The Avengers recently opened in Japan and in attendance were Joss Whedon, Kevin Feige and Samuel L. Jackson. Recently, an interview with Whedon made the usual internet rounds, albeit with a less than stellar translation. Well now, we have a basic gist of what was said thanks to Fandango. Unsurprisingly, most of what Whedon said was a reiteration of what's already been stated previously, primarily that the Avengers sequel will be 'smaller' with more of a personal emphasis on the characters. Said Whedon---
"Normally, a sequel is supposed to be bigger than the first film, but I actually think it should be smaller. In saying that though, people might ask 'Is the volume of the film going to decrease?' but that's not the case."
"Of course, new characters will be added but presently we're still trying to figure out how they'll encounter our wonderful cast (referring to the actors from the first film). [The cast] all have tremendous respect for each other and how you work the new characters into that synergy is something I'm still trying to figure out. I think instead of how big of a scale the movie/story is, the most important thing is, how much devotion you can put forth. Films have an ability to be large in scale but also be personal. It's a godsend that makes the issue of adding characters irrelevant. The real question is how deep we can dig down into the story."
Previously Whedon has stated that he would like to add a female character in the Avengers sequel so unless Feige and co. are pulling a 'Kansas City Shuffle' I think that still holds true. Of course, we received news not too far back that Anthony Mckie would be portraying The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Solder so he too is a candidate for Avengers 2, although it's more likely he'll be conspicuously absent a la War Machine and The Warriors Three.
As for the Marvel television show, Whedon apparently revealed that the show will indeed have some relation to the first Avengers film as the network is keen on profiting off 'The Avengers brand'.
Whedon did say that characters from The Avengers will 'occasionally appear on the show and that the show will focus on the various conflicts between Marvel characters in a fresh, realistic manner'.
In what capacity they appear is anyone's guess as it should be noted that Whedon said the characters not actors will appear. There's also the possibility that the television show could recycle footage from the films as well. Still, that's a very interesting development on the television front and I think this also kills the speculation that Whedon is working on Guillermo del Toro's Hulk show as that is reportedly a standalone venture which doesn't tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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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)