Are you hyped for The Avengers yet? You damn well should be. After pounding you with news, clips, featurettes and interviews these last few weeks, your Avengers fever should be at its peak. You should be so pumped that hearing us gab about the film any further should make you say “enough already”. But lets be honest, none of us can get enough of the Avengers. Until the film is released on May 4th, we’re all going to continue to demand for “MOAR!”

Anyway, (after the jump) we have some more juicy Avengers news and info to pour down your eager gullet. We got word The Avengers is already breaking over seas records. A press conference with the cast and crew. As well as some words from Director Joss Whedon discussing marvels stipulations and butting heads with Robert Downey Jr.

ABOVE: IMAX The Avengers movie poster that movie goers can receive with the 12:01 May 4th debut.

As most of you know, The Avengers doesn’t open in North American theaters until May 4th. Some international markets, however, got to enjoy and early start. The Avengers opened Wednesday night in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and several other smaller overseas markets, breaking a few box office records before it hits the rest of the international scene Thursday and Friday.

From our friends at ScreenRant:

According to the early numbers, The Avengers – Marvel’s longest film to date – raked in nearly $8 million last night, $6 million of which came from its Australian premiere, home of Thor actor Chris Hemsworth. That haul places The Avengers as Australia’s second biggest opening ever, sitting behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but earning more than twice that of Iron Man 2 – Marvel’s previous best opening in the region. In Taiwan however, The Avengers’ $1.2 million opening makes it their biggest ever. In North America, it’s practically guaranteed to break $100 million in its opening weekend, likely hitting The Hunger Games numbers at $150 million or more thanks to the 3D ticket price boost.

Bah! I can’t take it anymore. If I don’t see this movie soon, my head is gonna explode. My anticipation aside, I’m really curious to see what numbers The Avengers will put up. Generally, I’m not one to care about box office numbers, but this is a film I am invested in. The popularity of comic-book films, in general, validate my nerdiness.

Moving on.

If you’ve got about 45 minutes to kill, then you should check out the full Avengers press conference. Here’s who showed up to talk about the highly anticipated film: director Joss Whedon, Marvel President of production Kevin Feige, Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America) and Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson). They all don’t appear in the same video, they did two different panels.

Lastly, we got some more quotes from director Joss Whedon. I swear, this guy never shuts up. For weeks, he’s been gabbing about his approach and general giddy-ness towards this epic superhero film, what it was like on set, dealing with an ego centric cast, who farted..etc. I may have made that last part up. Regardless, Whedon is a nerd god. When he speaks, you listen.

Here he is on the similarities between writing the comic book Astonishing X-Men back in 2004 and writing the screenplay for The Avengers – courtesy of Clarence Beaks at Ain’t It Cool – Joss Whedon said:

“Those [were] pretty similar [experiences]. When I was on ‘X-Men’, there were certain things they wanted and restrictions they had. I mean, halfway through my run they were like ‘Oh, we’ve replaced Nick Fury with this woman, Maria Hill.’ I’m like, ‘What? Okay…’ ‘And by the way, most of the mutants have been wiped off of the face of the earth.’ ‘Huh?’ You sort of have to take as much information as you can, and then build within that. It’s the same with the movie. ‘We want the following things’ or ‘You should avoid the following things.’ But that’s not a problem. That’s useful more than anything else. I mean, every now and again you feel a little boxed in, like ‘How do I pay this off?’ But figuring out how to connect all of those dots and avoid all of the sand traps – yeah, way to mix those metaphors – is difficult, but also part of the fun.”

What was something that Marvel required to be in The Avengers?

“They had their idea of what the third act should be in one sentence: ‘Army, Portals…’ But again, that’s great. I know where I’m going [with that]. All I have to do is find the path, which is not easy to do, but it’s easier when you […] have a compass.”

On whether or not he got to indulge in bringing his comic book fantasies to the big screen, Whedon said:

“Not all of them, but enough of them. Marvel had certain stipulations about what should happen in the story, and that was really all I had to go on. What I got to bring to the party was sort of […] the essence of the ideology and [what] the tone of the film was going to be, and how these people were all going to get into the positions that [Marvel] needed them to get into in this game of Twister. It just… I’ll only ever focus on bringing the audience in through character, through enough believability, and make the stakes big enough that you can actually endanger Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

On Robert Downey Jr.’s “everything approval” and the actor’s initial idea of how Iron Man would fit into The Avengers:

“We worked it out together. There were a lot of ways you could go. They were still deciding what they were going to do for IRON MAN 3, so there was some grey area – although they had a concept. There was some grey area there, and we butted heads a couple of times early when we were sort of sniffing each other out, but then ultimately came to a vision of the thing that we both felt was right on the money. Then it was just about sort of honing it. It was actually enormous fun. When he came on set, he came on set as an eager actor and we’d go over the stuff. He likes to make changes. He likes to go through everything. I think he likes to have things fresh, so that he comes at it fresh. I mean, he could read something that was written 400 years ago and make it sound like he just thought of it; that’s one of his great talents. But the process at that point, because we were both so locked into what we were trying to do, was so much fun. I’d be like ‘Try this! What about [joke spoiler]? Try this.” He was like ‘Can I do this then?’ ‘Yeah!’ He’s anxious for direction. He’s there to make it as good as he can, and as soon as I felt like he trusted me we had the best time. There were one or two things where he was like ‘I’m not comfortable with this’ and I’m like ‘I know, and here’s how we are going to change that.’ It’s like we could read each other pretty well at that point. I would say it was one of the most fun collaborations that I’ve had.”

Whedon and RDJ butting heads? Oh what I would do to be a fly on that wall.

Category: Comics, Film

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