Joss Whedon Explains 'Avengers' Deleted Scenes, Talks 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Workload And More

Joss Whedon is officially Marvel's main man. After completing the studio's most successful film to date, The Avengers (back in theaters tomorrow), the writer/director signed on to not only direct the 2015 sequel but develop an ABC TV show based on S.H.I.E.L.D. and to just generally have his hands in whatever pie he wants: Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, you name it.

Seems like a lot of work for just one man and, in an interview with Vulture, Whedon discussed how he plans on stretching himself over all these properties. He also explained why the Avengers scenes that came out this week – the alternative opening and Captain America intro – were deleted. Read his quotes about this stuff, as well as an Avengers 2 tease, after the jump.

First up, a huge thanks to Vulture for the interview. Head there to read the whole thing.

We'll start with The Avengers 2. Obviously, Whedon won't say anything specific about it, but he did say the following:

[The upcoming Marvel slate] is like a tapas menus of projects that excite me, in addition to the Avengers sequel, which I'm excited for because I'm incredibly excited about the next story that I'm going to tell. For me, it's a huge win.

Whedon will be working on not only the S.H.I.E.L.D show, which was recently greenlit, but other movies as well. Whedon says he has total freedom:

It is unbelievably daunting, especially because I don't want to lose sight of all the other things I have on my docket and in my heart. So, it's going to be an insane few years, but I feel ready for that. It's an unholy amount of productivity, but as long as I give it all I can, it's a good thing. What's great is that the deal with Marvel is nonspecific, so I will give all I can, but the moment I can't, I just walk away. The moment I say, "You know, I'd like to help more on this project, but I need this time for The Avengers," there's no obligation. It's not like, "You must spend this amount of time on this movie." It's as much as it needs to be.

And while, again, he wouldn't get into S.H.I.E.L.D. specifics, he said this about it:

The important thing to me is that we know what the show is. We love what it is. It came together very organically, so when we went in to pitch [to Marvel], it wasn't like, We're trying to find this because you want a TV show, it was, Check this out. And that's a good way to walk in a room.

Finally, here's why he decided to cut the Maria Hill Avengers bookends. It makes a lot of sense:

Two factors. One: The movie was three hours long. Two: Audiences didn't respond to it as well in the movie as I think they would as a DVD extra. Most of them didn't know who this character was or what the context was, and they were like, Uhhh, I don't know why I'm supposed to be personally involved in this character I don't know. The rollout to the Avengers getting to Loki was so gradual that people were getting restless. I thought Cobie nailed it, and the reason I thought it was necessary is because I was trying to make a war movie and I wanted to give context that something bad had happened in the past. In a war movie, you don't know who's going to live or die, but you do know that this war happened and that [the characters] are going to be in a dire circumstance, and I wanted to create that atmosphere. I was able to get what I needed without doing that. It was tough. I hated cutting it.

And the Captain America scene, though he really doesn't focus too much on that character:

I hated cutting the Captain America stuff with the waitress. At least I was able to call Ashley Johnson [who plays the waitress] and tell her that all her stuff was still in Much Ado About Nothing, since she had been cut out of Dollhouse, she had been cut out of The Avengers: "I swear you're still in the Shakespeare movie!" You know, those bits had seemed very personal to me, and part of doing Much Ado was that I could go back to The Avengers and say, "Oh, it's not about me. Even though its my film, it's about the Avengers. I am less important than the needs of the film.

If you head to Vulture, Whedon has even more to say about his work at Marvel. A lot of it is quoted above but on the site he also discusses the success of The Avengers, how S.H.I.E.L.D. will work for non-fans and more.