A recent edition of The Albuquerque Journal confirmed that Marvel's The Avengers film will complete a great deal of its principal production at Albuquerque Studios, a relatively new and state-of-the-art filmmaking facility that has been home to comic book movies in the past, notably The Spirit. But what the newspaper report also included was a seemingly innocuous note that the film, directed by Joss Whedon and featuring Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, among others, would depict the heroes' conflict with two alien races familiar to all Marvel Comics fans: the Kree and the Skrull.

The relevant passage is as follows:

'The Avengers' script will blend 'Iron Man,' 'Thor' and 'Captain America: The First Avenger' story lines as the Avengers battle with two alien races, the Skrulls and the Kree.

While Marvel has yet to confirm any plot details from The Avengers, rumors have persisted for ages that the Skrulls would make an appearance. The shape-shifting aliens were recently the focus of the popular Secret Invasion comic book storyline, where it was revealed that several Marvel characters had been replaced by Skrulls - in some cases, for several years, which cast new light on previously published stories. Such a plot would be a remarkable retcon for a number of existing Marvel films. Did you not like Iron Man 2? Maybe Robert Downey, Jr. was a Skrull?

However, the Kree and Skrull are traditionally more of a threat to each other than to anyone else. Ancient enemies, the war between the two alien races has a tendency to spill over into the affairs of humanity, as depicted famously in The Avengers' "Kree-Skrull War" storyline of the 1970s.

Directed by Joss Whedon and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johanssen, The Avengers is slated to premiere in May of 2012.

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