More Details on the Avengers Start of Production, Cast List, First Photo

As we already reported yesterday, and as revealed by Joss Whedon himself, the director of “The Avengers”, Marvel Studios’ big-budget superhero team-up movie has already officially begun shooting on Monday. To drive that point home, though, the studio has released an official press release, along with a set photo featuring the Avengers. Sort of.

Shooting is currently gearing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but will then move to Cleveland, Ohio and New York City.

The film’s main cast will include Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, Clark Gregg as SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson as Coulson’s boss, SHIELD head honcho Nick Fury.

The supporting cast will include Cobie Smulders as SHIELD Agent Maria Hill, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Stellan Skarsgård as Professor Erik Selvig, the latter two transplanted from the cast of “Thor”. Yes, they are officially telling you Loki will be in “The Avengers”. But then, you probably already know that.

And here’s a little bit of the plot:

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

“Unexpected enemy”? “Emerges”? Hmm, sounds like we’re talking about a secret invasion of some type, possibly manipulated by some evil manipulating fella…

The Avengers officially assemble May 4, 2012.

And here’s the photo tease (feel free to click to enlarge):