As fun as the filmmaking process is, it can be exhausting. From the shortest student film to the big budget blockbusters, the cast and crew can tire themselves out from long and late shoots. But imagine how tiring it must be to be the man in change of arguably the biggest superhero movie to date, ‘The Avengers.’ That’s why it’s not surprising that Joss Whedon was hesitant at first to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ Now, you can hear about what changed his mind straight from the man who assembled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the big screen.
In an interview with /Film, Whedon revealed the state of his being after completing his first Marvel Studios film, which he dedicated every filmmaking muscle in his body to making the right way in order to do it justice:
“I was a raggedy man when I made that film. It did take a lot out of me. Going in this time, I just had to sort of recalibrate me entire existence and throw myself into it more wholeheartedly and say, okay, actually make it harder to make them last, and I’m gonna just invest myself in every part of it- in every production meeting, every location scout, and every question about a prop that I’d like to avoid, and I might even work harder on the script. Um, everything just, you know, there’s nothing in it that I’m not going to be a part of- I’m gonna give myself up to it- like a Christian to a lion.”
Then he went on to describe his initial ideas for the sequel, which he hadn’t fully committed to while he was formulating these thoughts:
“Before I took the first job, I said, well, I don’t know if I’m right for this or if I want it or you want me, but in the second one, the villain has to be Ultron, and he has to create the Vision, and then, that has to be Bettany. It took me three years before I could tell Paul that I’d had that conversation, but after that, I stopped. I was like, that would be cool if you have Ultron, and you have Vision and Paul played him.
And Scarlet Witch and Pietro, definitely. They’re from my era, they’re very different, their powers are different, it’s not all punching, it gives a different palettes and we can do more interesting things. It’s fun; those things were all absolutes. But then I didn’t actually want to make the film necessarily. I was ragged from the first one, and so I just turned off my brain. I was like, do not think of cool ideas for the next one. Just get through this. But after a few months when they talked about, um… This is now something that makes sense in my life; do I have anything to say?
And so my agent calls, I was in London, and he called me and said there’s a deal that’s worth talking about- time to start to think about whether there’s a movie. And I’m going, all right. I went to a pub and sat down with my notebook, and about forty-five minutes later, my notebook was filled. And I texted my agent “yup” and I have so many things to say and I was kind of surprised. It took me unaware. It was very beautiful.”
Finally, the fan favorite writer and director let us in on what original ideas from that pub session made it into the final product:
“A lot of them, a lot of them. And there’s some that you’re like, this is it; this is the heart of… and then that doesn’t work. But generally speaking it’s character stuff, really. It’s definitely not plot stuff because that’s the stuff that you can pull out of yourself with agony. The character stuff, can these people connect and these people can’t connect, and we can tear them apart and bring them together, and have this insight into the character. That’s the stuff that makes me wanna make a film. Not like, “oh, and then there’s a cool plot twist.” I have to have a mind for that.”
It’s awesome to hear that Whedon is so dedicated to the MCU that he would be willing to pass off his franchise if it meant that the story would be done justice. He may have to do so if recent rumors about ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ are to be believed, but let’s not jump the gun just yet. While we wait on official word about the director (or directors) for the third and fourth films in the Avengers’ series, let’s enjoy Joss Whedon while we have him.
What do you think about Joss Whedon’s approach to ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’? Are you excited to see what he pulls off with characters like Ultron, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver? Let us know in the comments below.
‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ assembles in theaters on May 1, 2015.