According to multiple sources, copies of Marvel's The Avengers heading to the video market in the United Kingdom, Germany and elsewhere around Europe are seeing a different version of the death scene that shocked and saddened so many fans of the film.
Needless to say, this article will feature spoilers for The Avengers, so if you haven't yet seen it and don't want to be spoiled, turn back now.
Alright, in any event, the scene in which S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson is killed by Loki has been censored in parts of Europe, for reasons not immediately clear. It could just be that the graphic nature of the violence was objected to by someone, since the film is not R-rated or whatever any given country's equivalent of that would be.
As seen at right, the moment when Coulson is actually impaled by Loki's spear appears differently in the edited version of the film than it does in the original, with the tip no longer protruding through the chest of actor Clark Gregg. This minor change has major ramifications for fans, of course, since a lot of people would like to see Coulson return--and some fans even have ideas for how it might happen.
Movie-Censorship.com, though, reports that the change was made to comply with differing film standards, not for story reasons, and it's nothing to get too excited about, although at that point, the U.K. release had not yet been viewed and it was assumed that only foreign-language translations of the film were affected.
"Disney released a statement regarding the German version of The Avengers," wrote the site. "Amazon.de put it on their site, as well. In the statement, the label states that during post-production, two versions of The Avengers were produced. The only difference is the sequence where Agent Coulson is stabbed by the staff. One version shows how it penetrates the body completely while the other version omits this detail. Disney says that numerous countries, among them being Germany, Austria and Switzerland, got this censored version. Apart from that, both versions are absolutely identical, according to the label."
You can check out a gallery below that features two different looks at a pair of shots from the film, reflecting the changes made.[gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="2" orderby="title"]