Joss Whedon talks about Assembling THE AVENGERS
Yesterday Marvel released two banner's featuring a number of characters from The Avengers. Today a interview was released with director Joss Whedon, and he goes into some fun little details about making the film, working with the actors, and how he brought these characters to the screen in this epic ensemble film. This should definitely be of interest to anyone interested in seeing The Avengers.
Here are a few of the questions and answers that were in the interview!
MM: Now, you said you talked to everybody sort of about their character, was there sort of an aspect or facet of Tony Stark that Robert brought up that you hadn't considered before?
JW: I think the conversations were largely about "Where is Tony now?" Like, "Who is he now? Where is he [going] from 'Iron Man 2' towards 'Iron Man 3'?" He is such a well-delineated character, so it was really a question of, "What do we want to stress and what do we want to say? We have said that, we have done that, so let's not go there." He felt a sort of isolated man who is -- even though there is an element of that, just because that's sort of what any team movie is about. He didn't want to be the sort of just, "I am totally wrapped up in one thing and I am not thinking about everybody else." He didn't want to be the tortured lonely man, which I totally get. And it was easy to make him as delightful and gregarious as he can be and still go, well, there is a piece missing and it's the piece that makes him an Avenger.
MM: I was really impressed by Chris Evans in "" because his performance was so different than what you usually see from him. There was no snark, no sarcastic edge to him. How did you have to adapt your sort of writing style to fit that sort of straightforward character?
JW:I love a straightforward character. I am the guy who loves Cyclops on the '', because he is square. [Captain America] is a little square, and he is aware that he is a little square, and he is aware that the world is a beat ahead of him, or in his case, 70 beats. I think that's very disarming and very charming. I relate to that guy. I also don't know who the popular singers are right now, so he is actually really easy for me to write.
There were some lines where [Chris] would be like, "Okay, now I just sound like an idiot." And in context, I was like, "Yeah, actually, now that it's all laid out that is a bit much." But he is very aware of his dignity, but at the same time understood why I wanted to find the humor in somebody who was so out of touch.
MM: You have Mark Ruffalo stepping in for the first time playing the character of Bruce Banner. So did you feel more freedom to kind of create your own take on the character?
JW: Yeah, he and I did the most character work of anyone, because we really were starting fresh, but we were starting with something that had been embodied several times.
And both of us agreed upfront that the template for who we wanted this guy to be in his life was Bill Bixby, the TV [show character] who was busy helping other people. That was more interesting to us than the Banner in the first two movies who was always fixated on curing himself. We spent a lot of time talking about what makes us Hulk out, the nature of anger, how it feels.
We even fought some. I mean literally we actually got some pads out and did some tussling. Just to talk about the physicality, and also the physicality of somebody who has to control this thing, and the way he moves in space and the way he relates to the people and the objects around him. It was extremely fun. What we found was that he could be very bumbling and kind of awkward, but at the same time very graceful and in this almost transcendent control of himself.
MM: Personally, I am excited for the movie just to see the character of Nick Fury come into his own, because we have just gotten these little glimpses of his function in this world. Did you want to keep that edge of mystery to him, or explore who he is underneath the patch?
JW: Well, he is not going to be talking about his childhood, and you do want to keep a certain mystery. Also -- and this is something that I was very pleased that Marvel actually mandated -- they were very interested in keeping him, not just in the sort of a mystery of how the organization operates, but a real moral gray area where you really have to decide, "Is Nick Fury the most manipulative guy in the world? Is he a good guy? Is he completely Machiavellian or is it a bit of both?" And that was really fun to tweak.
I felt that in the other movies, they had been cameos and he had been called upon to come in and be Sam Jackson and bluster a little bit. And I told Sam upfront that my big agenda was to see the weight on someone who is supposed to be in control of the most powerful beings on the planet. The weight on somebody who has to run the organization and the gravity of it. Not that we don't have any fun with Nick, but he definitely -- it's, I feel like a much more textured performance and at times really moving.
MM: I imagine the other hard part about that is balancing a God and who can create lightning, and a guy with a bow and arrow, and giving them both the action that brings out the best in them.
JW: Yeah. Well, I feel like we pulled that off. At the end of the day, the guy with the bow and arrow is a lot easier to write gags for than the God. But we created a situation where everybody can be useful, and everybody can be in jeopardy, and they really can act as a team, even though -- as we have known from the first issue of 'The Avengers' comic -- there's no reason for these people to be on the same team.