Joss Whedon Discusses Various AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Elements
It looks like Joss Whedon is once again going to blow Marvel fans away with the Avengers. The footage we've seen from Avengers: Age of Ultron looks insanely cool, but there's still so much more that has yet to be revealed. There are a bunch of interviews with the director from the set of the film that have surfaced, and in them he discusses a lot of different aspects about the movie, including the fact that he initially didn't want to do it! He explained to /Film,
"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."
I'm glad he did return to the franchise, but it's looking more and more like he's not going to be jumping back in for a third after this. As you've probably heard, Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) may take over the reins. When asked if Whedon used those notes he wrote down in the pub in this upcoming film he said:
"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."
He then talks about the success in the Hulk in the first movie and explains why we haven't seen another Hulk solo film yet.
"Well, I wasn’t the one who said don’t make a Hulk film or anything like that. It was, Kevin said to me, we think right now it’s good to have somebody who could only be in the Avengers. Everybody loves Mark [Ruffalo]. He’s phenomenal. But the fact that there hasn’t been a Hulk [movie] since that Hulk, it doesn’t suck. My job is hard enough, you know. Cap’s had a movie, Thor’s had a movie. Everyone’s gone through big changes, Iron Man had a movie, and so I have to juggle everybody’s perception of that while still making a movie that you can see having not seen any except the first Avengers, or not even that."
That makes sense, Hawkeye seems to fit into the same area as being a character that could only be in The Avengers. Of course, there's been talk of a standalone film for him. I would still love to see Hulk eventually get a solo movie with Ruffalo. Maybe it will happen in Phase 4 or 5. We do know that the Hulk's role has been beefed up for Age of Ultron, though, so that's something fans have to look forward to. Whedon goes on to discuss how he handled giving Hulk a bigger role in the film, saying,
"[Hulk's] monologue about his childhood is very poignant and lacks pronouns. No. Um, you know, the talking thing is something that I sort of pitch it and I take it away. It’s moment to moment. Done wrong, it could kill ya. So, I’m pretty leery about that. But Banner has a significant role, and the Hulk, we really held back on him for a long while in the first one. And said, there’s something terrible coming that you’ll love. And what just what makes the Hulk so hard to write is that you’re pretending he’s a werewolf when he’s a superhero. You want to — you want it vice versa. You want to see him, Banner doesn’t want to see him, but you don’t want Banner to be that guy who gets in the way of you seeing him. So the question is, how has he progressed? How can we bring changes on what the Hulk does? And that’s not just in the screenplay. That’s moment to moment, because even when they are putting in post mix and temp mix you know, they have a library of two roars. 'Aaarrgh! Uuurrgh!' What if he wasn’t roaring? I’m angry, and I’m not roaring. I’m being very polite to a lot of reporters, but I’m filled with rage."
The director also talks about the rest of the characters in the franchise, and how they are strong, but damaged by power. He says,
"Well, you know, 'strong but damaged by power' describes every person in this movie. It may, in fact, describe what the movie is about. You know, the more power that we have, the less human we are. Her damage pre-dates her power, and these kids they’ve had a rough history."
He cited Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein saying:
“In the Marvel universe, there’s a lot of Frankensteins. Steve Rogers himself, one of the better-looking Frankensteins of our era. There’s a lot of people whether they’re trying to do good or bad, who think they have the next big idea. And the next big idea is usually a very bad one.”
Of course by Frankenstein, I'm sure he's referring to the monster, and not the doctor. As for Ultron, the main villain of the story, Whedon wanted him to be involved from the very beginning, and it looks like he brought that character to life brilliantly.
"Well, Ultron feels a certain distance from humanity, and the day Spader got here we put on the mocap pajamas, a giant thing with red dots on it for his eye line, giant pack, and a helmet with two cameras in his face with lights to record his performance, he then did a scene with Scarlet. But not look him in the eye because she was looking up in his eye line, and nor could he see her because he had two lights shining in his face, and he had his glasses on.
"Therefore, he has a certain distance from humanity, too. And god bless him, he was wonderful. And very game. He has been the whole time. Very interested in the mechanics, to find the humanity. He and I share a genuine love of this version of Ultron, and he has an innate eccentricity in delivery that is everything that I had hoped Ultron would be.
"You know, for me, there’s always a point where I’m writing where [I go], you know, they’re right! The Avengers sucked! Got to do something about that. We got to take care of these guys. Hopefully, you will come out of this, if not agreeing with him, [at least] getting him, and getting his pain, which leads to a lot of damage, and some humor, and how’s he different. I mean, villains are different from each other. The important thing for me is he’s not this external thing. He’s not Independence Day. I’m not criticizing that movie, but I’m saying that it’s not like we spent some time on the alien going, oh, I hate that Will Smith! Punched me right in the face! The first day there! When he’s in his scenes, you want to feel like he will never understand that he’s not the hero."
Whedon kept tight lipped about many of the details, but you can read the full lengthy interview here. I'm just filled with excitement for this movie. I hope it's not Whedon's last Marvel film, but if it is, it looks like it will be a good send off for him.
The movie hits theaters on May 1st, 2015.