Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated epic ensemble comic-book movie The Avengers opens in theaters in the U.S. this Friday (read our review).

We had the opportunity to speak with the director at the Los Angeles press event for The Avengers about the following subjects:

  • How he located the “Buffy of the story” (the central idea) in The Avengers and made sure each character was given their due.
  • How the characters’ flaws ultimately work for them.
  • What he hoped to achieve in bringing his version of The Hulk to the big screen.

Both Whedon and Avengers fans have been anxiously anticipating the film since the moment that the director’s attachment to the project was announced. Those who were familiar with his work certainly understood Marvel’s logic. Whedon has a strong record of creating powerful ensemble pieces. He was one of the Academy Award-nominated scribes behind the first film in Pixar’s now seminal Toy Story franchise, and was also the creator of the beloved Buffy, Angel and Firefly television series. His cinematic follow-up to Firefly, Serenity, provided many with the confidence that Whedon would easily adapt to the needs and demands of the feature-film format.

Some wondered, however, how Whedon would adjust to working with characters not of his own creation and within the framework of the Marvel movie machine. With The Avengers grossing roughly $180 million abroad since its opening and receiving a 4.5 (out of 5) official review from Screen Rant, Whedon’s ability to bring previously existing characters to fresh new life – while maintaining the integrity of their core essence – has been firmly established.

Whedon with actor Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) on 'The Avengers' set.

It will be interesting to see where Joss Whedon goes from here. He is optioned to direct The Avengers 2, but there is no official word on his involvement yet. He took a break from his Avengers helming duties to direct Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing and is reportedly planning a sequel to the wildly popular Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Whedon is a man of many interests, and it will be interesting for us to witness where he chooses to focus his energies as he moves beyond the herculean undertaking that was The Avengers.

Make sure to check out our previous The Avengers  interviews with:

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Please don’t post any major plot spoilers in the comments of our Avengers interview posts. If you want to chat about the film itself head over to our Avengers spoilers discussion.

The Avengers opens in U.S. theaters this Friday May 4th.

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