Marvel’s finally talking about its super-secret new Avengers short

We all knew there was going to be a short film attached to Marvel’s Avengers Blu-ray. We knew it was going to be awesome. Now we know just how awesome. So—what is Item 47 about, who is in it and what does it mean for the future of the Marvel movie franchise?

Starring Lizzy Caplan (True Blood, Party Down, The Class), Item 47 gives us an idea of just how different the world is after the events of Marvel’s Avengers. Super heroes are in the limelight, an alien invasion was barely thwarted, and your average Joe or Jane is left to wonder, “Am I safe?” and “What happens next?”

A modern day Bonnie and Clyde story, Item 47 tells the story of Benny and Claire (get it?) who find an alien gun and use it to ill purpose. Marvel Studios co-president, Louis D’Esposito, explains saying, “So when this gun literally fell into their lap, this is a sign: We’re going to rob a few banks, we’re going to buy a boat, we’re going to the Caribbean, and all our problems will be solved.”

This gives two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (played by Maximiliano Hernández and Titus Welliver) the unlucky tasks of cleaning up the mess. If they’re taking a page from the Joss Whedon playbook, that means one ugly, deadly, but inappropriately hilarious mess.

This is all in the name of painting just how much the world has changed for everyday folks. Says Item 47‘s writer, Eric Pearson, “Anything that expands the world and shows you the more human elements of it, that just makes the world more colorful and fun for the average viewer.”

Lizzy Caplan with a big ol’ alien gun gone on a crime spree? At a whopping 12 minutes, that sounds great to us, but there’s even more to be excited about. The hope is that every major Avengers follow-up film (Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, Thor 2) will carry a short film with it.

Could that mean we’ll see more minor characters taking center stage? According to D’Esposito it’s possible. “There’s always a potential to introduce a character. We have 8,000 of them, and they can’t all be at the same level. So maybe there are some that are not so popular, and we introduce them—and they take off. I could see that happening.”

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