Marvel Studio’s Cinematic Universe architect Joss Whedon has, on a few previous occasions, been an active participant in the creative process on the non-Avengers installments released to date – like when he directed the post-credits scene in Thor or helped shape Captain America: The First Avenger so as to make sure it worked as a fitting prologue/lead-in to The Avengers – but otherwise, he tends to be more hands-off in his supervisory role, which shows in the final movie products.
Iron Man 3, for example, feels through and though like a Shane Black film (a good thing for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fans – less so for others, maybe); meanwhile, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to bear many of the markings of the previously-released (and decided not-mainstream) movie that’ve been written and directed by James Gunn (Slither and Super). Good news for Whedonites: this fall’s Thor: The Dark World will include a couple of scenes that have the Whedon storytelling touch, in addition to the Viking fantasy vibe imbued by director Alan Taylor.
Taylor spoke a while back with SFX Magazine, wherein he discussed (among other things) why he decided to bring a more “historical attitude” to the Nine Realms in The Dark World, following his experience serving as a director and co-executive producer on HBO’s popular TV fantasy series Game of Thrones. During the course of his interview, Taylor also revealed that Whedon ended up being called upon to bring his screenwriting expertise to the table for a few difficult-to-crack scenes (hat tip to Comic Book Movie):
“Joss came in to save our lives a couple of times. We had a major scene that was not working on the page at all in London, and he basically got airlifted in, like a SWAT team or something. He came down, rewrote the scene, and before he got back to his plane I sort of grabbed him and said, ‘And this scene and this scene?’ And he rewrote two other scenes that I thought had problems.
“Then finally we let go of him, he took off again, and we shot the scenes; and they were just much better and much lighter on their feet. Much more fun, much more surprising than what we had been trying to do. I can relate to guys who come out of the TV world, since that’s where I come from. And being able to land and work and solve a problem quickly… I really was grateful.”
Whedon, of course, has years of experience working in the TV medium (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse), so he’s surely used to knocking out good story material fast and efficiently like Taylor mentioned. Additionally, Whedon has more than his fair share of experience with fixing cinematic narrative problems – after he worked as a script doctor and/or contributing writer on films like Speed and the original Toy Story – in addition to having crafted imaginative screen story material for movies like Alien Resurrection and Titan A.E. (okay, before his contributions were by and large jettisoned later on in development).
That said: you probably don’t need much convincing to agree that having more story input from Whedon is a good thing, assuming you’re a fan of The Avengers. If nothing else, this shows that Taylor possesses a willing collaborative spirit when it come to the filmmaking process – boding well for his own addition to the MCU with The Dark World (and helping to explain how Taylor landed the job of rebooting the Terminator franchise even before the Thor sequel has debuted).
Alan Taylor is directing Thor: The Dark World from a script written by Christopher Yost, along with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger) and contributions by Joss Whedon. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
Thor: The Dark World opens in selected IMAX 3D theaters on October 30th, 2013, before it begins a general release a week later on November 8th.