Yesterday, as a way of talking about the alternate, darker opening to Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers,’ I mentioned how there was evidence of a few different subplots in the film that I was interested in seeing.
Actually, to quote myself:
Much like Captain America’s blonde waitress friend who has been reduced to a single interview in the alien aftermath after we know she had a brief scene with Steve Rogers in a New York cafe and that scene included Stan Lee’s original cameo.
Ask and ye shall receive, apparently. Maybe it was karma for letting the world rightfully mock what was almost done to the Ninja Turtles, but we have that scene for you now.
I’ll put a beat-by-beat description below the video, but let me highlight some coolness: This sequence took place before Nick Fury approached Steve Rogers about ‘The Avengers,’ so this is the re-introduction of Cap into the series. We see that he still struggles with knowing there’s an old Peggy out there and we see him make a connection between Howard Stark and his son Tony, the Iron Man. We get the original Stan Lee cameo (!!!) and the introduction to the waitress played by Ashley Johnson who will later be saved by Cap and be interviewed on the news. Basically, this would have established her as a potential love interest for Cap or at least given him someone modern to relate to. OH! And the MetLife building was never replaced with Stark Tower, so it’s weird to see everyone reference a not-present monolith, but – hey! – I’m not complaining.
AS PER WALT DISNEY / MARVEL STUDIOS video has been removed….Sorry readers…
“War in Europe” reads a newspaper headline as we cut to stock footage of Nazis in World War II with newsreel voiceover. “America heeds the call to fight for freedom! And at the front of the fight, shoulder to shoulder with our battling boys is Captain America!” Cut to some newsreel footage of Cap in his old costume walking through European War zones. The newsreel describes Cap as a product of science, a name every Nazi fears. They say the new weapons are no match for Cap and we see some black and white news reel footage of Cap fighting one of the Hydra soldiers with a Tesseract gun.
“He’s the man who knocks the Axis on their backs-is.” says the newsreel as we see Steve Rogers is watching it on a laptop present day. He shuts off the video and looks sad in the laptop refletion. We reveal Steve Rogers’ apartment as he leafs through the files of his teammates from ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ all of them stamped “Deceased.” BUT WAIT! Carter, Margaret “Peggy” – this file is unstamped. Close up so we can see Haley Atwell’s face and see she’s listed as “RETIRED” and “INACTIVE.” Cap looks sad, then we pan down to Peggy Carter’s current address in Winchester, UK and a telephone number.
Steve Rogers looks at the phone: a wireless one in it’s cradle and decides against it. He puts Peggy’s file aside and picks up the next one: Howard Stark – DECEASED. He places that to the side and the next file is modern-styled and has Robert Downey Jr’s face on it: Tony Stark, Iron Man. Steve looks thoughtful and we cut to:
Exterior New York Street – Steve Rogers in street clothes walks by a cell phone stand, past and ad for a new Acura, we cut to Steve Rogers writing something in outdoor seating area of a coffee shop (BONUS – THERE’S THE BACK OF STAN LEE’S HEAD!) as he’s looking at the Metlife building…which I’m assuming didn’t get turned into Stark Tower before this was cut from the film. Reveal the Rogers is QUITE the sketch artist as he doodles Stark Tower.
Waitress (Ashley Johnson, the same one cap saves later and the one talking about him at the end of the film) approaches and asks Steve if he’s “waiting for the big guy.” Steve asks: “M’am?” Waitress: “Iron Man. A lot of people eat here just to see him fly by.” She’s all flirty, he says: “Maybe another time.” She tells him the table is his however long he likes and mentions they have free wireless. Steve, confused, asks: “Radio?” We get a moment where Ashley Johnson turns around and looks at Cap in that disbelieving-slash-attracted-to-this-guy way and STAN LEE CAMEO #1, the man turns around and says: “Ask for her number you moron!”
Cut to Steve on the subway looking sad that everyone he ever knew is dead, then we cut to Steve paying a guy at an old boxing gym to use the space…and we join the Cap-Meets-Nick-Fury scene that made it into the film.