Joss Whedon Avengers interview

Director Joss Whedon disassembles the cast and characters of The Avengers

Films

It’s easy to forget, given it is now the third-biggest movie ever made, that at the time, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was anticipated to be a total failure. After all, how could anyone plonk all of the world’s (or Marvel’s, anyway) biggest superheroes together into just one movie and have it make even the slightest bit of sense?
‘I tend to write too much at first, but that’s part of the process,’ deadpans Whedon now. ‘I write War and Peace and then gradually we boil that down to War. I swear, my next film is going to be called To Build A Fire. It’s one guy and a dog – and I might cut out the dog.’

Before that, though, Whedon is back with summer’s most desperately-awaited blockbuster. ‘This one is about finding the Avengers’ weaknesses. They are enormously strong as a team, so you have to dig the knife in where you can and dismantle them. You know, can that paradigm sustain? Can these people actually stand each other once they’ve digested their shawarma?’ he jokes, referencing his original’s post-credits shot. ‘Now we have this opportunity. We put them together. Let’s tear
them apart…’

Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
‘Tony’s obsession is to solve the world. He’s seen it mess up. He saw the alien army [in the first Avengers movie] and was not okay with that. He spent most of Iron Man 3 having anxiety attacks about it. So he builds Ultron. To protect the world.’

Captain America (Chris Evans)
‘Cap is more comfortable in his skin than he was. He’s still trying to find his place, but he’s dealing with it. It’s not so much that he doesn’t understand the music people are playing, but he is focused more on what the rules are, because they’ve changed.’

The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
‘He’s even got – as Ruffalo so desperately wanted in the first film – stretchy pants. He’s got Avengers-issued stretchy pants! We wanted to show that he’s at a different stage in his life, but then we wanted to take all that away from him, because that would be painful.’

Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
‘It’s very hard to figure out how Thor fits in. But I have figured out an exposition where instead of asking the questions, he gives the answers. I wrote a scene where he does that. And, naturally, it happened that he would not have his shirt on during that, so I feel like I might be a genius.’

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
‘She is definitely trying to get somewhere new in her life. She is opening up a bit. She has always been spying; has always been very closed, and we will get to see what is behind that and what she thinks will be
ahead of it…’

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
‘Hawkeye is not a team player. He is basically a sniper; he likes to be off by himself. There’s something about him that makes you question what card he’s playing. It’s going to be exciting to spool out why.’

Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
‘Neither one is entirely straight and true. Quicksilver has super-speed. Scarlet Witch can manipulate objects, and people’s thoughts. They are sympathetic villains. They are war orphans. They are not American,
so they bring a very different perspective on America and the Avengers. They have real pain from when they were children.’

Ultron (James Spader)
‘Ultron has many fathers but ultimately he’s the creation of Tony Stark. He’s a robot but he doesn’t behave like one. He’s much more interesting than that – he has a lot of rage and daddy issues. Tony believes Ultron can achieve his “perfect peace”. But, of course, there’s no such thing. Ultron becomes self-aware and sentient. And he’s privy to the internet, which means he’s into everything and everybody’s ideas and everybody’s conflicts and everybody’s sodding kittens. He has a cognitive dissonance that spins him to the point where he’s bonkers.’
Avengers: Age Of Ultron is out in cinemas across Dubai from Wednesday April 29.

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