UPDATE: Marvel Studios Edits Key Scene for International Avengers Release

Bleeding Cool has found a very peculiar occurrence in some of the international releases for Marvel’s The Avengers on DVD and Blu-ray. We’re going to issue a huge spoiler warning in the event that you still haven’t seen The Avengers.

It seems that a very integral scene in the film has been edited to remove something. The top picture here is the US version of the film and the bottom is the UK home video version of the film, take a look at the bottom of this article.

It seems the version of the film without the blade sticking out of Coulson will appear in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, that we know of, but some other European countries like Italy have the US version of the film. Why would Marvel edit this key scene on the home video release of the film? And why only in certain territories? It’s not to get a lower rating because the film’s rating in the UK remains unchanged.

Some theorize that this is Marvel’s way of retconning (retroactive continuity) Coulson’s death from the final version of the film. Though if this were true, they would have made every version like this. Time will tell, but for now there’s no definitive reasoning.

UPDATE: The BBFC has issued the following statement explaining the situation:

The DVD/Blu-ray version of MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE is classified 12. It differs from the theatrical version submitted to the BBFC which is classified 12A.
 
In publishing the Extended Classification Information (ECI) for the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, a technical error occurred and the theatrical ECI was published on the BBFC website instead of the DVD/Blu-ray ECI.
 
The theatrical ECI highlights a scene in the film where the tip of a spear is seen protruding from a man’s chest. This scene was absent from the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE and does not appear in the DVD/Blu-ray ECI. The website error has now been rectified and the correct ECI for the DVD/Blu-ray is now available.