As part of their promo push towards next year's The Avengers, Marvel has taken a page out of Disney and Pixar's playbook and created a couple of live-action short films that will be used to connect the dots (or plots) between superhero films. The first short, titled The Consultant, stars Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson and reveals itself to be sort of a prequel to the post-credits scene in The Incredible Hulk, when Tony Stark approaches General Ross in a bar.
The Consultant will be part of the special features on the Thor DVD/Blu-ray, and we assume the second short -- titled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer -- will be part of the special features on the Captain America: The First Avenger DVD/Blu-ray (though no such announcement has been made yet). On the specific timelines for each short, co-producer Brad Winderbaum says, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer… picks up after Agent Coulson leaves Tony Stark’s lab in Malibu during Iron Man 2, and occurs before he arrives solo at the crater site in Thor. The Consultant takes place sometime after the plots of Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk, but before ‘Marvel’s The Avengers.” Both aim to give audiences a day-in-the-life look at being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Check out the first clip from The Consultant below, as well as a longer preview for the Thor DVD/Blu-ray (featuring 11 deleted scenes and a preview of The Avengers), available on September 13th.