By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood March 28, 2012 at 2:24PM
New York's Tribeca is an odd film festival --without a coherent identity--that embraces indies and Hollywood alike. In what way does Disney/Marvel's upcoming "The Avengers" need to be a festival closing night attraction? It hardly needs a boost: like everyone else on the planet we already want to see it, given that Joss Whedon is in charge, and the trailer so promising (see below).
In any case the recharged Tribeca Film Fest, led by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Nancy Schaefer and ex-Sundance director Geoff Gilmore (who has been pulled back into more close involvement in programming decisions) has seen fit to close the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on April 28 with the New York Premiere of "The Avengers." The film goes wide May 4 after launching in most territories April 25-27; only Poland and Japan will open the film after the U.S.
What you already know: the action-adventure film stars a pantheon of Marvel superbeings already established in other films: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Incredible Hulk (a recast Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). In the film, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury recruits super-heroes to fight against "Thor" villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston, TOH interview here), now thousands of times more powerful, who threatens world peace.
As self-serving justification for choosing such a mainstream closer, the Festival wants the premiere to honor "everyday heroes from police agencies, fire departments, first responders and various branches of the U.S. military. These local heroes will have an opportunity to attend the screening and meet the cast."
Self-deprecating humorist Whedon plays his pull-quote more effectively: “Showing at Tribeca is both an honor and a double homecoming for me, who grew up in Manhattan, and for the movie, which wrapped production there. I’m thoroughly psyched to be closing the festival with our intimate little think-piece.”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” is produced by Marvel Studios’ Producer Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham.