‘Avengers’ Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:53 am,

Avengers Movie Interviews Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

A handful of websites (not ours) go invited to the set of The Avengers last this year, and now they are releasing the details of that visit online. If you want to hear Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) director Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige all discuss the most epic superhero teamup film of all time, you’ve come to the right place.

We have done the good deed of condensing all of the choice quotes from The Avengers cast and crew interviews into one transcript, with links at the end to the longer interviews, which are available in both print and audio form over on Collider.

The interviews are SPOILER-FREE, so read away at your leisure.

Interestingly enough, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sees The Avengers as being a “disaster film” that we see from the point of view of S.H.I.E.L.D., the clandestine global peacekeeping force run by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Col. Nick Fury. Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) is also excited about the expanded role his organization gets in the new film:

FEIGE: Well, you know, the movie as everyone knows, I think, is primarily about… an event occurs that causes problems for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who runs this organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. … If S.H.I.E.L.D. was this organization that just stepped out of the shadows occasionally in other movies to see what was going on, in this movie, we’re on the other side of that.

In this movie, we’re through S.H.I.E.L.D.’s point of view, this organization who’s responsible for sort of taking care of the world and making sure everything runs smoothly and when a billionaire genius inventor creates a suit of armor and blasts out of a cave, it’s going to get on their attention. And when a hammer falls into the middle of the desert, it’s going to get their attention. And when a green guy appears rampaging through Harlem, it’s going to get their attention. And if and when a super-soldier were to be discovered frozen in the ice, that would also get their attention.

So it is sort of about seeing what a day in the life of Nick Fury is like and of this organization. And when such an event occurs, he is forced to take these people, who he’s not really sure he can even handle individually, and see if he can get them to come together and work together to stop this greater threat. So in a lot of ways, we’re looking at it as a disaster movie… It’s not my way of saying it’s Armageddon – things could be worse – but it’s my way of saying that’s kind of the paradigm that we’re looking at, is something horrible is going to happen if this team can’t get together and fight against it.

nick fury avengers 570x380 Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

GREGG: I think that’s got to be a big task in a movie like this, where you got a guy from Asgard with a cape, and you know Tony Stark has always been a little more grounded and his technology is actually oddly close to what’s possible. What got me going on this? S.H.I.E.L.D., it has been hinted at what they do, who they are, and I think what’s cool about this movie is that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a much bigger part of this, that you start to really understand who S.H.I.E.L.D. is, this kind of genesis from Howard Stark, that I think will be revealed a lot in Captain America and how it functions. I think S.H.I.E.L.D. has been around for quite a while and its real purpose becomes very clear in this movie.

S.H.I.E.L.D.’s objective, of course, is getting these various figures – all accomplished heroes in their own rights – to come together and work together. In that sense, one of the biggest questions facing The Avengers has always been how (or on what level) an old soldier like Cap, a mystical warrior like Thor, or an egotistical tech-head like Iron Man would bond.

Apparently, the cast had to struggle with those very question as they were making the film:

EVANS: I think they [Cap and Iron Man] are both heroes in their own right. Tony is a little bit more flash, and he’s got charisma oozing out of him, and he likes the spotlight, and I think Cap might be a little bit more reserved in his desire to be front and center, but they are both, at their core, heroes, if you know what I mean. Even if Tony is flash and hot-shit, he is still a hero. He is still a good man. I think it just takes the duration of the film for them to see eye-to-eye and to see that in one another.

DOWNEY JR.: Well, here’s the thing…there is this extra added layer of it being connected to the Stark legacy, so it’s almost like dealing with Frankenstein, but Frankenstein has lessons that you actually haven’t learned yet. So it’s really easy to just be like, “Oh my God, you have bolts on your neck!” and Joss, while not being silly… I give Cap quite a bit of guff in the movie… But I think it was probably the toughest relationship to really find the right arc for.

avengers 2213 570x306 Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

RENNER: Yeah, I ask myself that every day. I don’t know. How do I know Thor? I guess I was in the movie. I was going to put an arrow in his head, but I don’t know this guy, do I? So I always ask those questions and Joss is a very creative… it’s a complicated universe, as you guys know, and there’s a couple different versions of this universe, so it’s interesting. We find reasons to make it work, but I think the general overall assumption is that we all at least have an understanding of each other… or a misunderstanding of each other is probably better.

HEMSWORTH: Sure. Absolutely. I think that conflict is what makes it interesting. Having seen these people in the individual films, it’s probably pretty safe to say that a lot of the team coming together is having to be about them managing their own egos or each others’, and how they fit in. What sort of part they fill… There are certainly a few reactions of, “This guy thinks he’s a god? He’s got a cape.” And my reaction to that is, you are wearing a metal suit and you are wrapped in an American flag. I think we all have our odd opinions. Joss [Whedon] has said it before: they are all very lonely characters in a sense because they are… “outcasts” is probably the wrong word. But they’re certainly individuals. And because of that, I think they find, maybe, some comfort in that coming together. As hard as it is at first, they also probably feel at home in some way.

As if finding a way to bring all these characters together wasn’t hard enough – they also have to deal with trickster god Loki trying to break them all apart:

JOHANSSON: (laughs) I think that [Loki] has an agenda, and I think the best way to break up a group is by trying to manipulate the situation by going individually to each one of our characters and you kind of see that. He’s playing good cop/bad cop, but it’s just him in some way with each one of us. I think he’s trying to figure out a way to put holes in the team, trying to figure out a way to disassemble us in some way and manipulate us individually.

loki avengers 570x379 Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in 'The Avengers'

HIDDLESTON: I think there is a degree of self-possession in Loki in The Avengers, which was missing in Thor.  As in, the Loki of Thor is a confused and damaged prince and the Loki of The Avengers is somebody who understands his own power.  He understands his own anger and is able to probably, I would say, suppress it.  So you see that in a way he is more mischievous.  Loki is the God of mischief and I think that the way Joss has written Loki in The Avengers is that he is a mischief.  He is someone whose actions are very, very difficult for the seven of eight Avengers to pin down…

Loki thinks that having power will earn him approval and self-respect, I think…  I’ve referred to him before as a kind of chess master.  I think that he is 10 steps ahead in the game.  He plays everyone so beautifully.  He plays them better than they know, I think.  But there is a flaw at the bottom of him, which is that he’s motivated entirely out of selfishness and a need for approval.  I think that is ultimately his flaw.

NEXT PAGE: What type of Hulk we’ll see in Avengers & the future of Marvel movies….

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  1. Every time I read stuff about this film, I become even more happy that a huge comic book nerd like Whedon is at the helm.

  2. Hmm… when Whedon said TA would be from Fury’s point of view, I thought he was just buttering up Sam Jackson (making him feel more important), but now Feige’s saying the same thing… don’t really know what to think:
    I would have preferred if it was from Cap’s POV, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of this…

    As for the other interviews, I can’t possibly read all of them :P, but I did read the Chris Evans & RDJ one over at Colider – it was awesome.

    I’ll try to find time to read the rest, but at this point, I’m starting to think if I should even bother with interviews… a while back I stopped watching new footage and I’m trying to stay away from plot descriptions and spoilers, but even the interviews are starting to get a bit too much IMO – I’m just ready for the darn movie to come out! :D

    • Yeah, I lost an entire morning to those wonderful interviews. I remember that a few weeks ago (maybe even a couple of months at this point) Whedon did say that the film would be told from Cap’s perspective. He even went on to say that that was how he’d reign in all these characters, by telling the story from one person’s point of view and that that person was Cap. But I guess in editing what was around 3 hours of footage down to 2 hours and 15 minutes, the lense that he used to tell the story changed.

      • Yeah, I know about the cuts and how it changed the way the movie will be perceived (i.e. not being from Cap’s POV anymore).
        I’m just saying I would have preferred if it was from Cap’s POV, not SHIELD.
        I’m actually hoping it isn’t really from anyone’s POV… with all these characters, I can’t really understand how we’ll only see it from one person’s eyes (or in Fury’s case, eye ;)).

        • Plot 101, you have to have a certain perspective to follow the story, otherwise it’s virtually impossible to construct an effective plot with ups & downs, climaxes & resolutions. There’s more to it than that, but I could be here all day trying to explain the underpinnings of effective writing.

          This isn’t to say it’s required to stick to one character through an entire story, but given the more narrow parameters of a film vs. something like a novel, it doesn’t happen as often in cinema…happens a lot in books.

  3. I hated the idea of a Shield solo movie. But the more I think about it, I think it’d be awesome. With Hawkeye and Black Widow in it and have it as a Bourne/Bond type movie.

  4. Oh, and I just have to add: thanks SR for doing this awesome assembly (see what I did there?) of interviews…

  5. I’m just glad that “smart” Hulk has been confirmed I wonder if Banner will eventually gain full control over the green meanie or will they do like Avengers EMH and make the Hulk the main consciousness?

  6. What exactly is a “Smart Hulk”. Is it bruce Banner in complete control. Or do we hear the Hulk saying, “Hammer Man or Robot Man. For years the Hulk had the IQ of a 6 year old. And that is smarter then either Hulk Movie or the series show. Or is he gonna have the Grey Hulk attitude or is capable of doing the brainwork that banner does.

    • “Smart Hulk” is when he has the form of Hulk, but is supergenius level intelligence, and has Bruce Banner’s personality. The main downside is that he’s an even level of strength, doesn’t get stronger when he’s more angry. This is from the comics though, the film-universe interpretation of “Smart Hulk” could vary somewhat.

  7. the best quote from ruffalo’s interview; Were you wearing underwear or like what Scarlett was wearing? She told us she wasn’t wearing anything underneath.

    RUFFALO: They spray paint her suit on in the morning. But she looks good in it.

    • Haha, actors truly have the best jobs in the world. Or I guess the spray painters. http://batmanrises.com


    • 1 month to go =)))

  9. So the movie is from everyones’s point of view? or are there 8 different cuts of the evengers? I want the one from Coulson’s perspective.

  10. The Character Who Plays Loki says its dificult for 7 out of the 8 avengers to understand. I dont understand that I thought there was only 6 Avengers in this movie and even if you include Nic Fury theres only 7 of them anyone understand that?

    • Perhaps the actor who plays Loki was referring to Agent Hill.

      By the way, it’s spelled Odin not Oden.

      • So just a quick observation, I was at toys r us the other day and I saw these avengers figures that all connected at the base. On the back they only show iron man, Thor, and Bucky capt America. The rest are blacked out, you can make out who the others are but there is one more I don’t know who it is. Maybe they have been able to keep someone a secret by releasing all this footage of the aliens, thus distracting us? Just a thought

  11. Sniff* why can’t May come sooner?! :’)

  12. So just a quick observation, I was at toys r us the other day and I saw these avengers figures that all connected at the base. On the back they only show iron man, Thor, and Bucky capt America. The rest are blacked out, you can make out who the others are but there is one more I don’t know who it is. Maybe they have been able to keep someone a secret by releasing all this footage of the aliens, thus distracting us? Just a thought

    • The merchandise isn’t always accurate to the actual movie.
      For example: with the transformers movies there were a lot of TF’s with the movie branding that weren’t in any of the movies – the toy companies make as many toys as they can… wanna guess why? Yup. To make more money! ;)

      Anyway, the same can be said for the Avengers toys: there are Skrull toys in a lot of the playsets, but it’s been confirmed by now that those aliens aren’t Skrulls.

      • Yeah I guess I was hoping to see some black panther action or something. Like they would purposely distract us hahaha

  13. Great article Kofi. A LOT of info … it was heaven. :)

  14. Here in India, Avengers is going to be released on 27th of April…yippie!!!! :D 8)

  15. I honestly dont care if we get a “smart” hulk, I just want one that can hold a semi-intelligent conversation. one that can say more than three words at a time.

  16. ******SPOILER ALERT******
    If anyone else is reading Battle Scars, the six issue limited series from Marvel, I think they just created their 616 Nick Fury ala Fury from the Ultimates universe..complete with eye patch and all(Marcus Johnson is Nick Fury’s son and he looks like a carbon copy of Fury from the Ultimates universe). I also think they are getting ready to kill off the original Fury in the 616 universe for good to make room for Marcus. Is it just me or are Marvel getting ready to merge the universes or preparing for a possible cross-over with both universes?!

    • I think its a mega cross over. I saw the previews for the Spider-Men thing they are doing in July and it looks like 616 Peter will be meeting Ultimate Mile Morales.

    • Samuel L. Jackson was signed to do NINE Marvel movies. I’m not sure if the cameo in Iron Man 1 counted but i find your possibility unlikely but it sounds interesting.