Joss Whedon Talks the Imperfections of THE AVENGERS, His Plans for THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Joss Whedon is having a very good past couple of years.  He wrote and directed The Avengers to $1.5 billion worldwide, he put together a successful modern day adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing that he shot in his own house, and his latest television show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just had the biggest debut for a TV drama in four years.  Whedon is currently busy prepping the sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron for a March 2014 shoot, but he recently sat down for an extended interview in which he discussed basically his entire career.  Whedon talks about the “haphazard” structure of The Avengers and how his feelings towards the first film have impacted his approach to the follow-up, and he noted that he plans on doing something original after he completes the Marvel sequel.  He also discussed his involvement with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Hit the jump to read on.

the-avengers-mark-ruffalo-joss-whedon-imageSpeaking with EW in an extensive profile, Whedon noted that he has a couple of qualms with The Avengers as a film:

“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.”

Though there are plenty of Marvel fans that might disagree with him, it’s nice to see a director who can acknowledge the imperfections of his past work without taking a dismissive or apologetic attitude towards the film as a whole.  Moreover, Whedon has used his experience on The Avengers to make some tweaks to his approach on The Avengers: Age of Ultron:

“[With Age of Ultron,] 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?”

joss-whedon-much-ado-about-nothingWhedon initially signed a contract with Marvel that extends through 2015, encompassing his work on Age of Ultron and consulting on Marvel’s other features.  It’s unclear if he will re-up with the company once his contract is up, but he told EW that it’s important for him to tackle something original after he finishes the Marvel sequel:

“There’s probably a dozen [properties I’ve always wanted to do]. It’s very important I don’t do that. It’s very important that we start creating new content again. We can only build on nostalgia so much before we have nothing left to build on. Before we’re rebooting Spider-Man—again. It’s dangerous to the culture, and it’s boring to me. I squeezed in between my Avenger smovies a 400-year-old play. So I really need to create some new worlds.”

The filmmaker went on to admit that his plan, as it stands now, is to become more involved with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. once he’s finished with The Avengers 2, noting that he doesn’t intend to tackle any giant endeavors like his proposed Hamlet adaptation post-Ultron:

“If everything works out according to plan, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be on when the movie is over and then I’ll already be too busy [to do something like Hamlet].”

Speaking of S.H.I.E.L.D., Whedon admitted that his Avengers clout only goes so far, as he received his fair share of notes from ABC when developing the pilot:

“They gave me a ton of notes. We’ve jumped through every hoop. There’s no trust in television. But there’s been nothing but encouragement and excitement about what exactly you’re trying to do. So you take the notes. You don’t take all of them. But you never walk in expecting not to get any.”

Head over to EW to read the full Whedon piece, which delves much deeper into everything from the origins of Buffy to the disappointment of DollhouseThe Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

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  • Brandon

    Wait a minute. He said reboot spiderman again. Are they getting the property back in a couple of years???

    • MarvelWatch

      No.

      He’s just using it as an example of why there’s a need for anything original in Hollywood.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Context doesn’t matter to me. I take this as confirmation he’s rebooting Spider-Man and marvel has the rights back. 1000000000% CONFIRMED!!!!!!

      • MarvelWatch

        You can’t joke about that because idiots will believe it.

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  • Strong Enough

    Nolan > Joss

    • dungeons and draccus’s

      Nolan > Joss > Abrams

      • asdfghjk

        Abrams>Joss>Nolan Abrams is consistently good, Joss works with what he has, and Nolan is getting rusty/careless.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Abrams made Lost, which was good until it went bad. Then he made Mission: Impossible III and Super 8, which were decent at best. I liked Super 8, but man was it nostalgic and kind of tired. Then he made Star Trek I, which was awesome. Star Trek Into Darkness was one of the biggest crap fests of the year, and that makes me sad. Whedon is revered like a god without reason. He made Buffy and Firefly, and you have to be a fan to like them. The Avengers was brilliant in the way it took 5 separate stories and made it seamless, but it really wasn’t as awesome as the hype made it out to be.

        Nolan has never made a *bad* film. He has made bigger successes than others, and please please PLEASE do not call him the next Kubrick. With the exception of the greatest psychological thriller of all time (and Nolan’s best movie) – Memento, Nolan is one of the only directors that make smart, thrilling, big budget blockbusters (Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neill Blomkamp also come to mind). So, in my opinion, Nolan gets top spot.

      • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

        Snyder>Bay>Uwe Boll. Check mate.

      • Reality Firmly Checked

        Uwe Boll> Chris Nolan.

      • Norm McGalt

        “The greatest psychological thriller of all time” Fucking Memento? Vertigo (recently listed as the greatest film ever made by critics and filmmakers alike on Sight and Sounds greatest movie poll) would like to have a word. This is why Nolan and his fanbase have become such a joke with the online community. Nolan is a pseudo-intellectual. His fans are ignorant of film history and so make idiotic, sweeping statements like the one quoted above. Nolan is justly hated because he’s a poser. He pretended to have a grand artistic statement he wanted to express with the Dark Knight Rises and instead gave everyone a cop-out ending to go with a laughably stale ticking time bomb scenario. You are actively hurting humanity’s progress by championing a failed mediocrity in Christopher Nolan. Please stop posting online.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Shut the fuck up. I happen to have seen almost every one of Hitchcock’s, Kubrick’s, Wilder’s, Kurosawa’s, and Lean’s works. I know more about film than the average person probably ever will. Memento is the greatest neo-noir of all time, the greatest thriller of the last 35 years, and, if you want to act like a damn baby, second only to Vertigo as greatest psycho-thriller ever made.

        As to your other stupid comments, I will refrain to respond to them. You are an ignorant wretch, a fool, and a sorry excuse for a human being. Go away. Goodbye.

      • Norm McGault

        @disqus_mpzjWhG9AY:disqus , why’d you have to make it personal? See, Nolanite’s can’t even engage in a civil discourse.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Hey, I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but YOU were the one who made it personal with calling me a champion of failed mediocrity. Let’s keep it civil, OK. You like Abrams, I like Nolan. I think Abrams is a hack, you think Nolan is a hack. Let’s call it a draw. *sheathes sword*

      • trollhunter

        i agree with you about Memento….but…you do come across like a complete c**t! sorry.

      • Aquartertoseven

        MI3 “decent at best”?? It was far and away the best MI film, it had everything. MI4 was a bunch of set pieces with no real story or villain. Super 8 was fairly good. Firefly was amazing to anyone, you don’t just need to be a fan; if you like humour, tension etc. seamlessly thrown together, you’ll like the show. The Avengers to me was even better than I thought it would be, superb. Started a little slow but got better and better until the final act blew me away.

        Nolan was involved with Man of Steel so he has made a bad film. Plus TDKR, while still great was very flawed and from TDK to TDKR to MoS (he produced it and the production was sh*tty), he’s on a steep decline. Memento was kinda boring, not one I’d want to see again. A ‘once is enough’ sort of film.

      • Melwing

        Special Olympics

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        MI4 was the finest MI film. MI3 is the third finest, after MI1. MI4 had awesome set pieces, seamless humor and tension, and great acting. MI3 had a bad villain, ludicrous masks and tech, and took itself too seriously.

        Super 8, as you say, WAS fairly good. Elle Fanning was probably the best thing about it. It’s like if someone tried to fake Spielberg’s warm emotion, but failed to add suspense or an interesting narrative.

        Firefly? I am not qualified to comment.

        The Avengers was only memorable because it was all these great heroes together. Most people forget half the movie was 5 dudes in spandex bitching on a hydroplane. And Loki is an utter wimp. But who ISN’T moved by the final fight?

        Nolan was involved in MOS, but I think he was the only thing STOPPING MoS from being a total crapfest. He was the one guy reigning it in.

        TDKR was flawed, but brilliant and had glorious climax of emotion.

        I disagree about Memento. I will watch it anytime, anywhere, with anybody. It is consistently brilliant and frighteningly smart. Guy Pearce’s finest performance.

      • Aquartertoseven

        MI4 just has the set pieces, that’s it. The humour and tension are very bare. It didn’t have substance. IM3 had 1000 times more tension than the 4th.

        Maybe you should actually watch Firefly, I’d personally put it above Game of Thrones and Mad Men, it’s just that good.

        Nolan was in charge of prodution, which means he brought Goyer on board (the guy that wrote the god awful ‘script’), he also had final say on the director and I’m guessing he didn’t say a word about the amateur blurriness, zoom ins and dull grey palette. He also had the last word on casting options, so Amy Adams’ atrocious performance is on him. As a Nolan fanboy your first instinct is to defend him but he deserves a lot of the blame. TDKR didn’t have a glourious climax of emotion, it was a cop out, and a lazy one at that.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        OK, I am going to stop talking to you know, because it is clear that you are a moron with no idea how films are produced and directed, and how much say over production a “producer” has.

        A producer actually has a lot less say than you think. All the visual stuff was Zack Snyder. And you putting Firefly above Game of Thrones is just WTF?

        OK, bye. I respect your (wrong) opinion, and will now respectfully ignore you. Cheers.

      • Aquartertoseven

        You know, when you insult someone, you automatically lose. It shows a lack of intelligence that you can’t win an argument through reason and logic. I searched the very definition of producer so everything I stated is entirely accurate. As a typical Nolan fanboy that thinks every one of his films are omg-amaz-incredi-fantast-ible and any criticism is out of order, of course you’re not going to be reasonable.

        The visual stuff, or DIRECTION, was of course Zach Snyder. The director. Everything I stated was among the duties of the producer, you’re just in denial because it means that Nolan has more blame for the film’s failures than you want to believe. Firefly is probably the greatest season of television ever made; any one season of any other show would not resonate so much. GoT is more consistent (so far) but Firefly was just spectacular.

        Bye then, you blind, unintelligent fanboy.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        All it took was a little goading to push you over the top into rant territory. Firefly? Greatest season of television ever? Who is the blind, unintelligent fanboy now?

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Oh I forgot that I am supposed to be ignoring you. Which I now will be. Bye, Worshipper of Hacks like Whedon and Abrams.

      • Aquartertoseven

        You call that a rant? I was quite reasonable. Read your previous comments (“as to your other stupid comments, I will refrain to respond to them. You are an ignorant wretch, a fool, and a sorry excuse for a human being. Go away. Goodbye.”) and you’ll laugh at your hypocrisy. Firefly was absolutely amazing, you haven’t seen it so like you said before, you’re not qualified to comment. You can’t reasonably call someone a “blind, unintelligent fanboy” over something you’re clueless about. Just look on IMDB, it’s got a 9.1 from 120,000 people. On IMDb you get the initial high scores that lower over time, you’ve seen it with the likes of Dexter and you’ll see it with Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Firefly has been out for a decade and it’s still got a 9.1. Says a lot.

        Your arguments are falling apart. Because of your lack of reason and logic.

      • Aquartertoseven

        You call that a rant? I was quite reasonable. Read your previous comments (“as to your other stupid comments, I will refrain to respond to them. You are an ignorant wretch, a fool, and a sorry excuse for a human being. Go away. Goodbye.”) and you’ll laugh at your hypocrisy. Firefly was absolutely amazing, you haven’t seen it so like you said before, you’re not qualified to comment. You can’t reasonably call someone a “blind, unintelligent fanboy” over something you’re clueless about. Just look on IMDB, it’s got a 9.1 from 120,000 people. On IMDb you get the initial high scores that lower over time, you’ve seen it with the likes of Dexter and you’ll see it with Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Firefly has been out for a decade and it’s still got a 9.1. Says a lot.

        Your arguments are falling apart. Because of your lack of reason and logic.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        All it took was a little goading to push you over the top into rant territory. Firefly? Greatest season of television ever? Who is the blind, unintelligent fanboy now?

      • Aquartertoseven

        You know, when you insult someone, you automatically lose. It shows a lack of intelligence that you can’t win an argument through reason and logic. I searched the very definition of producer so everything I stated is entirely accurate. As a typical Nolan fanboy that thinks every one of his films are omg-amaz-incredi-fantast-ible and any criticism is out of order, of course you’re not going to be reasonable.

        The visual stuff, or DIRECTION, was of course Zach Snyder. The director. Everything I stated was among the duties of the producer, you’re just in denial because it means that Nolan has more blame for the film’s failures than you want to believe. Firefly is probably the greatest season of television ever made; any one season of any other show would not resonate so much. GoT is more consistent (so far) but Firefly was just spectacular.

        Bye then, you blind, unintelligent fanboy.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        OK, I am going to stop talking to you know, because it is clear that you are a moron with no idea how films are produced and directed, and how much say over production a “producer” has.

        A producer actually has a lot less say than you think. All the visual stuff was Zack Snyder. And you putting Firefly above Game of Thrones is just WTF?

        OK, bye. I respect your (wrong) opinion, and will now respectfully ignore you. Cheers.

    • Al

      I’m running cold with both right now, but yeah thats about right.

    • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

      Does everything need to be a competition? Both make things which people like.

    • GrimReaper07

      So? Who gives a damn?

    • Reality Check

      Crack addled monkey> Nolan. Piece of dog feces scraped off the bottom of my shoe> Nolan. Schumacher> Nolan. Child molester> Nolan.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Please put your head in a manhole. Stay there until someone comes to pick you up.

  • HerbalHobgoblin

    The biggest concern for the first time in his career is making the big shot …you are making a MOVIE…I honestly put the movie on a couple times a week..but I have to agree with some complaints is that for whatever reason he shoots it like a TV episode…I now AOS is getting crap for not having big moments…I have to say the show is closer in feel it just lacks the heavy hitters to this point..either way he is to neutral…he is failing both sides…or we are seeing the bad of Marvel/Disneys thumb

  • Django9000

    I hope he doesn’t try to make it perfect. Avengers is so perfectly flawed. He said it himself – “The goal is to make everything as difficult as possible for everyone involved, and that includes the cast & crew.” (paraphrased) The unpredictable wily chaos is part of what makes Avengers work – just like so many summer movies of old. You don’t feel like they’re going to pull it off – but they do it anyway, against the odds.

    My take from this is he’s mainly talking about his control over the look of the shots & what happens in camera. The flick’s greatest weakness is the TV-like look of the first act, which gradually changes throughout the film. I think he’s graduated from that approach, & has proven he can afford to “make stuff look good now.” =]

  • nuffsaid!

    alien resurrection ;)

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