Joss Whedon on ‘Avengers 2,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Published 2 years ago by

Joss Whedon Talks Marvel Consultant Role Joss Whedon on Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel gave Joss Whedon a tall order when they asked him to write and direct The Avengers. Not only was it Marvel’s biggest movie to date, but it was the culmination of the studio’s ambitious attempt to create a shared universe where all of its characters could fight alongside one another. Fortunately, Whedon knocked it out of the park, delivering an action-packed summer spectacle that won over both critics and audiences (to the tune of more than $1.5 billion worldwide).

Recently, Whedon has been focused on promoting his latest film, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, but the director has also made time to talk about several upcoming Marvel projects.

In an interview with Moviefone, Whedon weighed in on the status of The Avengers 2, offered some perspective on why James Gunn is the perfect director for Guardians of the Galaxy, and talked about telling a different kind of Marvel story with the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

On the subject of Avengers 2, Whedon said that he is coming in with a much clearer perspective than he did with The Avengers, joking that it would be his next “little passion project.”

“I enter upon ‘Avengers 2′ with a different mindset than I did the first one. I feel like I know so well what it is that I want to accomplish, and like ‘Much Ado,’ I now have a real sense of the troop I’m working with and the strictures and the opportunities. My little passion, sidebar project comes out May 1st, 2015.”

Whedon also commented on expanding the Marvel universe into TV with the upcoming ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

agents shield coulson joss whedon Joss Whedon on Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

According to Whedon, the purpose of the series and of its back-from-the-dead lead character Agent Phil Coulson is to show what the world looks like for everyone who doesn’t have super powers (or a collection of armored flying suits).

“There’s always the struggle between spectacle and a TV budget. What attracted me to ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ were the gadgets. But after the gadgets was humanity: The idea that there is an underside, a darker side, a more human context. Phil Coulson always represented the everyman, the schlemiel in the world of the fabulous or the mighty, gods and billionaires and legends. And that’s what the show is for, it’s for those people who, as remarkable as they may be, are not the supers, are not A-list.

“What are the rest of us worth when there are people that are so extraordinary? That’s a human story. We hired actors that I am so excited to welcome into our universe, and they’re extraordinary, and they’re going to bring so much to it. That’s what I’m giving people every week; those actors, their stories, and the stories that they encounter.”

As if that weren’t enough Marvel goodness, Whedon also took time to endorse James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and talk about his supervisory role on the film.

Gamora Guardians of the Galaxy Concept Art Joss Whedon on Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Saying that he “giggled like a schoolgirl” when he learned that Gunn was hired, Whedon talked about what made the cult-favorite director a great fit for the more offbeat project.

“I’ve talked to them about the story from the beginning, and the different drafts. One of the questions they asked me was ‘What do you think of James Gunn?’ And I giggled like a school girl because I was like, ‘Oh, this movie is going to work.’

“My only piece of advice has been: I want to hear more of James. Let’s pull out the formula. Give me more James. Make it weirder. The only way to achieve that ‘Star Wars’ vibe is not to chase it – is to try to be an original universe and have all the fun and do all the stuff. And James is… he’s perfect for that because even I said, ‘A raccoon?’ And James’s thing was, ‘Here’s the deal. It’s about the raccoon. This is why I love it: because of the raccoon and the tree.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s the guy you need.’ “

In an interview last year, Marvel’s Kevin Feige said that the company will continue to “take creative risks” with its Phase 2 series of films. Clearly, hiring James Gunn (and all of the fun weirdness that comes with him) is a part of that plan. Whether it will pay off remains to be seen, but it’s an admirable strategy regardless. As is keeping Whedon closely involved with all upcoming Marvel projects.

What do you think of Whedon’s comments on Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Let us know in the comments.


Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1st, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs this fall on ABC.

Source: Moviefone

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  1. This is the most intriguing cast in all of the MCU. The most risky, and I like it.

  2. GOTG is really needed in this comic book genre. Most of these films aren’t doing anything really different. I’m hope the general audience gives this a chance.

  3. I don’t see how people aren’t going to watch this… Unless you are living under a rock you probably already know that GUARDIANS is going to connect to AVENGERS 2 and will be a major part of the story. But I have also heard that alot of AVENGERS fans have still never bothered to watch Captain America: The First Avenger. That truly boggles my mind.

    • Alot of people dont watch connecting films causd they arent needed. I dont believe watching either cap or thor is essential to your avengers viewing experience. The avengers film tells you who everyone is, tells what the tesseract is, and gives you glimpses at each characters history

      • @ Trey

        So WB/DC don’t need to connect solo film franchises before or after Justice League?

        • No they don’t.

          If they explain the league, how it was formed (which would be the story of the first JL movie) and who’s in it.

          Origin stories aren’t necessary, do we care about “Speed Force” or Krypton or GL Corps or a poxy little Greecian Island.

          Well yes we do but is that info germane to a JL formation story, NO so you can stick that in solo films after peoples appetite has been wetted by the JL action.

          You want people coming out of a JL film going “How DOES the Flash run so quick, is he a mutant?” or “What’s with the Amazon” etc. and that builds the interest for the solo moives that may not necessarly work before a JL release.

          Now I may have seemed to contridict myself here but I haven’t, in relation to a JUSTICE LEAGUE moive there is no need to tie it to solo movies it could be it’s own stand alone event and be sucessful.

          However it makes sense to use JL as a spring board for introducing the individuals instead of the otherway round.

          • I agree. I wish DC would just roll out a JL movie similar to how The Watchmen movie came out. I knew nothing of watchmen, the comic or any back stories and still was able to follow the plot and have a good time.
            The same can be done with JL.

            • there is not a watchmen back story excluding the new graphic novels and slimmed down movie the watchmen was not the focus but the subtext

          • Eggxactly.. did the xmen needed to tell each of the characters origin story… no … hell even first class had magnetos history but not his origin.. just give us a good story interesting plot and jl movie can push forward

            • The difference with the X- en and Fantastic Four to the Avengers is that the former two were already introduced as teams. I don’t think that the problem isn’t so much creating a team dynamic as it is showing that each team member is a hero of their own story. And Avengers showed that. The spectacle there wasn’t a team of heroes being formed, it was heroes that we already knew being brought together in a single film.

          • @ Jonathan

            And if they come out with a Batman/Superman film before Justice League? Maybe not all this generation is familiar with the core members of the Justice League. They’re goin over Superman’s origin again when his origins are most known of.

            • @ Wally

              I get that but I think we’re confusing your original question about connecting the solo films with the ensamble film and general awareness of the heroes and their origins.

              The MCU connections are (apart from the heroes) SHEILD, the Tesseract and Loki and those are plot points that are explained during the Avengers and now the Avengers have been established according to the latest reports on SR the MCU is moving to stand alone stories with no interconnection.

              All those after credits scenes was simply to get us fanboys (and girls) all hyped beacuse Sam Jackson said he’s getting a team together, having The First Avenger in the title of CA also helped and that excitement is why Avengers was the smash it was…. 2 to 3 years of excitment and expectation.

              It wasn’t necessary to have watched CA:FA IM1 & 2 or Thor to get what was happening in the Avengers which was Trey’s point and again in response to you reply to that comment No WB/DC don’t need to connect any solo films before or after a JL movie.

              That’s not saying that having seen the solo films didn’t help and put you a step ahead but it wasn’t a prerequisite to understand what was happening.

              The same can be true with a Justice League movie, you have the reason for the team getting together, you have some conflict as they sort out their place within the team then you smack the crap out the badguys and finish with the Watchtower being put into orbit by Supes or a Queen/Wayne joint venture rocket (Green Arrow’s loaded, don’t see why Bruce keeps having to pick up the cheque)

              As in my original response the audience comes away asking about the other League members who as you yourself surmised might not be as well know by this current generation of film goers and therefore unable to support their own solo movies BEFORE being exposed in a Justice League extravaganza.

              But by generating the interest in these characters you can then promote their solo adventures and origins.

              This is the dicotomy with the core Justice League characters, with the exception of Bats and Supes the rest aren’t that well known in gerneral and wouldn’t be able to support a stand alone movie (GL anyone) BUT are too “big” to be reduced to cameos like Hawkeye and Black Widow were.

              Do Justice League first, get get audience ASKING about Flash’s speed, the GL corp and if enough ask then give them a solo movie, if not then keep them to the JL series.

              Plus it also depends on how much you need the dots joining up…. Flash is Hyper Fast and can pass through solid objects, how cool is that… do I need to know about Speed Force, No.

              We’re so used to knowing everything (Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, ScreenRant etc.) that we can’t seem to let go and enjoy the story for what it is, we want 10years of backstory and explination.

        • JL toon and JL Unlimited never played origin stories for every single character……

          • JL/JLU were animated shows that followed Batman:TAS,Superman:TAS & followed by Batman Beyond series aswell having connections to Static Shock. Not to mention few dvd feature films within that universe. Only a slight hint of their origins were explained in the universe except for Superman’s that was best shown in his series.

            Still doesn’t mean everyone is familiar with their origins as clear as Batman or Superman’s been on film already on film & television.

    • I’ve seen it but its partly because the idea of captin america being the leader wasn’t well received outside the us.
      As such, some people just don’t want to go near him with those i’ve spoken too.

      But i agree, its important to the universe dammit!

    • @ Eddie

      I never read Gaurdians Of The Galaxy nor know much about them but I will see the film cause I don’t wanna miss out anything in MCU. Im surprised not many people bothered to watch Captain America: The First Avenger. Beats the hell outta the 90’s film. Only film of the MCU I enjoyed to a lesser extent was Ironman 2 but didn’t think it was terrible as people make it out to be. TIH was better than Eric Bana’s Hulk film. I remember that film not having as many people at each showing I was at. My guess was because of Ang Lee’s Hulk film.

    • I liked Cap, I hope he plays a crucial role in Avengers 2 as far as being the leader. My opinion so far:

      1. Avengers
      2. Iron Man
      3. Captain America
      4. The rest of MCU


    • In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t seen Cap 1. Despite Hugo Weaving still working his mojo even under that ridiculously plastic-looking make-up, this movie was almost as painful to watch as Daredevil.

      Even though I fear that effin’ raccoon will make it as ridiculous as Cap 1 was, I will watch GOTG (though I probably won’t pay for it) because of its ties to the shared universe and I don’t wanna miss any bit of info.

  4. “Fun weirdness” sounds good to me. I just hope that they keep the stories in Avengers and GOTG simple for those of us who never read the comics.

  5. I may know nothing about guardians and may be skeptical for that reason, but ill never turn down what seema to be unlike any superhero film so far

  6. I wonder how much exactly will Joss change the first draft of his script… considering that Thor 2, Captain America 2 and Guardians aren’t out yet.

    • Joss Whedon’s hiring for Avengers 2 included overseeing the entirety of Phase 2 with Kevin Feige. I’m sure he’s known the intended plots of these films before they were even on paper. And I’d guess he wouldn’t put together a complete ‘first draft’ until the Guardian’s script was finalized. Joss Whedon is also known to continuously rewrite dialogue while on set during shooting.

  7. I praise Marvel for still continuing taking risks of making their films great. I always believed if you expect big things to happen, gotta take big risks. Too WB/DC don’t take a chance.

    • Agreed, there will always be an appetite for Superman and Batman, ALWAYS.

      Having them BOTH in a movie will be a bigger draw then the prospect of the Avengers so WB/DC could do JL easily as everyone would turn up just for Supes and Bats but hopefully get intrigued by WW, Flash, Martian Manhunter, GL or GA depending on how the want to compose the original lineup.

      That interest would then springboard the solo films and you’d have two competing but excellent universes to enjoy.

      Just having the balls to do JL and get a new Bats. I think we won’t see a JL movie till 2017/18.

      Well get MoS 2 and a Bats reboot first and then swing into JL and they’ll copy (unnecessarily) Marvel in laying foundations to JL in these two movies (maybe Martian Manhunter comes to both Bruce and Kal-El in post credit sequences).

  8. too bad

  9. Captain America was my favorite phase 1, except for iron man 1…and its not necessary to have solo lead in films. Cool but not necessary. Most people I know never saw cap or Thor, some incredible hulk too, but they all saw avengers and all enjoyed it.

  10. MCU Phase 2 is going to be ridiculously awesome. IM3 kicked it off with a bang and things just look better and better.

    The Dark World and Guardians are the movies I look forward to the most at the moment. I am of course hyped for The Winter Soldier and Avengers 2 too, but the fantasy-mythology side of Thor and the space fantasy/sci-fi set-up for Guardians is just closer to my heart.

    Of course I will watch all MCU movies that come out. They have not disappointed me so far. And Agents of SHIELD will be a blast to watch every week 😀

  11. Gotta love that Whedon Wisdom.

  12. Can we please just take a moment to acknowledge the sheer brilliance and balls it actually takes to lead this monolith of a company into the ‘taking creative risks’ direction. I could write an essay on it, but luckily for you, am not, but wow.

    • As Mathew said, Joss Whedon oversees phase 2 alongside Kevin Feige, so OF COURSE they’re taking creative risks. That’s what he’s kept on doing since Buffy. The guy has balls the size of the moon.

  13. I’m looking forward to the phase 2 marvel films, heck this is my childhood fantasy come true… but really, phase 2 has not started. Iron Man 3 didn’t initiate any new cross-film storylines. I hear they may use the extremis in Marvel’s Agents of Sheild but other than that… nada. Iron Man 3 did two things, it was an avengers epilogue and closed out the shellhead trilogy.

    I’m guessing Antman will be similar, it might not kickcharge phase 3 with a new storyline but rather deal with the fallout of Avengers 2.

  14. give us Star-Lord setphotos now! :)

  15. So basically I was re-watching Iron Man 3 when it got to this part of the movie and something hit me. I think I may have found an Easter egg that everyone seems to have missed. When Killian is talking to Pepper about Extremis he says that here is an empty ‘slot’ in human beings brains. He then says that our DNA is “destined to be upgraded’. Now I thought that it was a random piece of dialogue but then I realised why it sounded so familiar. In the comics The Inhumans where created millions of years ago by the Kree who experimented on primitive humans because the Celestials said that the humans have ‘genetic potential to become greater’ in other words ‘Destined to be Upgraded’. And what movie dose Kevin Feige want for Phase 3? You guessed it. Inhumans. What do you guys think? This could also explain how Quicksilver and Scarlet witch get thei powers.

    • Might be on to something.

    • Yep, I’ve been thinking the same thing.

    • I think it’s one of those things that won’t mean anything unless they make it mean something.

  16. Considering he praised Shane black for im3, thinks highly of shield casting that I wouldn’t hire to answer the phone, I don’t have the highest opinion of his opinions….the fact is by becoming the godfather of the whole marvel universe he pretty much has to fulfill the job of the White House spin doctors : find something good to say about the most weird ass decision

    • Iron Man 3 was a good movie deal with it. If it wasn’t it wouldn’t be the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. And you can’t say anything about the SHIELD cast since you haven’t seen them in action.

      • I don’t care how much money it made, it was a bad film. IMO

        • No, it was not. People don’t dislike it because it’s a bad movie, they dislike it because it strays from the source material quite a lot and they have a hard time accepting the changes.

      • I thought we have moved past the argument that just because a movie made a lot of money that means it was a good or great movie.
        Some of the best critically/general public reviewed films were flops and some of the worst critically/general public reviewed films made over a billion.
        1.Dredd. I’ve yet to meet someone who has seen it that doesn’t think it was good to even brilliant yet it bombed at the box-office
        2. Transformers 2. Universally panned by critics and the general public and it made close to a billion (it may have made more but I didn’t check).
        Heck even Avatar the #1 grossing film of all time is split down the middle with the general public.
        Yikes, I went on a bit of a rant there. 😉

        • @ Kevin 7

          Im glad I never saw Fern Gury as a kid. Otherwise I might not of liked Avatar as much as I do. Don’t get me wrong, I think Avatar was overhyped & still can’t believe it beat Titanic till this day.

        • Dredd = The Raid Redemption storyline with Judge Dredd in the storyline.

        • 1. Now you’ve met him. Karl Urban was absolutely not the man for the job. Also, I think Dredd is not a popular enough character among the general public. Comics readers love him but that’s about it. And people might have been driven away because of their memories of the appalling first movie.

          2. No matter what the adults think, the kids are gonna love Transformers, so they go see the movie and of course, their parents accompany them whether they like it or not. Hence box office sky-rocketing.

          Avatar didn’t get unanimous praise because of its rather poor script, yet it was a jawdropping new experience, so it’s no surprise it was so divisive. It’s hard for one to tell if he’s gonna like a film with such equally big pros and cons beforehand, but considering it marked the long-awaited comeback of one of the most liked directors along with the introduction of an intriguing brand new 3D technology, the way the audience rushed into theaters is perfectly understandable. I bet it wouldn’t gross near that much if it was released now that we are used to the tech.

    • Haha, nice post, Jiquvox.

    • @Jiquvox: Considering how lowly you think of Joss Whedon, I don’t have the highest opinion of your opinions. The fact is that besides being a great screenwriter who chisels awesome witty dialogue, he’s one of the most brilliant people out there when it comes to supervising a team of creators and bringing cohesion to the universe depicted.

  17. IM3 just irked me because they tore down Stark’s greatest foe. Outside of the Mandarin thing i actually quite liked the movie. I just wish they had paid more respect to who Mandarin is in Iron Man mythos.

    • Mandarin was a 3rd tier villain. Get over it.

  18. Here’s why I think the Mandarin twist worked. The reason the Mandarin twist was so ingenious is because they went physiological with it. I study psychology and I find the twist really intriguing. They took a racist character inspired by fear and stereotypes and turned him into a tragic irony of how we as human beings present threats. Ill elaborate. When Rhodey is looking for the Mandarin he searches only in Middle Eastern countries because due to terrorism people think that the threat is form that area. But if you think about it doesn’t seem logical. The Mandarin has an American accent, yet the government firmly believes that all terrorists are from Middle Eastern areas. Even Tony thought Jarvis was malfunctioning because he said The Mandarin was in Miami. The whole audience were buying this whole Middle Eastern terrorist shtick. Now imagine everyone’s surprise when they found out that The Mandarin was a British drug addict, and the real terrorist was a rich, wealthy, White American. You’d probably feel stupid and even a little bit embarrassed that you bought the whole stereotypical terrorist deal. Aldrich Killians plan was genius because as long as people where looking for the Mandarin he could operate in peace. To quote The Mandarin: ‘You know who I am. You don’t know where I am and you’ll never see me coming.’ This actually tells us the answer. Killian is a very famous and wealthy scientist being in charge of Aim and rebranding War Machine. Nobody knows where he is because they’re all looking in the wrong places. And you’ll never see him coming because he doesn’t exist. Killian played the whole world and nearly won.

    • @Flaminco
      Ive thought the same thing and this is why I love/hate IM3. Yet, I love it more than I hate it. lol :)

    • i agree 100% it was a great twist and remember marvel is making these
      movies for the masses not the fanboy only

      • Exactly!!!

    • Good points, well said. I still think IM3 was a very good movie. The Mandarin thing was overblown because people don’t like to be outsmarted. It was still a better than average movie overall and a fine addition to Marvel’s 3-Phase arc.

    • actually, they traced a broadcast signal to that area, and it was a trap, either for IP, or IM, and it worked. i don’t recall anyone saying “go look in the middle east cause thats where they hang…”

      • The President instructed IP to hunt down The Mandarin so off he went to the Middle East cause that’s where they hang…. apparently.

  19. Couldn’t have said it better than Flaminco did. You deserve a bottle of any drink of your choice.

  20. The Whedon factor, as I call it, is what is missing from WB/DC. Somebody that gets it, and knows what they are doing when it comes to CBM’s.

    Marvel, Whedon and Co. get it, that is why they are simply the best.

  21. Give the DC characters to guys like the brain trust at Marvel, and they would be just as popular, if not more so than the Marvel characters.

    WB/DC has nothing close to what Marvel has in terms of talent and brains, nothing. You can thank WB for that.

    • Nolan/Goyer/Snyder could become DC’s Whedon. Apparently they’re gonna stay on board for MOS2 and there are rumors that they could handle JL as well. With their more serious approach, they could be just what DC needs. But you can’t honestly compare Marvel Studios and WB/DC yet. DC is just starting what Marvel has been doing for the past five years.

  22. I think Thanos will be like a boss villain who doesn’t reveal himself until da grand finale cuz he’s da one whose going to make the avengers risk it all like “jeopardy”…Thanos is gonna bring hell on earth…and no body knows if Hulk’s “greatest smash hits” can even put a dent on him…I’m talking giving a eye for an eye…especially yours hawkeye….soldiers pushin up daisies lol (captain America)….secrets agents stepped on like “welcome mats” ( nick fury & black widow)….gods eatin dirt as if made weak in mortal…KOMBAT!….and finally a Tin-man blown back to da “wizard of oz” lmao (tony stark)…Thanos is in love with death…literally!…and for wat I kno he’s faithful lmfaooo

  23. I think Thanos will be like a boss villain who doesn’t reveal himself until da grand finale cuz he’s da one whose going to make the avengers risk it all like “jeopardy”…Thanos is gonna bring hell on earth…and no body knows if Hulk’s “greatest smash hits” can even put a dent on him…I’m talking giving a eye for an eye…especially yours hawkeye….soldiers pushin up daisies lol (captain America)….secrets agents stepped on like “welcome mats” ( nick fury & black widow)….gods eatin dirt as if made weak in mortal…KOMBAT!….and finally a Tin-man blown back to da “wizard of oz” lmao (tony stark)…Thanos is in love with death…literally!.and for wat I kno he’s faithful lmfaooo