Marvel Studios may have passed on giving a presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2015, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating about the studios’ promising future. With movies like Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange in the near future, and Black Panther and Captain Marvel even further down the road, there’s plenty on the way from Marvel to keep fans excited.
Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man will open in theaters this Thursday night (at the time of writing this), but Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – which made an enormous amount of money at the box office – is still fresh in many minds. Fans still discuss the highlights of the film – like the extra insight Hawkeye received or the big brawl between Hulk and Iron Man – but after it released, a lot of focus shifted to what happened behind the scenes as well. During interviews, Whedon revealed that he and Marvel did not exactly see eye-to-eye on certain elements in the story. Despite that, Whedon says there likely won’t be a director’s cut edition of the Blu-ray/DVD.
While speaking during a panel at Nerd HQ, Collider reports that Whedon stated he’s not interested in making a director’s cut, and even added that he has never wanted to create one. While there were disputes over Avengers: Age of Ultron’s story, Whedon believes the narrative came “very close” to what he envisioned, and explained the Blu-ray/DVD will still include material that was “meant” to be in the movie:
“It has always been my ambition never to do a director’s cut of anything, and always to make the movie with the studio that we both want to make. Ultron was very complex. There was a lot of back-and-forth. My instinct is no. Just as an artist, I’m super f***ing lazy and that sounds like it would be hard. I don’t think there’s interest in it, right now. You’ll see a bunch of stuff on the DVD in extras that were meant to be there. But the narrative came together very close to the way that I hoped it would, and I don’t think it needs me to constantly tweak it.
“The first time I ever heard a re-mix, I was 13 and I was listening to the radio. I heard a song that had been re-mixed and it freaked me out so much that I turned off the radio and never listened to it since, literally. That is an actual truth. I felt like, “Wait, that was the song. You can’t do that.” Our entire culture consists of doing exactly that, but I’m not for it. If I tell a story, I want that to be the story I told.”
Given the fact there was some conflict between Whedon and Marvel – Whedon said the farm and dream scenes wouldn’t be allowed if he didn’t incorporate Thor and Erik Selvig visiting the cave – many fans would more than likely be interested in seeing the complete story Whedon wanted to tell. Because of that, it is disappointing to hear there likely won’t be a director’s cut of Whedon’s sequel to The Avengers; but on the plus side, it does sound like he’s pleased with the extras, so that should help fans paint a clearer picture of the entire story he wanted to provide.
While the villain Ultron did play a substantial role in the story, a noticeable chunk of Age of Ultron was spent building up future events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did this bring about a brand new team of heroes in the end of the movie, but it also introduced three new heroes: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision. Seeing as he served as Ultron’s opposite, Vision had a standout role in the movie, and Whedon understands if fans find religious parallels in that dynamic, as well as in other elements of the film:
“There’s a lot of Christian iconography going on because everybody in that movie thinks that they’re the savior, including Tony Stark. It’s like, ‘Dude, look at your beard. You’re a supervillain!’ We evoke that stuff mostly because it’s resonant to the idea of whether or not we can solve something, whether or not we can evolve, and whether or not we can be our best selves. Obviously, I don’t want to say The Vision is Jesus and Ultron is the mean guy from the First Testament. I don’t want to be specific, but everybody is obviously going to bring that into play.”
Whedon added that he wanted actor Paul Bettany to play Vision since his very first meeting about The Avengers, and the long anticipated character was used to bring about one of his favorite scenes. Age of Ultron is a movie that’s loaded with comedy and spectacle, but it’s the intimate, character-driven debate between Vision and Ultron about humanity that Whedon enjoys the most:
“Maybe my favorite thing in the movie, and maybe the thing that I’m proudest of, is the conversation with Ultron at the end where he’s just like, ‘Humanity is doomed,’ and The Vision says, ‘Yes.’ It gave me the chills/creeps so much that we finally made a, ‘We know he’s worthy,’ kind of thing. We know he’s a pure being, and yet he very dispassionately is like, ‘Oh, yeah, these guys are over,’ but with love.”
Whedon will not return to direct the next two Avengers films. Instead, Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will helm the sequels. There’s no word yet on when the Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu-ray/DVD will go on sale.
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015, followed by Captain America: Civil War on May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot on July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 on May 4, 2018; Black Panther on July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel on November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 on May 3, 2019; and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.