Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ Vindication & Thoughts On What Comes Next

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 24th, 2013 at 2:49 pm,

Joss Whedon Talks Marvel Consultant Role Joss Whedons Avengers Vindication & Thoughts On What Comes Next

Fans of Joss Whedon knew his skill and talent long before The Avengers made the larger mainstream audience aware of it. Now Marvel has not only signed him on to write and direct The Avengers 2 – they appointed him to act as creator/executive producer of a new S.H.I.E.L.D TV series and oversee their films for the next three years.

Now that the storm has died down and the real work is to get underway, Whedon has an opportunity to look back on the long road of studio interference and doubt that led him to this point. Unsurprisingly, he felt more than a little affinity with a certain rage-fueled green monster he was given the chance to direct.

It’s only going to get harder to think back to a time when Joss Whedon was viewed as an unproven quantity, rather than a bankable storyteller and director. Yet those who followed the controversy and fan outcry surrounding Firefly, Dollhouse and the later seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer know just how hard Whedon and his crew had to fight to keep their shows under their control – failing more often than they succeeded.

But all these years later, when the mention of Firefly‘s fans is enough to bring creator and cast to tears, everything has changed. With the freedom to ‘dig even deeper’ with Avengers 2 and create his most heavily-funded and marketed TV show ever (accompanied by his faithful writing and producing partners), the only question is: does it feel like it was worth it?

Joss Whedon Discusses The Avengers Joss Whedons Avengers Vindication & Thoughts On What Comes Next

Upon naming Whedon one of their ‘Entertainers of the Year,’ EW asked him directly how the fan reaction and ensuing contracts and freedom feel. While the weight has been lifted, the director knows that now is the time when he risks going astray:

“I’ve had a wonderful career, and I’m grateful for it. But like every writer in Hollywood, there have been many times where I’ve said, ‘I swear to God, if you just let me do this the way I’m thinking of doing it, it’ll work out!’ and I’ve been thwarted.

“Once you get to this place where people will listen to you, give you the benefit of the doubt, and will get out of your way, all of the stuff you’ve learned to live with and tamped down, you don’t need to live with it anymore..and so the basement door opens … and you go down into there … and read from the diary that raises the dead (laughs). It’s a weird little counter-intuitive thing.”

All joking aside, it is a good sign for everyone involved that the sudden success and vindication isn’t going to Whedon’s head. Especially since it was his reluctance over signing on to The Avengers 2 that helped convince him that the story he had in mind is one that needs to be told. But surely, there has to be some sense of excitement or liberation now that he’s proven every naysayer wrong:

“For the most part, I’m psyched. But you have to be careful that self-righteous umbrage doesn’t determine how you act around people, or how you behave artistically…You don’t want to be the guy who’s like: ‘OF COURSE I’M RIGHT! I’VE ALWAYS BEEN RIGHT ALL ALONG!”  And then suddenly, you’re making your worst stuff, because you’ve lost that checks-and-balances thing you need to manage yourself.”

Joss Whedon Mark Ruffalo Avengers Joss Whedons Avengers Vindication & Thoughts On What Comes Next

In case anyone thinks that the endless struggles for creative control (and having established actors read his script word-for-word) didn’t test Whedon’s patience, he’s the first to admit that he’s not always in the mood to smile. As a political activist and ardent supporter of women’s rights, having the opportunity to write for a massive green monster who embodies anger was a surprising bonus. That kinship didn’t just let Whedon put a bit of himself into the film, but provided Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) with his signature line:

“What was most astonishing to me about making that movie was how personal it was…I literally had the I’m-always-angry revelation during production. I had this certain amount of back-burner simmer of rage that I was completely aware of, but apparently I wrote it for Bruce Banner, going (to myself): ‘I think this is what a guy like this might go through!’ Interesting! What guy, Joss? ‘I don’t know! Some guy. I can’t think of anyone in particular, or why this is coming to me…’ Really, Joss? Really?

Hopefully the days of bottled-up anger are long gone, now that Whedon has more than a few outlets to let millions of viewers see things his way. The Avengers 2, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the rest of Marvel’s Phase Two (to some extent) will keep the writer/director busy for the next three years. Beyond that: who knows?

The Avengers is now available on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. Good on you, Joss!

  2. Really excited for all this. I’m ready for the Shield TV series, ready for some Guardians of the Galaxy! Ready for some Ant Man and all the other goodies Marvel is throwing at us. Really psyched!

  3. Hu-hum, Joss…Serenity sequel.

    • Honestly (and I know I’m going to get roasted for this) as much as I LOVED Firefly, Serenity was meh to me. I felt like the characters weren’t the same characters I knew and loved, especially Mal. ‘Twas strange

      • Serenity was a hirrible ending to a great series.

        • Yure insane!!! You’re both insane!!! You didn’t like serenity!? Horrible ending!? I…I shouldn’t attempt to reason with you. Why practice logic with someone to whom logic’s completely foreign?

          • Serenity was brilliant through and through. But not for those who use laugh tracks to understand when humor has occurred.

          • They’re not the only people reading.

            • I loved Serenity. Like many (or perhaps all)fans of the show, I would have preferred more seasons, but I think Whedon found a way to take the characters where he would have eventually taken them on the small screen.

              I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but I remember that there were a couple of story lines that were not finished out from the series; that’s where my “criticism” would lay, but I acknowledge that there’s only so much you can do in one movie. There is a comic book series that continues the stories, I think, so it may be there that we find out about Shephard’s mysterious past, stuff like that.

      • Disagree with you. Loved both Firefly and Serenity, the latter particularly because we finally saw River Tam in action. At any rate, I figure a Serenity sequel would be a lot more likely to happen than the reinstitution of Firefly, although I’d petition for both.

        • Agreed. If the legendary 10 year anniversery panel was any indication of what the fandom is really like I’d say a Serenity sequel has a shot. The cast is more than willing to return. And Summer Glau is probably his favorite actress.

          Either way congats Joss. Saying the lime light has “been earned” is an understatement. It seems like it’s been an uphill battle for someone with genuine talent and I’m glad to see that the little guy can still end up on top.

      • Serenity was awesome!

        • +1
          Can’t say I liked so many characters dying at the end, but it was definitely functional in the sense that it gave viewers closure, yet also bringing a feeling of loss and sadness (which is, I’m guessing, what Whedon wanted to achieve).

          • One thing I’ve seen from Whedon as I’ve gone back and experienced Firefly, Buffy, and Angel for myself, is that he’s great at filling empty spaces. If he kills a character off, and the show goes on, someone else comes in who’s almost as good, maybe better, depending on who it is.

      • i found it kind of meh myself. lol

    • @Jeff

      LOL, yah, I was thinking the same thing, but too bad they killed off Wash… :’(

  4. It was a bold move to bring him in. Delighted it went well, is going well and I hope it continues to go well. He’s given us a lot of quality over the years and has been dumped on a quite severe number of times. In an industry where so many are elevated without earning it, he sure has. Restores the faith a little.

  5. Overrated

    • One word posts. Either someone can’t elaborate or is a troll.

  6. Never watched any of Joss stuff. Saw Avengers which was well done. Is his other shows good ? Firefly?

    • Firefly is pretty good. Only one season though. You can watch it on Net Flix.

      • I never really got into Firefly. The idea of taking your basic western characters, yanking out the western backdrop and sticking in an outer space backdrop just seemed kind of lazy to me.

        Buffy and Angel were good. Even managed to get pretty deep sometimes.

        Dollhouse just didn’t have a very interesting concept. The idea that the main character has no personality of her own and is a blank slate they imprint different ids onto doesn’t allow you to come to know and care about the character.

    • Buffy is Amazing! Some of the best writing, and likely the finest character development arcs in television history. Firefly is also just outstanding, should NEVER have been cancelled. I could have watched Mal and crew well into their (and my) 80s. Dollhouse was very good not as great as the other 2 but it was a brilliant premise and had good writing and acting. Angel was good but it is my least favorite, the writing in the middle->end of the show went places that were probably fine for most people but that I wasn’t a fan of.

    • Firefly is probably the single best thing to ever has happened even though it was for only 14 episode check it out it is most defiantly worth your time trust me when I saw what it was about I was like meh this doesn’t look good but I was in need of something to watch so I watched the first episode and I didn’t stop watching the show until the end of the 14th episode it is safe to say that I loved it and I would suggest it to anyone who loves both Scifi and Westerns

    • @al

      Firefly was fantastic. It was like Avengers in that it was an ensemble cast, which apparently Whedon does very well. The only thing I’ll have to warn you about Firefly is that it was cancelled half way through the season without them knowing it was coming, so it literally ends without resolving a whole lot of things. Although the movie Serenity kind of tries to tie up loose ends, but not really… So be ready to be VERY frustrated when you see the last episode, because it’s not at all a “last episode.”

  7. Can’t wait to see Black Panther in Avengers 2, Mr. Whedon.

  8. Joss is boss

  9. I would watch a movie about Chucky Cheese if Whedon wrote and directed it. I am awed by the brilliance of his ideas, his writing, and directing. I am only sad he will be too busy to head up the new Star Wars films. No one, and I mean no one does a better ensemble production than Whedon.

  10. Good. Sounds as though there’s little danger of his succumbing to George Lucas syndrome.

    • Heh. That should be listed in the medical dictionary under personality disorders.

  11. Marvel did something right by putting Joss behind the wheel.

  12. I can’t wait for Avengers 2 I literally just watched The Avengers like 15 minutes ago (seriously not kidding)

    • last in the world…. even my 77yr old dad has watched, LOL! what gives?

  13. Joss Whedon is a great writer but a pretty mediocre director, I hope he can step up his game for the avengers 2

    • What did you not like about his direction?

      • @ The Avenger
        I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to throw my 2 cents in here.
        While I don’t think Weedon is a “mediocre” director IMO you could tell that he’s more versed in TV than films. And my problems with The Avengers were small things like the aspect ratio and the staging of scenes…
        Having said that I realize that’s not really his fault. He’s only directed 2 features so I’m sure with experience he’ll improve…

        • I guess we’ll have to disagree about the aspect ratio (IMO I think the ratio he used was perfect for what the movie needed to accomplish visually), but I can agree that one or two of the scenes (especially that opening prologue scene) looked a little strange.

  14. “but provided Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) with his signature line:”

    What is his signature line ? Do u have to be a fan to know that ?

    • No. It was his “signature line” for the movie (which to my knowledge is the only time he’s ever said it) which was the part where he said “I’m always angry” right as he turned into the Hulk. Which was a scene most movie goers just ate up. Thus the now fame (infamy?) of the line.

      • Gambit,Thanks for the answer ! Was wondering about that !


  15. Wish I could read his take on Wonder Woman. I’m sure WB is kicking themselves now…

    • I agree on that one.

  16. Joss Whedon won my approval with The Avengers & looking forward to what he’ll have in store next,especially for The Avengers 2. Im also glad the film’s overall success didn’t go to his head.

  17. Yep he did a good job with the Avenger’s, and my excitement for their (Finally) being an antman movie is higher than my excitement for Ironman 3(hoping they finally give us some silver centurion or stealth, or hulkbuster armor), and anticipation for Guardians of the Galaxy, (not to mention Thor 2 and Cap 2 as well, come on bring in Baron Zemo! or Baron Von Strucker, they are lasting, but dangerous villians), but guess I will just have to see

    • Antman is the first movie that JOSS will not be in charge of! after the avengers 2 he is done with his contract!!! Hopefully it will not be seen in the Antman movie. His imprint will be on EVERY marvel movie the next 3 years!! BUT everything B4 the avengers was GOOD so they did it without him once they will do just fine after him….. I HOPE

  18. I feel like the only films that will do better in quality will be “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Ant-Man”, just because we haven’t really had the time to really understand who Captain America is and Ant-Man is someone completely new (even though he was written as part of the original team).

    “Iron Man 3″…meh. Personally, it seems to emphasize the whole element of facing defeat and then making a comeback, which has been done many times and it only works if you deliver it differently. We’ll see.

    I never really cared for Thor so im not looking forward to “Thor: The Dark World”. The only thing that could spark my interest would be after Avengers 2 with a possible foreshadowing of an even bigger threat like Galactus. I know hes known for being a FF villain but he has battled many other heroes. Or a joke reference in Thor 2 with Loki having the mask from “The Mask” lying around somewhere xD

  19. Rather than a Serenity sequel, I’d really be interested in a prequel/spinoff for Shepard Book. They handled his character very well in Serenity without explaining a single thing, but still,I’d like to see more from this character.

  20. How can you not be happy for Weedon?
    Just a couple of weeks ago I was watching a rerun of Rosanne and when I saw the credit “Written By Joss Weedon” I couldn’t help but laugh and think, look at how far he’s gone…
    I never really got into Buffy and Angel but I liked Firefly a lot (but not as much as most people) and I really liked Dollhouse so Joss has a pretty great track record compared to most writers before he started with Marvel IMO. But he killed with with The Avengers and even though it wasn’t the best “directed” superhero movie I’ve seen I’m sure he’ll be able to learn and grow and TA2 will be better for it…
    Oh, and let’s not forget The Cabin In The Woods is one of my favorites of this year. I’ve seen it 3 times and have read the script twice and still laugh my a** off…

    • sorry but I thought cabin in the woods was a bit goofy!!! i was not the worst movie i have ever seen, but it was not a great movie! THAT said i would watch it again

      • That’s understandable. More than a few people that I know who’ve seen it felt the same way.
        For me though, I grew up and still watch the horror movies it was taking jabs at so with each viewing I find more gems that make me laugh and I appreciate. It feels like Weedon and Goddard were saying we know this is a crazy mess but we want to reward you for watching a lot of bad and good horror movies for so long…

        • I loved “Cabin in the Woods” too. I haven’t even seen a whole lot of horror films, but if you understand the basic tropes that go into those sorts of movies, then you can appreciate what Whedon and Goddard were doing.

    • he also wrote/directed a couple of episodes of The Office

  21. You know, I think I’m gonna stop putting it off and watch Firefly…if Whedon’s half as good on a television screen as he is on a movie screen, then he’s got my vote. Avengers was magic.

    • Whedon is definitely better on television, and that’s coming from someone who enjoyed Serenity and Avengers. You can definitely see the influence of his earlier days (working solely on television) in Avengers. A lot of people use the term “television actor” or “television director” as an insult, but in this case, I mean it in an entirely complimentary type of way.

  22. I think Thanos should be too big of a threat in a GOTG movie. So maybe the Guardians could team up with. The Avengers

  23. Man, I don’t know what it is about Whedon that runs me the wrong way, I think it’s how his fans never criticize him or allow others to do so. I’ll say he’s a genius writer in the sense that his character dev is unparallel ed, but I think Joss is too much of a fan to be a Boss, yet. Example, Sam Jackson sucked in Avengers, I think because Whedon treated him like a fan rather than a director, and he allowed Jackson to just be there rather than pulling a great performance out of him. Scar Jo had a lot of little back story pieces that worked well to flesh out Widows character, yet this attention wasn’t brought, (on the same level) to say Hawkeye or Cap. Whedon’s great, but as a Marvel comics and Avengers fan, more so than say a Whedonverse fan, I was looking forward to an

  24. Avengers film since the first time I saw Tim Burtons Batman. so imo the feat was amazing but the movie itself was almost amazing, I mean come on, Joss in no way let Cap get his shine!

  25. maybe warner brothers will let him do a shazam novie or his wonder woman movie

  26. Even if I really don’t like “Captain America”, I watched The Avengers because Wheedon directed it. And, well, I’m not really into superheroes, but I have do admit TA is well done. Wheedon always gets the story and the characters right.

    I don’t care about anything else, someone just please give Wheedon the money to make a new season of Firefly!!!

  27. I liked the avengers, but i am waiting for a MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie. We need a serious HE-MAN movie and it needs to be epic, and NOT campy. I also want a THUNDERCATS movie. WHEN ARE THESE PROPERTIES GING TO GET THEIR RESPECTIVE MOVIES? Set them in the likes of LORD OF THE RINGS. I WANT THEM NOOOOOW!