Production on Marvel Studios' The Avengers has been shut down after the theft of Samuel L. Jackson's copy of the Joss Whedon script, at least according to The script, which is watermarked with Jackson's name, is being shopped to various media sites along with photographs verifying its authenticity. At least one scene has been cut as a consequence of this action, and you can read some of it below.Numerous film and media websites were offered The Avengers script late last week by an anonymous source who made his intentions plain: he wished to sell a single hard copy version to the highest bidding website, offering "substantial" traffic for their investment. As of this writing, and for obvious reasons, no sites have elected to purchase or at least publish the stolen Avengers script (codename "Group Hug"), but was able to procure some photographic verification from the anonymous seller that confirms it is actually Samuel L. Jackson's copy.

The scene takes place in what is presumably the S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier, where Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk in front of the Black Widow. Various reports suggest that scene is being rewritten.

The story is still developing, but sources tell Albuquerque, New Mexico-based that production on The Avengers has been put on hold as a consequence of the script theft. Dark Horizons has heard rumors that the film has been put on "indefinite hold" for rewrites and "other reasons", although Sindication sources in New Mexico say they have received no such notifications and will report to work as usual. Numerous sites have confirmed the script was stolen from Jackson in Burbank or Los Angeles and not from the Albuquerque set.

Marvel has yet to comment on the matter, but ComicsAlliance will follow the story as it continues to unfold.

UPDATE 5/3/11: Badass Digest spoke with Disney and reports that the production has not been interrupted. Additionally, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth told The Wall Street Journal that he has heard nothing of a production shut down on account of the stolen script.

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