‘Avengers 2′: Joss Whedon Talks How to Approach the Sequel

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 25th, 2013 at 9:07 am,

With Marvel’s The Avengers just weeks away from hitting theaters, one would think all hands involved in the film would be focused on the task at hand. However, fans are always thinking ahead (and studios are now too), and talk of Avengers 2 began even while story details of the first film were still being hammered out.

We’ve already heard Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talk about possible new characters in Avengers 2, and today we have a bit from the film’s writer/director Joss Whedon about how he would craft the sequel.

Whedon told SFX how he would handle the “Go bigger” policy when it comes to blockbuster sequels:

“By not trying to [go bigger]. By being smaller. More personal, more painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself.”

At the risk of starting a geek feud, that approach Whedon describes is arguably the same one that has made Chris Nolan’s Batman films so good (at least, in my opinion). Batman Begins and Dark Knight each tell a complete, thematically rich, self-contained story (with a few intersecting threads) and each has its own unique color palette, narrative structure and tone. You truly got a fresh experience with a Nolan Bat sequel – and from the looks of it, The Dark Knight Rises will be a standalone creation as well. Marvel would do well to follow that example with Avengers 2 – not to mention, the second round of standalone character films the studio has on the way (Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, and Thor 2).

avengers second trailer Avengers 2: Joss Whedon Talks How to Approach the Sequel

Of course, some fun-loving superhero movie fans will automatically cry foul at Whedon’s suggestion that an Avengers film should be “more personal, more painful,” but so it goes. The director went on to also talk about what his goal was, in regards to giving each of the Avengers members their due development:

“I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them flawed, what makes them fight – and ultimately, what makes them awesome. I go to these movies for those moments when the heroes define themselves, either through action or deliciously overwritten speeches.”

While we’re a little wary about the “overwritten speeches” part, it’s good to hear that the man writing and directing this flick has a general interest and knowledge of the characters he’s playing with. The Avengers trailer that recently premiered pretty much sold the world on seeing this film, but the fact that we could get a rich and fulfilling character piece along with the epic action is pretty sweet.

The Avengers will be in theaters on May 4, 2012.

Source: SFX via Digital Spy


Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. sounds like the man knows what he’s doing. may 4 cant get here soon enough for me!

    • April 27th for me 😉

      • April 25 for me

        • How? xD

        • Australia/Belgium/France/Italy/New Zealand?

          • Australia.

    • @ jeffro


  2. I think thats not a good idea, all the superheros have their individual movies on floor, so try to make them imotional, the avengers only known as ACTION!! ACTION!! ACTION!!

    • Well, I’m guessing you’ve never read an Avengers comic then?
      Because all of Whedon’s views for TA2 is exactly how a great comic book arc plays out IMO.

      • I’d like to think Kurt Busiek was a consultant on this film and the next one as well, should it happen.

  3. So basically what it sounds like to me is that he wants to make it a soap opera.

    I totally understand the need for character development,but c’mon!

    Plain and simple,his only real approach is to figure a way to make Thanos the villain,otherwise don’t even bother,imo.

    A group as powerful as The Avengers NEED a villain that’s a real threat to them,and quite frankly,Thanos is the only one that fits the bill.

    • HERE HERE. And they already established the premis in Thor. Might as well go for it.

      • They didn’t really *establish* the premise of Thanos in Thor, the Infinity Gauntlet was on screen for a split second, and it wasn’t even in focus. You had to go back and pause to even see it. 95% of viewers (even the comics nerds) won’t know it was there, and even knowing it was there doesn’t establish a lot of stuff people would need to know.

        It’s important to remember that jumping in TOO deep can turn off some folks who aren’t comics nerds. Yes, I want to see Thanos in Avengers 2…but they need to pepper in some more establishing scenes in all the films that will come before A2.

        • “Too deep” you say??? I had to watch FIVE different movies to establish the set up of this ONE. How much deeper are these non-fanboys going to tolerate??? Thor 2, Captain America 2, Iron Man 3, Black Panther, Ant Man… Then Avengers 2? (not to mention the Nick Fury stand alone film)

          • Yet Loki was only on THOR before this. How much of a set-up do we need for the next major villain? A post credit clip at the end of each of the aforementioned should work just fine.

    • Ultron, Masters of Evil, AIM, HYDRA, Kang, Taskmaster (and his school of super villain failures), Scarlett Witch, and so many others… All these villains went against the Avengers and keep on being a thorn in their sides,

      Thanos is good, but he isnt the only villain that poses a threat…

      Come on man, think about what you just said.

    • I love Thanos but think there are other villains that can fit the bill and still be a challenge to the team. (see below)

    • exactly what i said … they have to face Thanos at some point in this Saga

  4. Delicious is not an adjective I would ever use for any overwritten speech.
    Nauseating would be a more accurate term for overwritten speeches
    and overwritten is certainly not going bigger by going smaller.

    A translation of his description for his approach to
    Avengers 2 might be less action and more talk
    due to a smaller budget next go-round.

    • The budget is rumored to be around 300 million for this round. I imagine that even with the low costs that Marvel Studios has gotten their leads to agree to (at least, in the films leading up to this one), casting must’ve cost a pretty penny for this flick.

      Regardless, I think the next Avengers will have ample funding to handle whatever it is that Whedon wants to do. He probably just wants to do some good character stories, as that’s his usual style. I just don’t think he wants to go smaller for lack of necessary funds.

  5. Wow!! Isn’t fresh and organic the exact same thing that didn’t work for Transformers 2. These guys have to realize that not everyone watching their movies were comic book readers. I sat through Thor with a few younger friends and they were completely oblivious to the 17 character references that I caught. Spiderman Dr Strange, Infinity Gauntlet. I was saying AWESOME and they were clueless. Where someone with my background would recognize the plot, the majority would be unhinged and searching for relevance.

    • I wouldn’t say that the words “fresh and organic” characterize Transformers 2. Bay went with the “Go bigger” policy, and expanded on what was established in the first movie. The action was good though.

    • Spider-Man wasn’t referenced in THOR.
      Bruce Banner was though…

      • Neither was Dr. Strange. Brannagh said that wasn´t the Eye Of Agamotto.

        • As I remember, there were other artifact besides the thing that looked like the Eye Of Agamotto…
          I believe SR even did an article about all the artifacts (and one or two of them are indeed artifacts seen/used in Dr Strange comics)

          • The big eye thing with a smaller orb inside was the Warlock Eye (from an early Thor story,) some folks mistook it for the Eye of Agamatto, but there’s also the Orb of Agamatto, which was actually in the vault as well.

    • Spider-man? Nope.

  6. I think what he’s talking about certainly has worked for him in television, I guess we’ll all find out in June whether he can take that approach and make it successful on the big screen. Seems to me a sequel would naturally have to go bigger tho’…?

  7. if its anything like the first iron man then i think ill be happy. the first iron wasnt really big on the action but it was still really good. its my favorite MCU film thus far (Thor is right behind).

    • Thor really is underrated. Chris Hemsworth really nailed the part of a tough, hotheaded, yet likeable character. He just may steal the show in Avengers…

  8. Overwritten speeches? Like “If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”
    I’m so excited for this film, but that line in the first trailer was dumb. Tony you best be saving the damn world!

    • I’m sure the original line was “if we can’t avenge the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll assemble it” but they changed it in a rewrite.

  9. Basic film school screenwriting rule: give us characters we can care about and we will make an emotional investment in their story…and pay to see it..:)

  10. More Personal. Speeches. Awesome! Maybe we will get diary monologues.

    “Dear Diary, Today I threw my shield at a AIM terrorist. Natasha even winked at me. XOXO Stevey.”

    • haha

  11. But in all seriousness this couod be good news. Ultimates Vol 2 was more Team internal.

    I hope Natasha betrays the Avengers as a Russian Spy. Kill her off and get a better actress to play a different Black Widow incarnation.

    • I like Kang and the story arc that was used in “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. Especially because that’s how they plant the Ultron seed. However that means 4 Avengers movies which I just don’t think will happen. (We have to have the Vision as part of the group for a full movie AND we still have to battle Thanos!)

      • Why 4 movies?
        You can have ONE Avengers movie with Kang… there’s no need for 4.

        • Thought I kind of explained that……

          2) Kang the Conqueror with the beginning of the Ultron story.
          3) Ultron story ending with Vision joining the team
          4) Enter Thanos to claim the cosmic cube and infinity gems.

          Sorry but I’m a bit biased and want to see Vision not only make it on the team but also participate in a full movie so that means 4 movies in my book. Plus what Marvel nerd doesn’t want to see one of Marvels biggest and baddest villains finally make it onto the big screen? Now if Avengers does well enough maybe they would be willing to consider 4 movies but that is a LOT of commitment from both the writers (to this particular story arc) and actors for the next 7-9 years. Not an impossible task but is increasingly unlikely.

          • Ah, sorry, I misunderstood you (I thought you meant there should be 4 Avengers movies for the Kang story arc alone — didn’t know you meant Kang, Ultron and Thanos).

            Anywat, in that case, I agree with you. 4 Avengers movies it is! 😉

            • OMH, four movies to deal with the Kang story………everyone (including most of us comic geeks) would get bored and probably not even go to the last two :p

              Glad we cleared that up :)

    • What you weren’t happy with the 2 second smokey ghost Darsied they flashed in Smallville,lol

    • Sign me up to pay for that Movie 😉

  12. “By being smaller. More personal, more painful.”

    • I’d be kinda surprised if they don’t introduce Henry Pym and The Wasp in the teaser at the end of this film, which most likely means Ultron is inevitable, as would be The Vision. Plus they’d both be CG, so Marvel wouldn’t have to spend a bunch of money on good actors, as usual.

      Just kidding. 😉

      • Ultron, the great lost X-Men Villain, for those in the know..

  13. I would like to see new members replacing some of the original cast before they even think of doing an Avengers 2. Cap leading a new team featuring Black Panther, Yellowjacket, Wasp, and the Vision would be a welcome departure from Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk after several years and as many individual movies.

    • I doubt they’re going to do any Avengers movies without IM, Thor, Hulk, or Cap. Those are the characters people show up to see.

    • They’ll never replace Thor, Iron Man and Hulk for Vision, Ant-Man and Wasp.
      Just think about what you said there… at least 80% of regular movie goers will be seeing this movie because of Iron Man, Thor and Hulk… they don’t know who the **** Vision, Ant-man and Wasp are.

      However, I can see Avengers to having some new members (2 or 3) and have Black Widow leaving the team (they could explain her absence by saying she’s off on a secret mission somewhere else), but they’ll never replace the money makers.

      • Kick Black Widow to the curb I say and as much as it pains me to say it, Hawkeye (I like the comic version but don’t really know about the movie one). The Avengers really doesn’t NEED a SHIELD presence within the group. Iron Man can even decide to take a back seat which makes room for others like Vision, Ant-Man and Wasp.

  14. Am I the only one that wishes after this year they are done with the superheroes that we have seen? Its the end of the best superhero trilogy and an asembly like no other. I don’t want to see ironman 4, avengers 2 ect let’s just make 1 movie a year that’s not a sequal… deadpool for one.

    • Yes, you’re the only one who doesn’t want more “EPICOSITY” 😉
      Seriously though, not only do these movies bring in way too much money for them to stop making them, but most of the fans and regular movie goers don’t WANT them to stop anyway.

      P.S. Deadpool is Fox property… take it up with them, not Marvel Studios.

      • I know they will never stop making them lol

      • I know many regular movie goers who don’t want ironman 4 or cap 2 or thor 2 haha

        • Chill dude…
          Just because you “know” a few people who don’t want more Iron Man, Thor or Cap, that isn’t really proof that no one wants to see them (fact is, most movie goers do – which is why these movies make money).

      • Actually I think there is someone in Nebraska and a dude somewhere in the Australian outback who have expressed the same desire. That’s it though.

        • Nope, no one in Australia. I’ve checked.

    • Agreed. I haven’t heard of them until someone mentioned them and I google them, and now I know.

  15. I think what he means is that the sequel doesn’t require Bigger Explosions! More villains! Darker, Grittier! More! More! More! Crank up the Volume! More Bass! Slo-mo scene where they all strut away from the explosion! At some point the law of diminishing returns sets in. We all saw what happened in Spider Man 3 when they tried to throw everything and everyone in that movie.

  16. “deliciously overwritten speeches.” I interpreted this as lines written and re-written many times in an effort to make them sound better or more “Delicious” to the ears… Should I use this adverb, this preposition, this noun, this many syllables etc. etc. So, not necessarily a bad thing.

  17. I think a lot of you are missing the point.
    I doubt Whedon means that there’s isn’t going to be a badass villain or huge explosions (that’s guaranteed with almost any CBM).

    I think he means the FOCUS will be on the characters (and not the “threat”).
    Like Iron Man or Batman Begins for example. There was still action, but the focus was on the characters’ development and them finding their place in world.

    Also: let’s just keep in mind that this is only a few early ideas that Whedon has for TA2… Whedon hasn’t been chosen to direct the sequel yet (although I’m sure he will be), and a script hasn’t even been written yet.
    We should also remember, TA2 will GREATLY be influenced by IM3, THOR2, Cap2, and any other movie that’ll come before it.

    So, let’s not jump to conclusions about what TA2 will be about just yet.

    • Most people can only think in binary terms…when Whedon talks about A2 being more focused on diving deeper into the characters, a lot of people think that means it won’t be epic and amazing or have any wow factors.

      It’s like when people say “you don’t agree with me? that means you’re wrong!” No. there’s a million variations between black and white.

      • Well, I’m not insinuating that my fellow ranters can only think “in binary terms” 😉 (most of ’em/us are VERY sensible and open to different approaches – which is why I love this site and it’s regular readers).
        I just think that in this one case, they’ve misunderstood Whedon a bit – which is understandable since that interview was kind of confusing (Whedon should have phrased things more clearly IMO).

    • Thank you for saying that Avenger, I was sort of ready to hit my head against the screen over the reaction of “omg, so no villains at all in the sequel, just the Avengers braiding each others hair? Prepostrious!”

      I, for one would be thrilled with a little more ‘personal’ looks at the avengers, othervise you might just as well look at Transformers for only the action and no caring wheter the characters live or die.

  18. This is just a awesome movie. all characters from this movie are supers, i like it too much.

  19. I have a feeling whether they will introduce The Black Panther into the movie…probably after the credits. We will have to wait for 2 more months (April 27th in UK, India etc and May 4 in US, Canada etc) to see the movie, what it is all about and blah blah blah 😛

  20. I like what I’m hearing here – He’s taking it seriously & thinking of how to deliver a great 2nd movie (& hopefully a 3rd).

    Don’t want a Transformers approach here – You end up getting so much special effects over & over it becomes a blur & you don’t care about the characters.

    I would rather see them carry on with finishing a trilogy here before seeing another stand alone hero movie.

  21. I like this. Whedon obviously knows what he’s doing. Makes me want him to direct not only Avengers 2 bot more Marvels movies now! 😀
    And Anvergs is gonna AWESOME!!! Can’t wait.

  22. I think Sheldon knows exactly what he’s doing. A little in depth character analysis can be a good thing. It definitely doesn’t mean he’s gonna take away from the action, just delve a little deeper into our favorite heroes lives/psyches to give us a richer story before they start beating the hell out of Ultron, Thanos, or Kang. I put all my faith in JW I don’t think there could be a better director out there to bring my favorite comics to life I think The Avenger is the first one to say it and I’m gonna have to agree. In Whedon I trust 😉

    • “Sheldon”?

      • stupid iPhone auto correct I didn’t even notice that. Vic you guys need to add an edit button for guys like me

        • I actually thought you were doing some type Big Bang Theory reference. 😛

          • Hehe, that’s what I thought as well.

          • I’m not that we’ll versed in the Big Bang Theory. I’ve only ever watched a couple of episodes , but what I did see was pretty funny

      • the s and w are very close on the keyboard :)

  23. although they have sequels to the solo films on the way,

    it would be cool if marvel introduced a new set of avenger via solo films (black panther, henry pym, etc)

    i think what is driving the avengers film, aside from its inherent awesomeness, is that people have been waiting years for this epic event.

    they should do a similar build-up to the next collaboration if they want to get a similar response.

  24. Very smart guy, and bring in Ultron. Hope The Hulk has his sequel cuzz we were kinda left hanging with Samuel Stern turning into the Leader at the end and them Inprisoning The Abomination Emil Blonsky, bring in Ruffalo as Hulk for the sequel.

  25. I hope they make a hulk sequel but I don’t think they will because TIH had a budget of 150 million and only grossed 250.5 million worldwide whereas IM had a budget of 140 million and grossed nearly 600 million worldwide. For some reason nobody wants to see Hulk smash but a certain few. I wanna see the leader dammit

      • I hope you’re right Hi-C because I’d rather see a hulk sequel prior to any other, except maybe The Avengers

  26. I Think the Avengers will become a trilogy if not more imo. There is plenty of source material for Whedon to work with. From what we’ve seen in the Avengers trailers the man knows what he’s doing. I have faith that this is the first of many Avengers adventures we will all experience on the big screen.

  27. I hope they make a sequel to TIH aswell. At this point it seems unlikely but hopefully after The Avengers & seeing Hulk again it will get talks of sequel goin again.