The clear canon of the MFU is the strongest aspect of the films. Indeed, the connection between the movies is widely noted as the number one prerequisite being done correctly to make the Marvel films really work.
Will Whedon be the one to ruin it?
The rumor seems to begin with a friend of a friend of a writer over at ComicBookMovie.com, who claims to have obtained the information from a charity dinner with the famed director.
According to the rumor, Whedon is going to open the upcoming Avengers film with a newsreel showing Steve Rogers place in the culture of the 1940’s. Within the reel, Steve will be shown consorting with Joan Leslie, a popular and influential actress of the time.
The footage of the late Leslie will be lifted and modified from This is the Army, in which she played the romantic lead across from Ronald Reagan.
In the film, she is the protagonist’s fiancé, and only appears in two major scenes. One in which Reagan’s character promises to marry her when he returns from war, and a second in which they get married. I’m guessing they would use the scene of the promise, it would be just too far to use the wedding scene.
The problem is that it would be the first flub in the canon of the Marvel Film Universe. According to Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers only had one girlfriend, and it was not Joan Leslie- which has, so far, been very consistent and almost uncannily verisimilar, considering that the films have not all been produced and directed by the same team.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface, and it’s not in and of itself. It’s only important because it may be an indicator that Whedon doesn’t care about the canon. If that’s true the Avengers film will be very disappointing. The thing I’m looking forward to most in the film is the continuity from the other Marvel films. Without that, it won’t work. If Whedon is willing to change this, what else is he willing to change?
Of course, I may be reading too much into it. It may be a simple, brief glimps of Rogers and Leslie in a longer newsreel, and it may just have been a rumor that Cap will dismiss as untrue after seeing it. As a comicbook fan, though, I’vew been burned by canon changes so often that I can’t help but feel weary.
The Avengers will hit theaters on May 4, 2012.