George R.R. Martin, also known as GRRM amongst his loyal fan base has been a fan of Marvel and DC Comics for years. He wrote a letter to Stan Lee back in the '60s about Fantastic Four #32 and Avengers #9 and more recently summed up the difference between Marvel and DC quite succinctly. As a fan of comic books, I imagine Martin was eagerly anticipating Marvel's Avengers movie just as much as the rest of us. Here's what he had to say about the film.
I liked THE AVENGERS a lot... but maybe "loved" is too strong. I do have quibbles.
I definitely want to see it again, this time in 2D. I did not think the 3D added much, and the process made many of the scenes too dark. I am really not in love with today's 3D process. Yes, sometimes it works very well, as on HUGO, but mostly it doesn't.
Lots of lots of great stuff in THE AVENGERS, which most of the world has commented on, so I won't. The action scenes were spectacular, and overall I thought they did very well with Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Nick Fury. All great characters, all handled well, their interactions were one of the best part of the films.
However, I think they wasted the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hawkeye is actually one of my favorite Avengers, so that saddened me. I missed the dynamic from the comics, where it's Hawkeye who is the cynical smartass (not Iron Man), always in conflict with the super straight guy Captain America. I guess, having capitalized on the undeniable talents of Robert Downey Junior to create a terrific character in Movie Iron Man, they did not feel there was room for a second wise-cracking iconoclast. Fine, but it left Hawkeye without a personality. Or much to do.
Same's true of the Black Widow. Scarlett Johanssen looked great in that outfit, but she seemed to be there only as eye candy. The shot in the middle of the battle where she pulls out a pistol was silly. I don't know who this Black Widow was, and I don't think the screenwriter did either. She wasn't the original comic Black Widow, the Russian femme fatale who seduces Hawkeye into trying to kill Iron Man. She wasn't the later comic book Black Widow, who dons a costume, comes over to the good guys, and teams with first Hawkeye and then Daredevil. She was just... there.
My own golden rule for these Marvel movies is simple -- stay with the way Stan Lee did it, and you won't go far wrong. THE AVENGERS should have done that. Hawkeye was not actually a founding member of the group, he came in later... around the same time Iron Man and Thor were leaving. Black Widow came in even later than that. So I would have followed Stan's scenario, left them out of this first movie, and replaced them with... Ant-Man and the Wasp! Who WERE founding members of the Avengers. They wanted a woman in the group, sure, but the Wasp would have done just as well as Black Widow, and Ant-Man... hey, I love Hank Pym.
All that being said... these are, ultimately, just quibbles. I did really like the film. The Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form next year in San Antonio is really going to be a fanboy bloodbath, with AVENGERS, PROMETHEUS, and THE HOBBIT all contending for the same rocket.
The Avengers is an American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.
Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in August 2011 and New York City in September 2011. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.
The Avengers was released in the United States on May 4, 2012 in 2D and 3D.
Running Time: 2 hrs 23minutes
Release Date: May 4 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Righetti, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk (voice) .
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Zak Penn (initial screenplay), Joss Whedon (revised screenplay)
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