Media Consumers for Entertainment Equality Official Tumblr
Joss [Whedon] and I were wondering, ‘So where is Bruce Banner?’ And I said, ‘I think he’s in a leprosy colony’…. It didn’t turn out to be a leprosy colony, but he’s in the slums in Calcutta, which I thought was a cool place to find him at.
actor Mark Ruffalo on Bruce Banner’s location in “The Avengers.”
Sandip Roy gives him the side eye.
Calcutta may have its problems but this is a complete throwback to an older idea of India, where the lights are dim and the televisions flicker feebly, where wide eyed children tug at the sleeves of the good phoren doctor and whine plaintively “mere baba sick.”…
In that simpler age, a place like Calcutta also fulfils a simple old-fashioned role – a black hole, the heart of darkness, a place where troubled heroes can atone for their sins.
The pre-movie advertising gave the impression that she was going to have a far greater role than she actually did, and I suspect that this oversaturation of Cobie Smulders/Maria Hill publicity was because they were very aware that out of an ensemble cast of around 15 characters, only three are women, and only one of those women is in a starring role.
While The Avengers wasn’t explicitly sexist, it did follow the Hollywood habit of setting all action/adventure stories in some parallel universe where women only make up about 25% of the population. This isn’t a criticism of Hill’s characterisation, which was more or less what you’d expect from a businesslike second-in-command/expository dialogue character.
The cast is already so big that there’s no time to expand every character, but the fact that Cobie Smulders was featured so prominently at the Avengers premieres and press events does rather highlight the fact that the first-tier cast consists of seven men plus Scarlett Johansson.