Joss Whedon has been on a roll as of late, and is on his way to becoming the unofficial king of nerds. With his box office smash, The Avengers, and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere breaking ratings records, it seems that he can do no wrong… but he would disagree with you. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he talks about The Avengers not being a “great” film, and how he thinks he can make the sequel better, among other things.
When I think of a great film, I think of something that’s either structured so perfectly like The Matrix or made so lovingly like The Godfather Part II. There was haphazardness in the way it comes together – not just the people, but the scenes. I don’t think you’d look at it and go, “This is a model of perfect structure.” You’d go, “This is working.” I like it. I’m proud of it and I like its imperfections. The thing I cared most about – making a summer movie like the ones from my childhood – is the thing that I pulled off.
I get what he’s saying, and I think that, while the movie may not be perfect, I don’t know how it could be better. When it comes to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whedon’s got a game-plan for improving on a something that’s already great (Yeah, that’s right. I don’t care if he doesn’t think it’s great.).
I want to be clearer about how I engage the audience, and where I take them. I want more control visually, more time to prep it. Not that I didn’t dictate every shot—I did. But there’s only so much you can do when you’re making a summer film when the ball is already rolling as fast as it was when I got in. Why do it again if you can’t do it better?
Well, we’ve still got some time before we get to see what that means for the hotly anticipated sequel, but I can only imagine that the more control that’s given to Whedon, the better the movie.
It’s been talked about before, but with the frequency that this is being brought up and Whedon’s consistent answer to it, it seems like a very real possibility that we could be seeing the death of one of the Avengers soon.
I’d have to have a really good reason, a really great sequence for [Marvel executives] to go, “We’ll cut off a potential franchise, that’s fine!” They know, as any good studio does, that without some stakes, some real danger, how involved can we get? We don’t just rule it out across the board, but neither is the mission statement “Who can we kill?” We try to build the story organically and go, “How hard can we make it on these people?” You go to movies to see people you love suffer—that’s why you go to the movies.
That’s kind of a morbid look at our entertainment tastes, but it’s kinda true. We go to these movies to see our heroes face adversity, which is one of the reasons I liked Iron Man 3 as much as, if not more than, The Avengers. The truth is, there wasn’t all that much trouble in The Avengers; yes, there was an alien invasion and New York was destroyed, but the team handled it pretty smoothly, and they weren’t put in too tight of a spot. Whedon has been all about changing that in the sequel, and what better way to do that than to actually KILL one of the heroes?