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“The Avengers” get covered, as director Joss Whedon reflects on his burgeoning superhero family

“The Avengers” get covered, as director Joss Whedon reflects on his burgeoning superhero family (photo)

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It’s not a stretch to say that “The Avengers” is one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of 2012. In a year jam-packed with blockbuster comic book flicks — such as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” — Marvel’s attempt to bring together their film franchise in one ensemble collaboration is a gamble that could change the way Hollywood makes movie series.

That last statement might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but seriously, people are excited for this movie. That’s why Entertainment Weekly dedicated their Sept. 30 issue to “The Avengers,” replete with a heavily photoshopped cover featuring the film’s six main stars. The magazine released a tease of the cover story and set visit report today featuring interviews with Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner and director Joss Whedon.

Apparently Downey took his notorious habit of “pushing for heat-of-the-moment script punch-ups” with him from the set of “Iron Man” to “The Avengers.” That’s why, for much of the time EW was on set, Whedon could be seen off in a corner obsessively rewriting and adding new pages of dialogue.

“There is a weird element of: they handed me one of the biggest movies of all time, and I’m making it up as I go,” he said.

It turns out that Whedon was a bit caught off by the fact that his ensemble cast filled with big name stars — Downey, Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth — got along so well. In fact, he was counting on a bit of friction. “I was like, well, if they hate each other, I guess we can use that,” he said with a shrug. “But they don’t.”

But just because they get together on set doesn’t mean their characters are going to get along as amicably in the film. “Just because they’re super heroes doesn’t mean they’re super friends,” Renner said.

Fans got a tease of that tension in the “Avengers” teaser at the end of “Captain America: The First Avenger.” In an interview with Samuel L. Jackson in August, he said he got a kick out of seeing all the Marvel actors together in one room.

“We’re all really good friends,” he said, “It’s kind of funny to stand around in a room and see everybody. Thor is standing there in his costume. Captain America. Sometime’s he’s dressed and sometimes he’s not. Scarlett [Johansson] is there as Black Widow. Robert Downey is there. He very seldom has his Iron Man costume on when he’s just hanging around with his buds.”

“It’s just amazing to look around the room and see all of those guys there and go, ‘Okay. This is cool,'” he added.

“The Avengers” hits theaters May 4, 2012.

How psyched are you to finally see “The Avengers”? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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