Now, as Marvel Studios is about to release three superhero films a year and Warner Bros. is going balls to the wall with its DC slate, the whole whether or not a team-up like The Avengers can work in a movie is moot. But one person who was skeptical about it before the entertainment boom was Justin Theroux.
I remember at that time talking about The Avengers with [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige]. I remember that I told him, “I do not know if this is going to work, having Iron Man and all these characters together.” But then he ended up doing something really special.
First teased in a post-credits scene for Iron Man, Marvel’s The Avengers went on to become the fifth highest grossing movie of all time at the box office, and helped kickstart a revolution of cinematic universes based around comic book properties. However, one stain on the franchise is Iron Man 2, which was plagued by reports of behind-the-scenes drama, particularly between Terrence Winter and Robert Downey Jr. Speaking to any potential conflicts and the film’s reception, Theroux said:
You know, as happens very often, it is not easy to live up to expectations. And after the first ‘Iron Man,’ those for the sequel were extremely high. [You] go to see [the film] with a wealth of expectations…and the film had a release date even before we started working on it so we had to work fast. And I will not complain about anything or anyone, mind you…It was a team effort and I really love people like [Iron Man 2 director] Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. We tried to please the fans and to give shape to something spectacular…But sometimes things end up not going in the right direction, although there are parts of the movie that I’m really proud [of].
Theroux has since left this Marvel world behind. The actor stars in HBO’s hit series The Leftovers and will star in the film adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train.