As the culmination for Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Battle of New York, as presented in The Avengers is an amazing spectacle put to film. Not only does have some amazing action, but it combines footage from multiple locations seamlessly to create the city that never sleeps.
LOCATION: The Battle of New York (See Below)
SHOW: The Avengers (2012)
Last week I presented the first part of the Battle of New York from The Avengers. Now I’ll conclude with this special presentation of this giant action sequence filmed in three cities, with a host of visual effects which paved the way for action spectacles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to come.
14) Loki orders the remaining forces to be sent in and Leviathan #2 and #3 come thru the portal. The 2nd beast turns right and heads out over E 42nd St, while the the 3rd creature heads mostly over Park Ave. Captain America dictates a 3 block perimeter to Stark, and orders Hawkeye to get on top of 120 Park Ave and call out patterns and strays. Hulk jumps up onto the side of 120 Park before leaping across the street to 125 Park. This sequence is one of several extend long-takes that showcases the various heroes coming together to fight their foe. All scenes are CGI or digitally enhanced soundstage work.
15) Thor flies up to the top of the Chrysler building and unleashes his lightning on the portal, killing many Chitauri and turning a fourth and a fifth Leviathan back. The top section of the Chrysler building was a digital creation with Chris Hemsworth acting on some green screen shape in a studio.
16) Hawkeye is on the northeast corner of 120 Park Ave calling out strays to Stark. A very simple sequence that digitally inserts Hawkeye onto the corner of this building.
17) Stark makes a left turn off of E. 39th St onto Park pursued by some Chitauri. He flies up the East side of the Park Ave. Viaduct, turns into the tunnel and exits the Helmsley Building on E 46th. He banks sharply, crashing a number of Chitauri speeders into 250 Park Ave, before making a U-turn and heading back into the 2nd Park Ave tunnel. He shoots out the south end Grand Central Terminal, causing the remaining speeders to crash into 200 Park Ave (Stark Tower in this case). Hawkeye lets Stark know that Thor is taking on a Squadron down on 6th. A complex series of shots, that all make use of the digital photography of the New York area.
18) A Leviathan is heading North just outside 90 Park Ave, when it turns and crashes into the building. Hulk meets it head on from inside! Turning it back south on Park Ave. It runs into 99 Park Ave before making a left and heading out on E 39th St. Another fully digitally realized sequence.
19) Black Widow continues to fight on the Viaduct with Captain America. She then asks Cap to help her hitch a ride on a speeder, which he does. She heads East over E. 41st Street. This footage was shot on the soundstage Viaduct set, with the digital additions of the New York location.
20) The Black Widow figures out how to make the speeder steer, and flies through several ubiquitous canyons of buildings before passing Stark. Iron Man flies up Park and lands next to Captain America on the Viaduct, where the work together. As noted previously, the model of the digital New York appears to be made up of some generic street sections, which may not exist in real life, used for scenes like this with the Black Widow flying down a street, blurred so much that it’s not clear where the action takes place. This sequence is also the first part of one long take that shows all the heroes working together. The action follows Iron Man down to Captain America in one take continuing into the next sequence.
21) Stark then flies up past Hawkeye on 120 Park, who fires an arrow West on E. 42nd St towards the New York Library which has Leviathan #2, being ridden by Hulk pass by heading North on 5th Ave. Thor joins Hulk on the Leviathan as they race up 5th Ave. This sequence continues the one long take that shows all the heroes working together. The action follows Iron Man up to Hawkeye, follows his arrow towards the Hulk, where Thor joins in.
22) Thor and Hulk kill the Leviathan and the turn it right on E. 43rd St, crashing it directly thru the window and into Grand Central Terminal. This is the Leviathan seen at the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming that Toomes and his crew is cleaning up.
23) The National Guard rolls in just outside the Grand Central-42nd Street Station. This sequence filmed at 2017 East 9th in Cleveland.
24) Captain America gets a report to help some civilians trapped in a bank on “42nd past Madison.” This bank was the Ameritrust Rotunda on Euclid and E. 9th in Cleveland. It was also used for the exterior of the bank that Bucky Barnes was repaired in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
25) Hawkeye sees Black Widow on her speeder heading west along E. 42nd pursued by Loki on his. They turn up towards Stark Tower, when Hawkeye’s arrow explodes in Loki’s hand sending him tumbling back to Stark’s penthouse. Black Widow hops off onto the roof by the portal generator. More digital doubles being inserted into a digital recreation of E 42nd St.
26) Thor attacks a Chitauri speeder just as a Leviathan, chased by Iron Man flies through the building at 320 Madison Ave. Interestingly this is the in-universe address (in the comics at least) for the Baxter Building, which is the headquarters of the Fantastic Four. The Leviathan flies south on Madison.
27) After Iron Man attempts to stop the Leviathan with his lasers, The Leviathan is seen crashing into 67 Park Ave as it heads south. Iron Man flies straight into the mouth of the Leviathan and causes it to explode. This is another view of the digital New York model with digital doubles for Iron Man and the Leviathan.
28) After the explosion, Iron Man is hurtled into a bus stop a few blocks away. This was shot at 1048 Walnut Avenue in Cleveland, in front of a parking structure. Eagle eyed viewers notice the Shawarma Palace restaurant behind him, which he mentions to the team later.
30) The Hulk is seen fighting a number of Chitauri on top of a building, when a cadre of speeders show up and bombard him. This was filmed on top of the garage at 999 Chester Ave in Cleveland. This one shot is a digital model of a building from Cleveland and not a building in New York, breaking from the standard format from this sequence.
31) Stark continues his fight in front of the Farmers Insurance building before flying away to try and stop the Nuke that was launched. This was also filmed on Walnut Street in Cleveland on the opposite side of the street from Stark’s initial crash.
32) Iron Man grabs the nuke as it flies in under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge before directing it into the Portal. Meanwhile Captain America and Thor battle Chitauri in the streets below. Cap and Thor were filmed in front of 2060 East 9th in Cleveland. But Tony’s adventures continued the use of the digital New York model, with some elements shot out near the actual bridge.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this detailed account of the Battle of New York. Stay tuned to the MCU: Location Scout for more insights into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Behind every scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a location. Some are iconic. Some are functional. Some are completely fantastic. But all of them are there to support the story.
Here at the MCU: Location Scout, Jovial Jay digs deep to uncover the real-world filming locations behind your favorite super hero films. From Iron Man to Inhumans and everything in between!
Having grown up on comics, television and film, “Jovial” Jay feels destined to host podcasts and write blogs related to the union of these nerdy pursuits. Among his other pursuits he administrates and edits stories at the two largest Star Wars fan sites on the ‘net (Rebelscum.com, TheForce.net), and co-hosts the Jedi Journals podcast over at the ForceCast network.