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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"My very own riot?"
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October 11 2012

Joss' inspiration for "The Avengers" Shawarma line? Maybe Xander should get a writing credit.

I found this video while re-watching some Buffy special features. The video is taken from the reunion round table discussion on the Bonus Disc from the Buffy Chosen Collection. It blew my mind when I saw it so I decided to post it!

I thought Robert Downey Jr. ad libbed the line and Joss decided to keep it in? I'm sure I read that somewhere.
Don't know where else to ask this - does anyone know if the "Avengers" Blu-ray has special features that the DVD does not? (I'm assuming the "shawarma" line is in both editions :) )
My understanding was that RDJ asked for some options for lines he could say to end the scene and Joss wrote some lines quickly and they settled on the shawarma line.

Which I think actually makes it more likely that Joss mined his past for the lines.
The impression I got from the commentary is that "shawarma" was one of several ideas Joss tossed to RDJ to work with when filming the scene, and that's what he improvised around.

Shapenew: The only special features on the DVD are the Joss commentary track and the "Assembling the Ultimate Team" featurette. The gag reel, deleted scenes, Item 47 minifilm, etc. are only on the Bluray. (This info is for the North America release, I'm not sure about other regions except that apparently Europe doesn't get the commentary track.)
None of the non-US releases have the commentary either on DVD or BD, at least so far. I'm really curious about what the Japanese release will turn out to be.
So most International markets only have the featurette as the DVD extra. And no Commentary track on DVD or BD. The major issue with a lot of the European releases was actually the censoring of a certain scene.
Shawarma - like many of Joss' recurring notions or images, such as "Shiny" and the evil of florists - appeared in his earlier work as well as in the piece for which it becomes known. He had Xander nervously bumble through this, in BtVS 104 "Teacher's Pet":

"I like cucumbers. Like in that Greek salad thing with the yogurt. Do you like Greek food? I'm exempting shawarma, of course, I mean, what's that all about? It's a big meat hive."

It is a big meat hive. A delicious, evil, addicting, savory big meat hive of joy.
Yeah, I always took the Schwarma in Avengers as a little nod to Nick. Of course, it's such an excellent word -- Schwarma -- that you can't really go wrong with it.
"Robert asking for more on the day and I tossed him a bunch of stuff and one of them was about shawarma, and let's just say he ran with it." from commentary track
HWT, thanks very much!
I've been saying this since the movie premiered. The moment I heard Stark say the shawarma line, I thought "that's from Nick Brendon's audition".
Whatever - mmh, I'd so like a Shawarma now! :-p

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