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

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

Hulk in The Avengers TV spots Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

While we know about most of the characters in The Avengers, others are more of a mystery. In particular, we have yet to learn a lot about the version of Hulk/Bruce Banner we’ll be getting (is he “smart Hulk,” is Banner now more in control of his transformations?), and then there’s Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), who has been a veritable errand boy in the Marvel films – that is, until a recent short film segment revealed Coulson’s impressive combat skills:

GREGG: Coulson is, in my mind, a kind of a cross between the world’s most persistent bureaucrat, a secret ninja assassin and really the guy who wrangles the rock stars at Lollapalooza, is mostly what it feels like. His job is definitely to get all the rock stars onto the stage at the right moment. It’s kind of like a very muscular version of sci-fi Woodstock, I think is what The Avengers is, but that’s really from my point of view. You know what I mean? Like they say to the gravedigger, what’s “Hamlet” about? He says, “It’s about this guy who digs graves.”

And I think very much that’s how I look at The Avengers from Coulson’s role. It’s about how do you bring this very disparate personalities together. They’re from different worlds you know. One is a god, who isn’t always so god-like. It’s really kind of about wrangling. I think of Phil Jackson a lot, because I think the way you coach Kobe (Bryant) is probably really different than the way you coach Pau (Gasol)…  I guess one of the cool things aboutThe Avengers is it feels like maybe no-one’s ever seen anything like what’s about to go down here, but Coulson is deliciously hard to ruffle.

RUFFALO: I think Banner is aging and he’s been living with this thing. Two years have passed since the last one, and we’re kind of going for this world-weariness of accepting, and trying to get to the point where he can live with it, and maybe master it, or come to peace with it, and so there’s this kind of nice ironic wryness about Banner. He’s not so miserable. I think that’s kind of a throwback. We started to talk about a throwback to Bill Bixby, which was the Banner that I grew up on basically. He had a kind of a charm about him in this kind of world-weariness. He was on the run but he was still able to flirt sometimes and smile sometimes and occasionally crack a joke, so that’s in there.

bruce banner avengers 570x380 Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in 'The Avengers'

When you have a movie when there’s so many characters, you end up getting about 10 minutes of screen time for your particular character and, in the 10 minutes that we have, we’re trying to bring out this kind of charm in him and maybe this idea that he wants to be a superhero. He looks at Stark and he’s like, “That’s the dude who actually did what I attempted to do.” He’s the model. He made it work, so Banner and Stark have a very cool relationship in the movie.

[Banner] ends up being an intricate component to the first part of the movie. They really aren’t after him necessarily to be the Hulk. They’re really after him because of his gamma expertise. There’s a big portion in the movie where he’s doing a lot of that and helping them kind of crack this riddle.

And as for that lingering question of whether or not we’re getting “Smart Hulk”?

RUFFALO: Yeah, he’s a smart Hulk. He hasn’t graduated to that yet but hopefully he might be on the way to that. I don’t know where it’s going to go after this, but I feel like we’re trying to open the door to the integration of the two, you know [Banner and Hulk]. I like to think of it as the guy trying to break a bucking bronco. He has some tiny little semblance of control over it but still it’s completely out of his control, you know. That’s kind of where the last one left off, I felt like.

Director Joss Whedon talks about what it’s like to once again take on an ensemble film using established characters (a feat he has previously endeavored with his cult-hit sci-fi film, Serenity), and also what his favorite aspect of Avengers is:

Whedon directing Ruffalo on set in 'The Avengers'

WHEDON: Serenity had been very hard and I literally said, “I’m never doing this again.  A bunch of characters who already know each other and are established, but have to be introduced to new people,” and all of that. But I didn’t fear it at all, I just regret it very much. You know, I walked in and I was like, “I get why they should be a team. This is exciting!” But then you have to explain it to the audience, too.  Apparently they matter. It’s Vulcan chess.  There’s just so many things. There’s a ripple effect on everything you do, but as long as you’re respectful of everybody’s perspective, and everybody has a moment where they shine (or hopefully several), and everybody is speaking from who they are, you’re not going to fall too hard.

For me, honestly my favorite moments are the scenes where I have two of the characters, where I get to pair up two characters you might not expect to see together, and see them go at each other.  Whether they are getting along or not, there’s always friction.  And those scenes are probably not why everybody might rush to the theater, but they are the most fun when you really get to explore it with the actors and the space. That’s the stuff that I feel the proudest about. The action is not small and some of the gags we’ve come up with are enormous and delightful and I’m proud of them and excited by them, because I like to live in that world too.  But when you are in those quieter moments, that’s when I am just in heaven.

Finally, Whedon and Feige (pictured below) touch on where the Marvel movie Universe will go after the epic events of Avengers, and what the solo character films (Iron Man 3Captain America 2,Thor 2) will be like after this teamup:

Kevin Feige Marvel Studios The Avengers Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

FEIGE: You know, it’s again — it’s the same thing after how do we top Spider-Man, you know and after two years with the company, three years with the company I had the biggest weekend of all time and it’s like I went, “Is this – is it – where do you go from here?… And we found a place to go and I think we’ll continue to find places to go.  Certainly now that the characters are established, like the comics continuing to tell those stories and then every few years bring them together again I think would be cool.  And whatever happens there alters their dynamic as they go back into their own worlds and keep that going.

WHEDON: The fact is one of the things that I was very adamant about… don’t have the support systems of all of these movies. Because these movies have their own internal workings and have the supporting characters. They have their own feel. I’m like, “First of all, this can’t feel like any of those movies. And second of all you have to take them away from their support systems.” First of all, it’s a good way to make a team. It’s like they all go to camp. And second of all, they said, “Do we want to put Jane Foster in the movie?” I’m like, “Yeah, that’d be great. Then the writer of Thor 2 will come and kill me with a trowel, because their first meeting, ‘I haven’t seen you, except that one time.’”

There are iconic things going on in their own stories that I’m not going to touch. They have to step out of their worlds into the Avengers world. Hopefully this thing works on a big scale. But because there are so many of them, everybody gets so much juice and then they have to step aside. The other movies have a much easier throughline. It’s never easy, but a simpler throughline of that one person’s journey where they really get to explore that person on a level that, in this movie, I’m just never going to get to.

Avengers Character Poster Banner 570x228 Avengers Interviews: Superhero Politics, Smart Hulk & Marvel Movie Future

For the full interviews over at Collider click any one of the names listed below:

The Avengers will be in 2D and 3D theaters on May 4, 2012.

Source: Collider

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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! 😀

    • 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.


    • 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!!!! 😀 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.