Joss Whedon Talks THE AVENGERS' Challenges Writing, Filming And Post-Production Stages

Commenting on developing a plot that coincides with each characters' previous and future adventures, among other things, make the jump and check out a chat with The Avengers director!

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By DCMarvelFreshman - 1/23/2012


In addition to the reveal of new photos, inside the latest Empire magazine, in which four of Earth's Mightiest heroes cover, Marvel's The Avengers movie director-writer Joss Whedon discussed the "300-million behemoth, once-in-a-generation blockbuster," as Empire describes. Courtesy of Alicehills, and transcribed by yours truly.

Dotting on the challenge of penning a story servicing each characters' existing storylines, as well their future solo ventures, Whedon says:

"It was an up-all-month job. Finding the characters' voices was not only easy, but glorious fun - it doesn't suck to write Tony Stark - yet finding the structure was just brutal. I haven't had that much trouble making a screenplay work since Serenity, and embarrassingly, for the exact same reason: there's just too many characters."

Rehashing on initially approaching the story as "Iron Man and friends," Whedon assures us that:

"It's a full ensemble. Some people may feel they're a little more marginal, but nobody was counting the lines, or going, 'How come he's got and I don't got?' At the end of the day, they knew they were going to get their moment and I was going to give them something glorious."

Discussing an unexpected reality during filming, which shot down nightmares that the ensemble cast wouldn't get along, Whedon amusingly says, while affecting a serious manner:

"When I had everybody on screen, you really saw an uglier side of all these guys, because they would not stop chatting. Giggle giggle giggle, chat chat chat. Literally the only time I raised my voice when were filming was because these guys would not shut up and we had to roll. Don't get me wrong - you would see them standing next to each other going, 'Is his costume cooler? Are his muscles bigger?' But every single one of them was rooting for the other."

Commenting on the pivotal post-production stage, when when asked about his mental state in the middle of the editing process, Whedon admits:

"It's like a sea. I can't see either shore. I'm pretty sure I will drown. Don't even call me Ishamael. The experience doesn't feel any different from when I was running three TV shows and my son was born. Really the same. Not so huge. As far as the press goes, they don't put it on me," reflects Whedon. He pauses. "And I don't feel it. It ain't my money. I don't care!"


Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, & directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble on May 4, 2012. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013!; and “Thor 2” on November 15, 2013.


Source: Empire
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32 Comments
Dakjaniels - 1/23/2012, 3:47 PM
Sounds like the editing process of this movie is massive. He keeps joking that it's 9 hours long. I'd love to see a director's cut version one day.
MrReese - 1/23/2012, 3:51 PM
sounds like they had a great time filming.Bet u it was RDJ doing all the clowing around lol
thewonderer - 1/23/2012, 3:51 PM
I have my doubts about this film. I really hope for the best...but I agree with people that things are not sounding so good
RyanLantern77 - 1/23/2012, 3:52 PM
He's a hack. I'm hoping its good, but I wouldn't doubt if he turned it into a popcorn flick
luckylu - 1/23/2012, 3:58 PM
i really hope its good but a part of me says its going to bomb
CraptainAmerica - 1/23/2012, 4:00 PM
This dude is frickin hilarious
dahamma - 1/23/2012, 4:17 PM
man i can take the wait no longer! I neeeed to see thsi movie! its gonna be so huge!!
marvel72 - 1/23/2012, 4:44 PM
shit has just got real.

@ intruder

magnus would be great & an awesome way to lead into the guardians of the galaxy movie.
HulkbusterNYC - 1/23/2012, 4:51 PM
Cut the BS and give us another trailer Whedon
HulkbusterNYC - 1/23/2012, 4:59 PM
I would love to see Galactus as a main villain in the future
headlopper - 1/23/2012, 5:11 PM
@Intruder - On on board with that theory.
Fox is the only stumbling block now.
95 - 1/23/2012, 6:09 PM
Thanos' army. Introduces Thanos.
And the army can be obliterated.
Unlike using the Skrulls.
Who can't die at the end.
Since Marvel would want to use them later.

Thanos' army can be a one-use antagonist force.
Which I like a hell lot better than an alien army we'll see again in another movie.
TheDude - 1/23/2012, 6:36 PM
Man, I really want this to be a super badass movie, but I just get a horrible feeling reading that. Like it's going be just like serenity, with superheros.
PLEASE! for all that is holy! Don't let it be a campy tv show.
dopemaster - 1/23/2012, 6:41 PM
I hate giggling Hollywood stars. I thought Whedon was trying to promote this movie.
SpideyQuad - 1/23/2012, 7:19 PM
Intruder I agree, they're just like spoiled Star Wars fans were before episode 2 & 3 bombed. They were always jumping all over Lord of the Ring stuff trying to make everybody worry and feel bad. It's anal retentive, but without a purpose except for them to feel good about themselves.

Batman can beat Spiderman, my ass
dahamma - 1/23/2012, 8:17 PM
you guys if your gonna troll and hate on Avengers, atleast try to make it funny lol lames
brewtownpsych - 1/23/2012, 8:20 PM
please please whedon, we need a serenity minus the folksy humor and we are good to go. and a lot less "we're in this together now, none of them can stop us now!!!" \m/ \m/
ISleepNow - 1/23/2012, 8:29 PM
Joss, seriously, why would they stop talking just to listen to you? I'm sure the chatter was more engrossing than Kevin's, er.. Your hack writing/direction. Marvel Studios is not about directors, they're about Product
dahamma - 1/23/2012, 8:50 PM
@Intruder right? that song is SICK! Love NIN!
dahamma - 1/23/2012, 8:55 PM
that song is freakin powerful
brewtownpsych - 1/23/2012, 8:56 PM
it's like intro music for a bad mma fighter, you know, barbwire tatts, tapout T, all that garbage. works good for their cartoon but come on.

" ... even after everything, you're the queen and i'm the king ..." dr. seuss much?
Tainted87 - 1/23/2012, 9:31 PM
If I were to choose between Nolan and Whedon, I'd go with Joss because he's funny and a whole lot less pretentious. But I don't, it's not the war you think it is. Two franchises coming to a head - I count myself lucky.

@Intruder
Even I have to admit that song screwed with the trailer. Snyder has much better taste. You had "Take a Bow" and "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" for two different trailers. I'm not a fan of either band, but those fit beautifully. Then you have a few over-the-top lyrics from "We're In This Together" promoting a movie that is a fangasm's climax.
It was corny.
DaneE5R - 1/23/2012, 11:01 PM
I just don't get people on this site. Like, MOST of the time. What exactly did Joss say in this interview that made you so fearful? And how on Earth is he a hack? I've enjoyed everything I've seen from this man; Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Astonishing X-Men; from those works, I can't think of another man more suited for this job. He does teams and characters VERY well. That's what we want, isn't it?
NeoBaggins - 1/24/2012, 12:34 AM
" ... even after everything, you're the queen and i'm the king ..." dr. seuss much?-brewtownpsych

LMAO!

They'll probably have an actual score for the next trailer, instead of the video game music.
HarveyDent88 - 1/24/2012, 12:57 AM
I can't wait any longer for this movie!
NeoBaggins - 1/24/2012, 4:09 AM
@knossis Pointing out Whedon's work on X-MEN and the movie he directed is an undertsandable approach in addessing people "bashing" him. But how does dissing TDKR and Christopher Nolan play into that?

I keep seeing this and it's hella confusing. It would make sense if the person "bashing" Whedon was actually making a Nolan comparison, but people just pull TDKR out of the air. Like in a recent thread, people expressed concerns about Caps suit which many think looks dumb. As an answer to those people, pictures of Bane are produced and sighted as dumb. What's the point?

I think Black Licorice is gross, but telling me pork rhines are gross in defense of black licorice doesn't make black licorice taste better me. And it's dumb because I never said pork rhines were better than black licorice.

So, what I'm saying; people keep bringing up pork rhines unprovoked.
brewtownpsych - 1/24/2012, 5:22 AM
again, how is any of this about nolan? sheesh.

@intruder - that song is pure cream cheese and you know it.
Shaman - 1/24/2012, 6:42 AM
Pork rhines is better then Nolan and Whedon's love child.
l0rdleg0las - 1/24/2012, 6:45 AM
on the premise that there were too many characters to write, Whedon should have just stuck to the main 4 AVENGERS and the Villain and worried less about secondary characters like Widow, Hawkeye and Fury
NeoBaggins - 1/24/2012, 7:14 AM
@knossis

"most of the folks bashing whedon & the avengers are either dc or Nolan fans or both."

I'm not sure about that, or at least I don't see it that way from where I'm sitting. Most of what I see people saying seems more like fan-concern than bashing. I've seen people question Whedon's ability and say they hate Caps suit and still express anticipation for the film. Can't really label that bashing.

There's some that might come right out and say he's a hack, but you can't automatically attribute that sentiment to some pro-DC/Nolan allegence. There's a group of trolls here that will swear I'm a "Nolanite" without a crumb to back up the claim because somewhere, at some point, I expressed a non fanboy view about something in Avengers.

I think questioning Whedon's ability is logical and I can see why some think Caps suit looks [frick]ed up even though I like it minus the helmet.

And far as Coke vs Pepsi, the Dark Knight and Avenger thing really isn't a debate. No one is debating- just talking shit, trolling and posting funny pictures. Hard to debate personal opinions in the form of what piece of entertainment is better than the other. "Better" is subjective.

I don't see the films as the same type of CBM, so it's hard for me to get into the comparison and verses thing. As always, the best way I can describe it is fine dinning and junk food. I like both. And since I'm older now, I kinda lean more towards what Nolan is doing with Batman more than what it looks like Whedon is doing with Avengers so far. I wouldn't suggest MARVEL copy what Nolan is doing as a lot of people in Hollywood think is the way to go, but I'd like to see more effort in writing, scope and quality. Just make the movies a level or two above the existing films, especially Avengers.

I also think Avengers will be more comic-bookish, and it should be. I predict, for myself, at the very worst, Avengers will just be a little better than the other MARVEL offerings. I can see it being a film I see at least twice at theater. But don't count Bats out as non-comic. I like graphic novels and Nolan definitely brings that serious approach to Batman like the art, writing and feel of a good graphic novel.

Nice chatting. Respect your opinion as always.
ThaMessenger07 - 1/24/2012, 7:33 AM
I actually love when knossis & Neo go at it...

Very respectful and on point.

As far as my view of things, I look forward to The Avengers far more then TDKR.

BUT! TDKR will almost definitely be better...

Also the comparison of "which is more true to source material" is not there. The Avengers and the other Marvel films that precede it have the color, the powers, the plugs, & the Foundation down. BB, TDK, & TDKR actually use an amalgam of characters and plots directly from the comics, to establish the world of the characters, in a semi-realistic tone and keep the lifespan of a character, within a Trilogy model.
NeoBaggins - 1/26/2012, 12:01 PM
@knossis

I don't think I have a spare decade to wait around for a JLA movie either. Green Lantern was the key. Just like THOR opening up MARVEL to an unrestricted universe, GL should have done the same for DC. The only way I can see it salvaged is if they stick by their failed film, keep it's cast and move on with the other character films. I don't really have JLA on a wish list, but if it's made I will definitely check it out.

"BB, TDK, & TDKR actually use an amalgam of characters and plots directly from the comics, to establish the world of the characters, in a semi-realistic tone and keep the lifespan of a character, within a Trilogy model."-ThaMessenger07

Damn, that's poetry. And well put. Nolan approached Batman in a certain way and he drew from the material in an unconventional manner to accommodate that approach. I read a few graphic novels a while back and I kept running into different elements of BB and TDK within those books.

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