Well, that didn't take long. After some keen-eyed Avengers fans spotted an interesting edit in the UK version of the film, Marvel has now chimed in to explain exactly what happened—and squash all our conspiracy theories in the process. Spoilers for The Avengers ahead!
In the scene where Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is killed by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), viewers of the U.S. theatrical cut saw the blade come straight through the beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, whereas viewers of the U.K. Blu-Ray noted the blade had been digitally removed for release.
It definitely piqued some interest, and had some fans even wondering if the alteration was made as a bit of retcon, to potentially make it easier for Coulson to return in a future film. Well, apparently not.
According to Marvel, the blade was never there to begin with—at least not in the UK theatrical release.
According to Disney UK spokesperson Lydia Rodrigues:
"The version of Marvel's Avengers Assemble [the UK title for The Avengers] on Blu-ray disc in the U.K. is the same as the version shown theatrically. It really is. The simple fact is for a 12 certificate film [rating] in the U.K., that scene was deemed inappropriate. So Marvel Studios chose to remove the spear tip digitally."So, there you have it. The scene wasn't an issue for the U.S. release, but Marvel/Disney opted to nix the change for the UK release to ensure a lower rating. What's really funny is that no one noticed until now.
What do you think of the decision to trim a bit of the violence for the UK release?