Joss Whedon Talks Directing The Avengers Action and a Possible Sequel; Plus New Extended Iron Man TV Spot and Preview Clip
04.25.12 by Ryan
Despite his experience writing for Marvel comics, Joss Whedon was a surprising choice to direct Marvel's adaptation of The Avengers. With online reaction and reviews being almost universally positive, Marvel can feel good about gambling on Whedon to bring together characters from all of its "Cinematic Universe" so far — 2008's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk; 2010's Iron Man 2; and last year's Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. In an interview with SlashFilm, Whedon explained that his writing background helped prepare him for blending together so many characters that had already been featured in other movies.
Well you know, I’ve done a lot of things wherein you have a set group. I mean as soon as you create a TV show, even if you create it yourself, you’re now working with a set group. I did a run on the [The Astonishing] X-Men, I did an Alien [Alien Resurrection] movie, I did Runaways... It’s very fun to wander into this world that’s populated by people that you love, to get the chance to write for them. Obviously there’s pure creation and nothing beats that, but this is something that any writer could have the time of their life doing and they let me make my movie, the movie that I told them I wanted to make the first time I realized I wanted to make an Avengers movie and it’s exactly the movie that we came out with. So it’s always a creative endeavor or you’re just spinning your wheels.
While Whedon certainly has written for ensembles before on his many TV shows, the only action movie on his resume was 2005's Serenity. He confessed that James Cameron was a big influence on the way he created the action behind The Avengers.
You know, for me Cameron is the leader and the teacher and the Yoda, because I don’t know anybody who delineates action as well as he does and it’s always about he shows you the parameters, he shows you the problem, and then he shows you the attempt at the solution and he makes the problem worse. It’s a real understanding of cinematic space in his movies and for me it’s kind of dazzling. You know the [Michael] Bay stuff is ten times prettier than mine, but very much about the sensation over the sort of explanation and for me it’s very important that we know why our people are doing what they are doing and where they are and what the situation is and how I can make it worse. So I don’t think of myself as anything resembling a great action director, but I do love iconic imagery. I do love finding those moments and I do love creating stunts. You have to, because the best stunt and fight coordinators in the world are still going to fall back on some tricks that quite frankly will work for one character, but not for another and keeping ahead of everybody’s power, there were power levels and it was very tricky.
While Marvel has yet to officially announce The Avengers 2, president of production Kevin Feige has said that he is hoping for a sequel. Separately, Whedon has said that a potential The Avengers 2 would have to be "more personal" and "more painful." Yet, when he was directly asked by MTV whether he would return for a sequel, Whedon didn't respond with a "yes" or a "no," but did praise the studio's faith in him.
[The Avengers] was an extraordinary experience. Marvel gave me so much trust and the movie that I said, "Well, if I was going to do this I'd like to do this." And that's the movie I made. They only ever moved it forwards and collaborated and supported me. And I gotta tell you, that's unusual from a studio.
Sounds like Whedon either would love to return... Or would like his replacement to feel good about working for Marvel. Either way, a sequel may be too close to call for Marvel, who has yet to release the movie in the US. The studio is still busy promoting the movie, including the release of a new, extended TV spot focusing on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) which is twice the length of the Iron Man-centric spot that debuted last week.
Another new preview clip was shown during Clark Gregg's appearance on PBS' Tavis Smiley show. In the clip, Gregg's character of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson embarrasses himself when he meets Captain America (Chris Evans) for the first time.