Here's some news today guaranteed to make you scratch your head at first glance: The Pentagon stopped working with Joss Whedon and Marvel on The Avengers because it wasn’t realistic enough. You’d think they might have figured that out before beginning the process considering the film involves superheroes, a Norse god, and all sorts of other stuff that has no ties to our modern day world…
However, as it turns out, the issue wasn’t with the subject matter (after all, The Pentagon has helped with other “unrealistic” series like Transformers – last time we checked, our car wasn’t really a “robot in disguise”…) but with the way Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. organization is presented in the film. The Pentagon concluded that the military hierarchy featured in the story wasn’t sufficiently real enough for them to be involved, according to a story posted at Gizmodo.
Phil Strub, the Defense Department's Hollywood liaison stated, “We couldn't reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it. To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn't do anything" with the film.
The comics have kept the organization shrouded in secrecy for years – something fans have come to accept. It’s never quite clear if S.H.I.E.L.D. is a part of the US governmental infrastructure or more of a force like the United Nations (with way cooler bosses -- sorry Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, you’re not Nick Fury). Since the issue could never be resolved to The Pentagon’s satisfaction, they pulled out of the project.
This highlights something the average citizen doesn’t always consider: Even the United States military is concerned with their PR and image these days.
The lack of Pentagon involvement didn’t stop The Avengers from featuring some the US Military’s sexy F-22 Raptor jets, though – those turned up on the deck of the gigantic S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The catch is, they were digitally recreated and not real jets on loan from The Pentagon.
While the lack of official military involvement with The Avengers is unfortunate, it doesn’t seem to have hurt the final product in the slightest – the title has already cracked the $200 million plateau in just its first weekend of release.