Joss Whedon is tired. Once you see his sprawling, complex, over-the-top action adventure Avengers: Age of Ultron you’ll likely understand why writing and directing the sequel to his mega-hit The Avengers seems to have squeezed the Marvel movie-making juice out of him – at least for now.
Screen Rant recently sat down with the talented and honest filmmaker to find out more about what it took to make Ultron, how he initially found his way into writing the complicated story, his new blank slate and why there might be a few Whedon-esque marks on the next Spider-Man.
What was your point of entry for this one or the first scene that clicked?
Hmm… you know, I don’t know if I remember that. I do know that I sat down and started thinking of ideas and they just kept coming and coming. I think it was probably the Hawkeye story, that was the first thing that I was like, “Oh yeah.” There are always gags and bits, but it evolved so much that at some point I just can’t remember where I am.
I’ve heard you wrote a lovely letter to the actors in the tone of Ultron
[Laughs] They still talk about that. It cracks me up because I just wrote a little cover letter explaining how things were going to go but it was all very silly, as I tend to be, I guess. It was their first encounter with how idiotic I am so they remember it.
In a fantasyland where you didn’t have to think about sleep, time commitment, etc. Is there a Marvel property you would love to take on after enough vacation and such?
If I had the energy? It would be The Avengers. [Laughs] But you know, everyone wants to write Spidey. None of their upcoming movies I don’t want to make. The joy of the thing… it’s probably why I’m good for the team movies because I get to make a little bit of everybody’s movie; however, I would like to make a movie about just one person. I mean like just one person in the whole movie.
One person in a room?
Maybe to build a fire, I could make that.
You could stage that in an interesting way, the pithy banter would still be there…
Yeah not so much, just a guy, some snow, a dog. Might cut the dog, I don’t know, I’m tired.
Well you mentioned that everyone wants to write Spidey, but a friend of yours is writing Spidey. Surely you can sneak something in there?
Ehhh… might be having dinner with him tonight to talk about that, because that’s what we like to do.
Can you guys wrap your heads around the fact that you’re playing in this very large sandbox now?
Sometimes the enormity hits you and sometimes it’s terrifying and sometimes it’s absolutely delightful. I feel very privileged. Sometimes the sandbox is so big it resembles the Sahara and you want water but looking back, which one day I’ll be able to, it’s… I got everything. I got to do everything and I got to do it in service of my own weird idiosyncratic idea, sabotage what a movie is and what people are like and that’s kind of an extraordinary privilege.
What is next on your slate?
Nothing? It’s blank?
It’s blank. I haven’t had a blank slate in 25 years, it’s pretty exciting.
In my rainbowland, what would a Joss Whedon written/directed female-led action movie be like?
Boss. Don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind.
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.