It's a well-known fact that in Joss Whedon's The Avengers, the super team will be squaring off against the mischievous Loki, who first appeared in last summer's Thor. But based on various set pictures and interviews, there will also be another group of villains that Earth's Mightiest Heroes have to fend off in the film as well. The only problem is that Marvel is being extremely tight-lipped about their existence.

But in a recent interview with Empire, Marvel Studios producer, Kevin Feige, talked about the popular rumor that the villains would be the Skrulls, and hinted at who they might actually be.

"Who said they were aliens?" he teases. Beings from the Nine Realms, then, ventures Empire? "Closer...It's not Skrulls, I've been clear about that. Beyond that, we want to hide it. The identity of the alien race is not impactful. It exists in the comic books, but we're not setting up the Kree-Skrull war or anything like that."

There are plenty of other alien races in the Marvel Universe that the mystery villains could be, or they could be a threat from one of the Nine Realms from Thor. However, Feige confirmed that the threat definitely won't include Hugo Weaving returning as the Red Skull.

"Was Skull vaporised at the end of the movie, or thrust into another realm?" asks Feige. "That remains to be seen. It would be fun to see Skull in future, but he's not in this one."

At this point we might have to wait until the next trailer to finally find out who this villain could be, but until then there is plenty of wild speculation to do.

[Empire via Coming Soon