Joss Whedon Praises Edgar Wright's ANT-MAN Script, Reveals Challenges of AGE OF ULTRON

Buzzfeed has just published a fantastic profile of Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon, and while the whole thing is certainly worth a read, there are a few elements that I thought were worth highlighting in case you don't have time to go through the entire piece.

First up: Whedon discusses Edgar Wright's Ant-Man script. The director famously showed his support for Wright by tweeting this photo after Wright left the movie, but now he goes a little deeper into his feelings on the whole scenario:

“I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa. I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right. Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right. But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.”

Man, I'm still bummed that we won't ever get to see Wright's vision for that movie. It's a shame those creative differences couldn't be overcome.

The filmmaker also spoke about balancing his script for Avengers: Age of Ultron with the plans the studio has for future movies, and trying to make a cohesive, singular experience for the audience without leaving them feeling like they'd only gotten part of a story:

“No matter how much they may talk about, ‘Well, this is going to lead to some terrible stuff down the line,’ in my movie, it’s designed to be a complete experience,” he said. “And if I don’t do that, if I haven’t brought you on that journey and closed it out, fuck me. That’s the danger of this sort of serialized storytelling, turning the motion picture experience into episodic TV. Because we have episodic TV, and now you don’t even have to wait to watch it, you can binge it. So that’s to me a dreadful mistake.”
Whedon chuckled bitterly. “Somebody said, ‘Well, that was a great setup for the next thing!’ in one of the test screenings, and I died inside. [Marvel executives] were like, ‘No! They say that all the time, it’s fine.’ I was like, ‘No, that’s the worst thing I could have heard.’ I want people to come out feeling done.”

Also worth noting: apparently Whedon did "a full dialogue pass" on the Guardians of the Galaxy script. I know there was some contention over how much Nicole Perlman contributed to the script versus how much James Gunn wrote (Gunn has basically said that he did a page one rewrite when he came onto the project), and now there's another writer we know of that may be responsible for some of those great lines we all loved from that film.

There's a lot to unpack there, and after reading the full profile on Whedon, it's even more clear that this process was intensely exhausting for him. I'm definitely excited to see what he's going to do next.