Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
Why would anyone wait in line to see a movie that they’ve already seen and is currently on Blu-ray? Joss Whedon. The writer/director of this year’s #1 film, The Avengers, stopped by the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood, CA Tuesday night to screen that film and speak with Jeff Goldsmith of Backstory Magazine about his uber-blockbuster. Along the way, Whedon dropped an extremely subtle hint as to a possible villain in The Avengers 2 (or another future Marvel film), spoke about a version of The Avengers with Wasp and explained why, even though The Empire Strikes Back is superior, A New Hope is the better movie. Read some quotes and more after the jump.
Let’s just get to what you all want to read first. Everyone assumes Thanos will be the villain in The Avengers 2. He shows up in The Avengers, it makes sense, etc. But Whedon said that he fought with Marvel to put another villain in The Avengers besides Loki. He didn’t think that one villain, even if he had an alien army, could be enough to warrant the assembling of The Avengers. “But it took me a long time to accept that because I was like, ‘they need someone to hit,’” Whedon said. When pressed to say who that villain would be, Whedon said, “I’m not gonna tell you that because that person might crop up another time.”
Connecting the dots in a nerdy, speculative, swing for the fences way, Whedon wrote in a character that was a physical match for The Avengers (“someone to hit”) who “might crop up another time.” Thanos is obviously a physical presence, but almost too much. So who could have been fighting along with Loki in Whedon’s original draft that could be in Avengers 2? Or will this villain appear in another film? Considering he likely had ties to Loki, Kurse or Malekith, who are both in Thor: The Dark World, are my guesses.
Beyond that, Whedon said at one point they weren’t sure Scarlett Johansson was going to be able to star in the film so he wrote a “very Wasp-y draft.” But, Whedon said, “it was way too Wasp-y. Cause I was like, ‘She’s adorable!’ I’m just gonna write her!’”
He said it took him so long to get his script in order, he wrote a 15 page version of the final battle, which he described as “five acts, with a prologue,” just so the pre-viz and storyboard guys could do something, It appears almost exactly the same in the movie.
Another bit, originally, the film had a much longer, much more action packed Iron Man intro that even made it to storyboards, but got cut early on.
Then someone asked if, when making The Avengers, if he was ever worried that the film would only be seen as the first act of a longer franchise. That it would not just stand on its own. Whedon said he was very aware of that. “I rail against those movies,” he said. Let’s just take a moment of honesty here and say Jumper.” Which got a big laugh. He then said he was never a cliffhanger guy coming from television and threw a little dig at Lost. All that lead to this:
I still believe that even though The Empire Strikes Back is better in innumerable ways than Star Wars, Star Wars wins because you can’t end a movie with Han frozen in Carbonite. That’s not a movie, it’s an episode.
Do you agree on that point? And do you think he was referring to an Avengers 2 villain?
To hear the full Q&A, check The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith on iTunes in a few days time. Whedon has much, much more to say about the film. These were just some highlights.