Joss Whedon was recently interviewed by SFX magazine about his forthcoming release, Avengers: Age of Ultron and it’s near-final cut. In true Whedon fashion, he offered a bunch of thoughts on where the characters are at when this film takes place and the kinds of struggles they’re dealing with – the kind of depth we’ve come to love from this auteur. The context is great, especially in light of the third movie trailer released this past Tuesday (which already has almost 11 million hits on YouTube). What does he think about the film, the performances, the editing thus far? Let’s find out!
If there is one thing Joss Whedon knows how to do (aside from rocking a badass ginger beard), it’s to write compelling and entertaining stories about messed up people, just look at Roseanne! “We’re at the insane-o-stage,” he shares about Age of Ultron. “I think we’ve just about come out of the insane-o-stage and into the ‘Hey, this looks like a movie!’ stage. I believe that it’s starting to come together.” Here’s where the Buffy creator takes off. “What drives the story is the idea [of] power and connection, and how the more you have of one the less you have of another,” shares Whedon. “And the idea of heroes and whether or not that’s a useful concept. I know it seems like we’ve heard that before but I feel that this movie makes an argument that is worth listening to. It’s about damaged people, because guess what I like to write about! And it’s about trying to find some kind of connection, because the Avengers are the most isolated people in the world. They’re different to everyone else. They’re richer, or strangers, or they’re monsters or they’re gods. Not one of them is really part of the world. And this movie kind of drags them back down to Earth a little bit, which is both painful and exciting.”
This is exactly the kind of depth we’re excited to see in the Avengers sequel. It doesn’t take a film scholar to understand the connections between his treatise on power in his TV work and how he continues to explore this theme with Earth’s mightiest. Power is isolation, it’s loneliness, and it’s painful. Those who have to deal with it are drastically changed, and become removed from the people they’re protecting. The idea that much of this film will involve the Avengers getting their asses handed to them makes for an interesting ride – perhaps it will humanize them a bit? For some that was always one of the missing elements from the comic book series, this connection with those they protect. An advantage to the film medium is perhaps an ability to convey those connections non-verbally.
Speaking of non-verbal communication, Whedon goes on to nerdgasm all over SFX about the visual effects for Age of Ultron. When asked about a singular moment in the upcoming release that will have fans gushing, he says “Oh there’s more than one! Honestly, we screened the movie last night, and just to sit down and watch it, which is not something you really get to do at this stage… I was like, okay, some of this is the bomb. Some of this is really really lovely. The actors are killing it, the sequences are exciting, the editors are amazing and Ben Davis, who shot it, has made it a work of art. There are some hardcore action sequences in this but what’s really grand is how the characters play through those. It’s always got to be about the people. Not just the smaller moments, where they’re talking alone, but the way they’re interacting during the action is really exciting for me. I’m a people person unless I’m in an actual room with people.”
There you have it, nerds. Joss Whedon has come out of the closet as a people-loving introvert/ special-effects geek who loves chatty action sequences and long walks on the beach. We’re okay with this, and you should be too.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens everywhere on Friday, May 1st, 2015.