Joss Whedon Talks THE AVENGERS; Says He Shot, Wrote And Edited It At The Same Time

In a fascinating and lengthy interview, director Joss Whedon discusses getting the job, ditching the original script, the difficulties of filming the movie, having to continue writing while he also shot and edited it as well as much more.

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By Josh Wilding - 12/20/2011
In an hour long podcast interview with Making It with Riki Lindhome, Joss Whedon has gone into great detail about the behind-the-scenes process of shooting Marvel's The Avengers. You can check it out in full by clicking on the link below, but here is a transcription of everything he had to say on the superhero ensemble. There's some very interesting bits of information here, so be sure to sound off with your thoughts in the usual place.

On How And Why He Took The Job:

"Kevin Feige I'd known for some time because I was dancing around with Marvel because I love superheroes and I love comic books. I'd seen him at lunch. I took a meeting and looked at the script and I was like, 'The script has to go but here are my thoughts on what you should do'. And I've done that a bunch. As favours. I've done a lot of stuff as a favour because I've wanted to maybe meet a director. I did a little bit of work on the Hulk because Ang Lee has such sensibility."


On Ditching Zak Penn's Original Script And Starting From Scratch With His Own:

"I wrote the script for Avengers. I said, 'We need to start again' and they agreed. That was a difficult and fairly torturous project because and they had a release date. Which for me, was great. I had no desire to even try to make big movies any more because they get lost in development...it's exhausting. What if someone just said, 'We want you to do this thing and it's going right away and it's exactly what you want?' And then it happened."


On What It Was Like To Shoot The Avengers:


"You know, at the end of the day, the first thing I was saying for the first two weeks was this was more like making an internet musical than anything I've ever done. It's that same high end/low end thing where the schedules are crazy, the sets aren't ready, you're constantly changing your schedule and working it out, writing it as you go. The script took me along time and there was a point at which I was shooting it, writing it and editing all at the same time because I had to get sequences out early because they had special effects and they take a long time. I would film all night and go to Starbucks to write for the next week."


On The Exhausting Shooting Schedule:

"I can't do 'no sleep' but as soon as I took Avengers I stopped sleeping. The whole time we were filming I was getting between four and six hours and that's not enough for me. I was a crabby mother fucker. I was in a bad mood for seven months. It was a 93 day shoot. I made a lot of movie."


On The Special Effects And Working With The Studios:

"There's a lot of practical stuff that you shoot elements for it. It's super boring. It's incredibly boring. Because of how long all of that stuff takes on The Avengers, it would be again just like making any other movie. I would have at least four pages to shoot of a day if it was dialogue. If I really wanted to work with the actors, most of whom I had never rehearsed with as they weren't available. It was very odd, but it had that run and gun feel. Because Marvel is actually a wonderful place to work and Kevin is great and Jeremy Latcham, who was the producer on the movie, is extraordinary and tireless and enthusiastic. There was nobody going, 'Well, this movie cost a lot of money so you better not fuck it up.' We were just telling a story."


STARRING:

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Ramanoff/Black Widow
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Tom Hiddleston as Loki

RELEASE DATE: April 27, 2012. (UK) May 4th, 2012. (US)




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Fenlion - 12/20/2011, 10:15 AM
Great directors will often hold out on filming until the script is complete and they're happy with it. Writing a film while directing said film seldom goes well. I'm officially nervous
nickthomas89 - 12/20/2011, 10:16 AM
sounds like the production was rushed, not sure if i like the sound of this interview, hopefully the movie turns out well
BlueMex - 12/20/2011, 10:16 AM
^ i doubt it will suck. it will be entertaining. just like TDKR
MrJosh - 12/20/2011, 10:17 AM
yeah way to be a d-bag dude
MovieMann - 12/20/2011, 10:20 AM
I am Predicting many cool action shots.
And a lot of funny one liners.
And some type of CG alien race.
Oh and probably some slo-mo.
MoonDoggyX - 12/20/2011, 10:20 AM
Joss is one of the main reasons I'm so excited for this movie! Hopefully if Avengers turns out awesome, he can "Godfather" Iron Man 3 and Thor and Cap 2...
nailbiter111 - 12/20/2011, 10:20 AM
joss likes starbucks, good man.
nailbiter111 - 12/20/2011, 10:21 AM
@yossarian - he bough 8 hot dogs? seriously?
GodzillaKart - 12/20/2011, 10:22 AM
I have to say working that way is a gamble. It explains why he took the advise of all the actors in developing their scenes. It could be brilliant, or a bit messy.

Time will tell.

I'm officially nervous...and excited.
RyanLantern77 - 12/20/2011, 10:22 AM
Writing while he shot it? Sounds like an awful idea, no wonder Jeremy Renner and ScarJo were phased out
marvel72 - 12/20/2011, 10:23 AM
didn't matthew vaughn shoot x-men first class the same way,filming & editing at the same time.
MoonDoggyX - 12/20/2011, 10:24 AM
Because of the strike, didn't Bay have to write Revenge of the Fallen while shooting it...? Luckily, Joss is a way better writer... lol
serum1fourteen - 12/20/2011, 10:25 AM
Writing as you go, Is NEVER a good sign
spiderclone - 12/20/2011, 10:25 AM
im likeing the sound of its being written and shot the same time, it remeinds me of naughty dog talking about hot nothing was really sripted for uncharted 2 and 3, they basically went with what stuck. i think thats a good way to get ideas out that might have been missed earlier
ISleepNow - 12/20/2011, 10:26 AM
JordanKing - 12/20/2011, 10:27 AM
Hardly a reassuring point that he was writing AS he was filming it, but I still have faith it'll turn out okay come April. Still, i'm more interested in the action more than anything else :D

I heard he made a short film as he was busy in production on Avengers. That can't help much. :S
SHHH - 12/20/2011, 10:27 AM
Show Us Some Villians Please!
SHHH - 12/20/2011, 10:28 AM
Other Than Loki
nuck82 - 12/20/2011, 10:30 AM
WHOS THE OTHER [frick]ING VILLIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
Greengo - 12/20/2011, 10:30 AM
JerBear - 12/20/2011, 10:30 AM
@Godzillafart & RyanLantern77
It worked in Iron Man
Greengo - 12/20/2011, 10:32 AM
EastcoastAvenger - 12/20/2011, 10:33 AM
He basically said he had to dig down deep and utilize all his creative prowess in order to make this movie. It had better be good or else he will have shown the world that he is a hack. Good luck Mr. Whedon.
MassExecutions - 12/20/2011, 10:33 AM
The thing that is most reassuring about these Avengers interviews is that they talk openly about stuff like writing as you go, and the tough shooting schedule, but never treat it like an excuse for a bad movie. They never sound worried about it, or try to disassociate themselves from the film. Everyone seems pretty confident. That's a good sign.
Lokibegoodstick - 12/20/2011, 10:33 AM
This is probable one reason why they picked him, because he has worked tv and low budget he knows how to get quality in adverse situations. Also some people work best under pressure and I think he is probable one of them. That being said yeah, shooting as you go and lead to problems.
@ jkm well they gave him a month off so thats ok, that also means it can't have been that rushed, and they feel they have plenty of time left to get it right.
PoPcornDude - 12/20/2011, 10:35 AM
I can't believe is only like 4 months away... !!!!

OMG !

4 more months !!!
redleaf - 12/20/2011, 10:35 AM
@marvel72 Nope, Vaughn worked off of a script by Singer.

Vaughn had the same editor that Nolan works with.
GodzillaKart - 12/20/2011, 10:36 AM
@JerBear: Great point! I'd go so far to say that it is THE reason most consider IM to be a great (or the best) CBM. IM had a fun, light on its feet quality that worked great with a cast/director that could really capitalize on improv.

Let's hope the current group can do the same.
superotherside - 12/20/2011, 10:36 AM
Sounds awesome guys... after those amazing shots in the International trailer how can you guys still be hating?



Now show us some villains besides Loki please!

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superotherside - 12/20/2011, 10:37 AM
Edit button I miss you. :(

SpideyQuad - 12/20/2011, 10:38 AM
Patiants my young Padawon, villians will be many for you.

What!? I don't even like Star Wars, I'm an original trekkie
ArrowToTheKnee - 12/20/2011, 10:40 AM
Avengers!!!

Who gives a [frick]
Lokibegoodstick - 12/20/2011, 10:44 AM
@Arrowtotheknee

umm alot of us. On the other hand who cares about DKR, oh wait I do too....
NightShade - 12/20/2011, 10:45 AM
@Griffy

You never like anything, and on top of that how do you know it's going to suck? do you know Joss?...I'd really like to know how you base your comments...
Cheesehead - 12/20/2011, 10:45 AM
I have faith this movie will do what I want it to do: kick ass, blow shit up, and tell a good story. Just my opinion, but that's what I want out of a super hero movie.
hush - 12/20/2011, 10:47 AM
Can't wait, comic book history in the making
Greengo - 12/20/2011, 10:48 AM
I'm really nervous about this movie and nothing Joss ever says is very reassuring.

Quite the opposite actually.
NightShade - 12/20/2011, 10:49 AM
@Cheesehead

The most faithful cbm fan ive heard yet..thank you
WolvieCBM - 12/20/2011, 10:50 AM
Guys calm down. Like you've never heard that filmmakers edit, write, shot at the same time. If the answer is no, then you really need to learn and read more. It's all part of the process.

ArrowToTheKnee: I give a [frick]. And? If you don't, why are you commenting? Move on.
redleaf - 12/20/2011, 10:51 AM
Ditching the script with a complete re-write, dancing around Feige, praising Ang Lee's Hulk, saying the process was boring and he was in a bad mood.

Amazing how Avenger fans can spin anything into something positive. Oh wait, it's the same fanaticism they used to say a movie will fail based on a villian's voice.
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