-35 Joint Strike Fighters") were all inserted digitally as the military refused to provide real ones.   

To be fair, Marvel has been suitably murky as to just what SHIELD is in the world of the movies - not that they have to explain everything away by any means, but is it an American governmental agency that has authority over America's military, or is it a more international organization created via a sort of "United Nations Security Council resolution" uses American military equipment on loan? Without answers to these questions, all Straub could do was decide “It just got to the point where it didn’t make any sense."

Was he right? Does it matter? What do you think?

Avengers Sam Jackson SHIELD banner

Extra Tidbit: Think audiences beyond the core fan crowd would go for a movie focused on Nick Fury and SHIELD?
Source: Wired

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12:49PM on 05/09/2012
Tidbit: I want a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie. An intense secret op/spy movie in the Marvel universe could be quite good.
Tidbit: I want a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie. An intense secret op/spy movie in the Marvel universe could be quite good.
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1:32AM on 05/09/2012
The Pentagon are just jealous cause S.H.I.E.L.D have a Helicarrier and they don't.
Anyways, I'm happy the US Army wasn't involved. I'd much rather see S.H.I.E.L.D in an Avengers movie than have to split their time with the US Army on screen.
The Pentagon are just jealous cause S.H.I.E.L.D have a Helicarrier and they don't.
Anyways, I'm happy the US Army wasn't involved. I'd much rather see S.H.I.E.L.D in an Avengers movie than have to split their time with the US Army on screen.
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10:40PM on 05/08/2012
With or Without Pentagon, people still love The Avengers. when they invite Pentagon to join, its actually that they given Pentagon chance to promote themself,..but i think Pentagon better off The Avengers to prevent waste of screen time on soldiers fighting aliens which is on so many movies its like a rewind & put more superheroes screen time..

afterall, we're all watching this movie for the sake of our favourite superheroes.
With or Without Pentagon, people still love The Avengers. when they invite Pentagon to join, its actually that they given Pentagon chance to promote themself,..but i think Pentagon better off The Avengers to prevent waste of screen time on soldiers fighting aliens which is on so many movies its like a rewind & put more superheroes screen time..

afterall, we're all watching this movie for the sake of our favourite superheroes.
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10:04PM on 05/08/2012

Okay I just have to point out...

Iron Man's real-world existance died the moment Stark invent a FREKKING NEW ELEMENT out of Stark Sr.'s ass. Now Thor & IronMan is equally realistic(or UNrealistic), if one can built a whole new element in his basement to powerup & amplify his armor, the other one can totally live in another existantial plane and can have awesome thunder controling power.

Alright I'm done, off with more Pentagon ridicule funtimes...
Iron Man's real-world existance died the moment Stark invent a FREKKING NEW ELEMENT out of Stark Sr.'s ass. Now Thor & IronMan is equally realistic(or UNrealistic), if one can built a whole new element in his basement to powerup & amplify his armor, the other one can totally live in another existantial plane and can have awesome thunder controling power.

Alright I'm done, off with more Pentagon ridicule funtimes...
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5:10PM on 05/08/2012
I just have to know when that model of the Airborne Carrier comes out.
I just have to know when that model of the Airborne Carrier comes out.
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4:36PM on 05/08/2012

Avenger Spoilers:

I know people like to laugh and point out movies like Transformers, but to be fair, Bay has always been a HUGE ass kisser for the Military. In Avengers, the people who run SHIELD were about to completely nuke New York, and the Military was pretty much helpless. In something like Transformers, the military kicked as much ass as the robots. So the Pentagon is always going to say yes to something that acts as a recruitment vehicle, whether it makes sense or not.
I know people like to laugh and point out movies like Transformers, but to be fair, Bay has always been a HUGE ass kisser for the Military. In Avengers, the people who run SHIELD were about to completely nuke New York, and the Military was pretty much helpless. In something like Transformers, the military kicked as much ass as the robots. So the Pentagon is always going to say yes to something that acts as a recruitment vehicle, whether it makes sense or not.
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2:28PM on 05/08/2012
So they had no problem with Transformers and Section 7 but the Avengers and SHIELD confused them? Dumbasses!
So they had no problem with Transformers and Section 7 but the Avengers and SHIELD confused them? Dumbasses!
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2:39PM on 05/08/2012
lol I was gonna say the same... maybe they forgot about the 3 massive movies they participated in (TF) with the whole Sector 7 thing in there to boot...
lol I was gonna say the same... maybe they forgot about the 3 massive movies they participated in (TF) with the whole Sector 7 thing in there to boot...
+9
2:25PM on 05/08/2012

oh okay

oh they're totally right. they allowed military stuff in transformers because THOSE movies are SOOOOOO realistic.
oh they're totally right. they allowed military stuff in transformers because THOSE movies are SOOOOOO realistic.
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+16
1:40PM on 05/08/2012

Somebody should inform the Defense Department Liason

...that the entire movie is actually pretend.
...that the entire movie is actually pretend.
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1:34PM on 05/08/2012
Come to think of it what would the military have done, because clearly they are portrayed incompetent because how does NORAD fail to notice an alien attack.... in NEW-YORK?!!

But then again its just a dumb comic-book movie so no hard feelings.
Come to think of it what would the military have done, because clearly they are portrayed incompetent because how does NORAD fail to notice an alien attack.... in NEW-YORK?!!

But then again its just a dumb comic-book movie so no hard feelings.
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+0
1:05PM on 05/08/2012

Tidbit

It would be cool but it would have to be about it all coming together as opposed to being about SHIELD as is.
It would be cool but it would have to be about it all coming together as opposed to being about SHIELD as is.
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+3
1:03PM on 05/08/2012

First off

It doesn't matter. Unless the gov was going to throw the usage of the jets for free i can imagine it would have cost more to use them over digital copies.

Secondly SHIELD is in fact quite clearly defined in the Ultimate universe comics which are what all the movie pull the most info from. SHIELD is the covert wing of the government in place to deal with Super Human threats, which is why the Ultimates (Ultimate universe Avengers) are put together in the first place. Fury runs SHIELD and he
It doesn't matter. Unless the gov was going to throw the usage of the jets for free i can imagine it would have cost more to use them over digital copies.

Secondly SHIELD is in fact quite clearly defined in the Ultimate universe comics which are what all the movie pull the most info from. SHIELD is the covert wing of the government in place to deal with Super Human threats, which is why the Ultimates (Ultimate universe Avengers) are put together in the first place. Fury runs SHIELD and he answers to the President of the USA. But like many things in real life the President is in the dark about most of what goes on so in respect to covert stuff so its not a matter of Fury needing approval from the President unless its for something crazy and Fury/SHIELD work on their own.

Lastly, they wouldn't let them use the planes cause they couldn't quite define what a fictional government organization does? Yeah, sure, what ever. I bet they just wanted too much money and are trying to not look like dicks.

Thats my 3 cents.
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1:42PM on 05/08/2012
Nick answers to the president? Then who were those guys he was speaking to? Doesn't Nick answer to them?
Nick answers to the president? Then who were those guys he was speaking to? Doesn't Nick answer to them?
12:49PM on 05/08/2012
TIDBIT: Would love a shield movie.
TIDBIT: Would love a shield movie.
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12:30PM on 05/08/2012
The movie was awesome. I can't how having real planes instead of virtual ones would make it any awesomer. Screw the Defense Department. It's obvious they weren't needed.
The movie was awesome. I can't how having real planes instead of virtual ones would make it any awesomer. Screw the Defense Department. It's obvious they weren't needed.
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12:30PM on 05/08/2012
Realize: The whole point SHIELD exists as a story-telling tool is so that comic book writers DIDN'T have to be concerned with bureaucratic accuracy. That is why Nick Fury is an agent of SHIELD, not the CIA, OSS, or Navy SEALs. It frees writers up to set their own rules and get on with the effing story.
Realize: The whole point SHIELD exists as a story-telling tool is so that comic book writers DIDN'T have to be concerned with bureaucratic accuracy. That is why Nick Fury is an agent of SHIELD, not the CIA, OSS, or Navy SEALs. It frees writers up to set their own rules and get on with the effing story.
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12:30PM on 05/08/2012

I didn't miss them

It was better without them.
It was better without them.
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11:56AM on 05/08/2012

Nick Fury only answers to

Marcellus Wallace. "Excuse me Director Fury, we need to move your Humvee, which one is yours? The one that says Bad Motherf*#@er!"
Marcellus Wallace. "Excuse me Director Fury, we need to move your Humvee, which one is yours? The one that says Bad Motherf*#@er!"
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11:42AM on 05/08/2012
Jesus Pentagon...it's a fucking movie.
Jesus Pentagon...it's a fucking movie.
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11:34AM on 05/08/2012
Love the troops, but 'The Avengers' benefitted from not being dogged by Michael Bay-style weenie waggin' or cliche techno-jargony Pentagon dialog.

Its a movie about costumed superheroes and comic book super spies. Not a Navy recruitment poster.
Love the troops, but 'The Avengers' benefitted from not being dogged by Michael Bay-style weenie waggin' or cliche techno-jargony Pentagon dialog.

Its a movie about costumed superheroes and comic book super spies. Not a Navy recruitment poster.
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+8
11:22AM on 05/08/2012
I thought S.H.I.E.L.D. answered to Powers Boothe and Jenny Agutter.
I thought S.H.I.E.L.D. answered to Powers Boothe and Jenny Agutter.
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10:37AM on 05/08/2012

Obvi

They work for the Bilderberg Group obviously. That's why they fight so hard to keep the status quo intact.
They work for the Bilderberg Group obviously. That's why they fight so hard to keep the status quo intact.
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+47
9:48AM on 05/08/2012

Ah, yes...

..because Transformers 1,2,and 3 made a truckload of sense.
..because Transformers 1,2,and 3 made a truckload of sense.
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12:53PM on 05/08/2012
Oh god. +1
Oh god. +1
+25
9:16AM on 05/08/2012
I wonder how much backing they did on "GI Joe: Retaliation" cause having a "super secret" spy organization like Cobra or the GI Joe team is as about as realistic as having S.H.I.E.L.D.
I wonder how much backing they did on "GI Joe: Retaliation" cause having a "super secret" spy organization like Cobra or the GI Joe team is as about as realistic as having S.H.I.E.L.D.
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+4
8:01AM on 05/08/2012
I'm currently reading the Ultimate Avengers half way through volume one...but the US is funding the Shield operations...or at least funding the Avengers project (not too sure). Hell, I just passed the page where George Bush is asking Fury about how cool the new (revived) Captain America is. Whilst we're on this subject...I forget...who are GI Joe answerable to?
I'm currently reading the Ultimate Avengers half way through volume one...but the US is funding the Shield operations...or at least funding the Avengers project (not too sure). Hell, I just passed the page where George Bush is asking Fury about how cool the new (revived) Captain America is. Whilst we're on this subject...I forget...who are GI Joe answerable to?
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8:48AM on 05/08/2012
Good point. Larry Hama explained on Facebook a while back when the GI Joe movie came out that the original concept of GI Joe was for them to be an elite unit answerable to SHIELD and that they were supposed to be battling Hydra and not Cobra but the people at Hasbro said "No, thanks, but we don't want the GI Joe characters to interact with characters from the Marvel Universe so the Hydra Commander became the Cobra Commander. In short, Cobra is Hydra. Google them both and you'll see their
Good point. Larry Hama explained on Facebook a while back when the GI Joe movie came out that the original concept of GI Joe was for them to be an elite unit answerable to SHIELD and that they were supposed to be battling Hydra and not Cobra but the people at Hasbro said "No, thanks, but we don't want the GI Joe characters to interact with characters from the Marvel Universe so the Hydra Commander became the Cobra Commander. In short, Cobra is Hydra. Google them both and you'll see their costumes are the same except they are colored differently.
8:00AM on 05/08/2012

It kinda doesn't really matter

It's true that S.H.I.E.L.D. is an ambiguous entity. Part of the power and authority comes from its' ambiguity. How else could they keep so many secrets as well? When it comes to an "official government entity" representing a film, it makes sense for them to want to know exactly what it is they are contributing to. In the end, though, it's irrelevant.
It's true that S.H.I.E.L.D. is an ambiguous entity. Part of the power and authority comes from its' ambiguity. How else could they keep so many secrets as well? When it comes to an "official government entity" representing a film, it makes sense for them to want to know exactly what it is they are contributing to. In the end, though, it's irrelevant.
Your Reply:



7:50AM on 05/08/2012
They answered to the United Nations depicted as the multicultural council that Fury speaks to in the film.
They answered to the United Nations depicted as the multicultural council that Fury speaks to in the film.
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7:49AM on 05/08/2012
I think Marvel has tried to cope with Defense Department. For example, in Iron Man, regardless of script's sake or not, SHIELD's real acronym was changed to "Strategic Homeland" something instead of the "actual" acronym used in the comics. By putting the word "Homeland" in, the Defense Department should be glad to hear that.
I think Marvel has tried to cope with Defense Department. For example, in Iron Man, regardless of script's sake or not, SHIELD's real acronym was changed to "Strategic Homeland" something instead of the "actual" acronym used in the comics. By putting the word "Homeland" in, the Defense Department should be glad to hear that.
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8:53AM on 05/08/2012
Actually they changed it in the comics first. I guess "Secret Headquarters" was too vague so they changed it to "Strategic Homeland" but it is still vague.
Actually they changed it in the comics first. I guess "Secret Headquarters" was too vague so they changed it to "Strategic Homeland" but it is still vague.
+13
7:47AM on 05/08/2012

?

What's next? Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Nick Clegg 'disaffirm' the Thunderbirds?
What's next? Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Nick Clegg 'disaffirm' the Thunderbirds?
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