The Avengers 2 director Joss Whedon discusses The Avengers sequel, deleted scenes and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show that he’ll be involved with.
Avengers director Joss Whedon recently sat down with Kyle Buchanan from Vulture and discussed at length his reasoning behind cutting specific scenes in The Avengers, his involvement in the new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show and how his newfound fame has (or hasn’t) affected his lifestyle.
Whedon was asked about why The Avengers alternate opening sequence that we reported on wasn’t included in the final cut:
Two factors. One: The movie was three hours long. Two: Audiences didn’t respond to it as well in the movie as I think they would as a DVD extra. Most of them didn’t know who this character was or what the context was, and they were like, Uhhh, I don’t know why I’m supposed to be personally involved in this character I don’t know. The rollout to the Avengers getting to Loki was so gradual that people were getting restless. I thought Cobie nailed it, and the reason I thought it was necessary is because I was trying to make a war movie and I wanted to give context that something bad had happened in the past. In a war movie, you don’t know who’s going to live or die, but you do know that this war happened and that [the characters] are going to be in a dire circumstance, and I wanted to create that atmosphere.
Joss goes on to discuss how difficult it can be to cut footage, especially when it means removing backstory that can be beneficial for the audience to connect with characters from the film:
I was able to get what I needed without doing that. It was tough. I hated cutting it. I hated cutting the Captain America stuff with the waitress. At least I was able to call Ashley Johnson [who plays the waitress] and tell her that all her stuff was still in Much Ado About Nothing, since she had been cut out of Dollhouse, she had been cut out of The Avengers: “I swear you’re still in the Shakespeare movie!” You know, those bits had seemed very personal to me, and part of doing Much Ado was that I could go back to The Avengers and say, “Oh, it’s not about me. Even though its my film, it’s about the Avengers. I am less important than the needs of the film.”
When asked about how the success of The Avengers has weighed on him, Whedon says he hasn’t let it get to him, mostly because he grew up wanting to make superhero movies:
It never really has, but when it does, I’m going to become such an enormous dick. [Laughs.] I’m going to have a personal dog polisher and the biggest posse ever. I’m going to be insufferable — well, I mean more insufferable than I already am. You know, at some point, the numbers become meaningless. They’re large, and you can’t really count that high. I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once. I felt like summer movies haven’t been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that’s less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way.
Whedon explains that it’s gratifying to know that people enjoyed the film and went back for more, despite feeling like he could have improved upon The Avengers:
I don’t think it’s a perfect movie. I don’t even think it’s a great movie. I think it’s a great time, and I’m proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don’t go to see a movie that many times unless it’s pulling on something from within, unless there’s a need there. That’s very gratifying.
Whedon was then asked about why he seemed to be “on the fence” about returning for The Avengers 2:
It was part of what made it attractive to me. I loved the idea of being a consigliere. Every writer loves the idea of being able to go in and fix a problem and then leave without obligation. It’s fun! I also love these characters and the Marvel universe, and I grew up reading the books, and I’ve been going back and reading the old books and realizing that they shaped my storytelling way more than I give them credit for. Now I’m starting up a TV show, which is something I really wanted to do, but I thought it wasn’t going to be a part of my life for the next several years. It’s like a tapas menus of projects that excite me, in addition to the Avengers sequel, which I’m excited for because I’m incredibly excited about the next story that I’m going to tell. For me, it’s a huge win.
Vulture then went on to ask Joss how it felt to finally know that a TV show that he was working on (S.H.I.E.L.D.) would be given the promotional push that it deserves (Concerning the cancellation of his previous shows Firefly/Dollhouse):
[Laughs.] You know, I can’t guarantee that any of that will happen! But so far, it feels just fine. The important thing to me is that we know what the show is. We love what it is. It came together very organically, so when we went in to pitch [to Marvel], it wasn’t like, “We’re trying to find this because you want a TV show,” it was, “Check this out.” And that’s a good way to walk in a room.
Good support is wonderful, but it’s not a hill of beans, because they may give us all this support and then decide, “Eh. Yeah, it’s Friday.” They might give us all the support and then not do that, but then audiences might go, “Yeahhh … no.” You just can’t be sure. What I do know is that it’s the show it should be, and we’ve got some really dope notions. It’s going to work very well for people who either love the Marvel universe or for people who’ve never dipped a toe in the Marvel universe.
It’s great to see Joss Whedon open up like this, as he appears to have acclimated to the fame and attention that The Avengers‘ success has brought him. We’re very excited about The Avengers 2 and it should be interesting to watch his TV show S.H.I.E.L.D. as it is developed.
The Avengers DVD/Blu-ray hits stores September 25 and The Avengers 2 will hit theaters May 1, 2015. So far the TV show S.H.I.E.L.D. has no official dates, but we know that Whedon will be working closely with his brother Jed on the show and may even do some directing.
Earlier today we also found out that The Avengers will be re-released in theaters for Labor Day weekend, so be sure to check if your theaters will be showing the film from August 31 – September 6.
Check out the rest of this interview at Vulture.