AVENGERS Q&A with Joss Whedon Includes Talk About SERENITY, Of Course

Of course there’s more to be said about Joss Whedon and The Avengers, what his plans were, what they will be, and even a mention of ‘Serenity’ and ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’:

The screening of The Avengers and Q&A with Whedon was hosted and moderated by Jeff Goldsmith of Backstory Magazine. You can check out the full interview soon on The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith on iTunes.

  • Upon taking on The Avengers, Marvel laid out certain requirements ahead of time: the heroic characters, Loki as the villain, the helicarrier attack and the epic battle scene at the end. His job was to get the picture from point to point along the way and “try to make it matter.”
  • The script of The Avengers took two years from draft to screen. (By comparison, he drafted The Cabin in the Woods in three days with Drew Goddard.)
  • Whedon wrote a 15-page final battle arc that incorporated a prologue and five acts.
  • Whedon talked about an early draft being too heavy in “dry wit,” and later realized the fact that Hawkeye’s character would need to be compromised and that Agent Coulson would have a man-crush on Captain America.
  • Whedon addressed the darker moments of The Avengers, saying that Agent Coulson’s death was mandated early on by Marvel’s Kevin Feige and was encouraged by actor Clark Gregg as well. Bruce Banner’s confession of his suicide attempt was taken from a Hulk comic with artwork done by Richard Corben in which one issue had Banner committing suicide via a self-inflicted gun shot and the next issue’s splash page had the Hulk spitting the bullet out.
  • On his most difficult scenes to write and direct in The Avengers, Whedon said that the big action scene was tough due to the smoke from the explosions as well as the various characters interjecting dialogue throughout the sequence. He also commented that any time all of the actors were together on screen (.ie. the scepter scene), it was like being a kindergarten teacher trying to keep control of his students.
  • Whedon confessed that his favorite scene was the one between Loki and Natasha/Black Widow.


  • Whedon’s early draft heavily featured The Avengers comicbook character, Wasp. He wrote what he called a “very Waspy” draft and began to get carried away by writing much too much about her, saying, “She’s adorable! I’m just going to write her!”
  • He also fought hard for a second villain, but declined to say who that villain happened to be. Though the studio rejected this request, the villain may appear in a future film. Whedon commented that Tom Hiddleston was fantastic as Loki, but he had in mind a villain that his heroes could wail on.
  • As for what was cut from The Avengers, Whedon said that Iron Man’s introductory sequence was unfortunately cut and “a ton” of Captain America was cut as well. The Cap scenes appear in the DVD/Blu-ray extras under the “Man Out of Time” heading.


Joss was apparently also asked about his previous projects and other such things.

  • Apparently there was talk of developing an animated version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Whedon and his creative team couldn’t get anyone to buy the project, citing the need for a male character as a lead. Whedon called the project his “Simpsons version of Buffy,” of which the writing team wrote seven scripts.
  • Whedon’s first draft of Serenity was 190 pages long. He reached 160 pages on The Avengers before admitting he needed some help on the revisions.
  • Whedon talked about his writing process, which involves a lot of time spent in restaurants because they’re free of distractions and always has his earbuds and movie soundtrack music with him.
  • Whedon also showed his contempt for movies and TV shows that don’t give the viewers a complete arc and choose to end on unsatisfying cliffhangers, citing Jumper and Lost respectively.

I will have to agree with Joss about that last issue.  I can understand the director or writer wanting to do something different or leave something open to interpretation for the viewer, but  sometimes it’s just not fair to assume the viewer would always want that.  Overall, we tend to want closure when it comes to watching entertainment television or movies.  We want to see what happens to the characters we’ve invested our time in, and so yes, I’d rather have an actual conclusion to a series or a movie (trilogy or saga if it needs be) instead of discussing with others what they thought happened.  In the end, it just leaves the viewer usually feeling unsatisfied no matter what we’ve interpreted the ending for the characters to be.


Okay, enough with the soapbox talk.  With that said, Joss did possibly hint about what we can expect from The Avengers sequel in this statement:

“I still believe that even though The Empire Strikes Back is better in innumerable ways than Star Wars, Star Wars wins because you can’t end a movie with Han frozen in Carbonite. That’s not a movie, it’s an episode.”

So, are we to expect such an ending for The Avengers 2?  Will Wasp have a role in the sequel?  We’ll probably just have to wait and see come 2015.

Read the full article on Collider.

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