With less than two months to go before its theatrical release, The Avengers is on just about everyone's mind around the movie blogosphere - and today, we have new interviews with writer-director Joss Whedon, co-star Cobie Smulders (S.H.I.EL.D. Agent Maria Hill) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) to show for it.
So, if you've been wondering about why Iron Man's armor chest plate varies between a triangle and circle in the film - or what Agent Hill's relationship with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is like in The Avengers - but aren't interested in learning by watching any more advanced footage, then read on.
In an interview with Empire, Whedon had the following to say about the changing geometric design of Iron Man's arc reactor protective plate in The Avengers:
"They [the Iron Man suits] will go through some wear and tear. Marvel said, 'We like to see the suits evolve,' and I said, "Great! Then you're going back to the circle because the triangle is ass'. I'm a classicist. The circle has meaning, the triangle does not."
Whedon generally has his tongue slightly (if not entirely) planted against his cheek during interviews, but he seems to be sincere enough here - and many dedicated comic book fans/purists will probably appreciate him all the more for taking that stance on Iron Man's chest plate.
Meanwhile, SFX conducted separate interviews with Smulders and Hiddleston, where the pair touched on the mindsets of their respective Avengers alter egos - and how they change either over the course of the movie, or (in the case of Hiddelston as Loki) from their previous appearance onscreen.
On the topic of how she approached the Maria Hill character, Smulders said:
"I said to Joss and Marvel,'How would you like this to be done and I will try to do that to the best of my abilities.' I wanted to bring out the things in her personality in the comic books that I liked, which was similar to what they had envisioned."
With regards to the dynamic between Smulders as Agent Hill and her immediate boss, Nick Fury:
"Maria Hill has an interesting relationship with Nick at the beginning. She really follows the rules and has a certain mentality when it comes to the way that she gets things done. I don't think she necessarily agrees with Fury so there's a lot of head-butting throughout the film as that relationship changes."
In the original comics, Hill ended up succeeding Fury as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and held that position throughout the majority of the Marvel Civil War mini-series. Given the heavy speculation (among many fans, at least) that Marvel may partially realize that famous storyline in cinematic form, it would make sense for The Avengers to lay the foundation for Hill's eventual rise in stature - which could connect to the change in the Hill-Fury dynamic that Smulders is referencing here (take that for what it's worth).
Moving on - Hiddleston also offered the following (well-worded) insight into Loki's frame of mind in the aftermath of the events in Thor (and at the beginning of The Avengers):
"There is a personal engine but it's behind a degree of megalomania. When you see Loki let go of that spear at the end of 'Thor', he lets go of Asgard, he lets go of Asgard and his need for that place and his attachment and need for the affection and respect of Odin and his brother. As he disappears in that wormhole, that's a literal way of saying, "I'm done. Asgard is gone and I have other things to do." At the beginning of 'The Avengers', you see the beginnings of what Loki is planning and if he doesn't belong in Asgard, where might he belong? In that tragic place of confusion of "Where do I belong in this universe?" Loki's answer is "I will make myself belong", which [is] dark and menacing and dangerous."
As for how Loki alone presents a formidable challenge for The Avengers, Hiddleston said:
"I think Loki is very flexible and adaptable to the present context. With each Avenger, he faces a different threat, a different strategy and methodology. Some pose more of a threat than others in his mind, but they all have their own unique superpowers. I say it's like tennis. You'll never play the same game of tennis with a new and different opponent. The magic happens in the space between you, not just with the characters but the actors too."
In the past, Hiddleston has also teased the idea of Loki clashing directly with people like Captain America and The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers - to say nothing of the second Avengers trailer, which also hinted at the trickster "god" messing with the already-volatile emotional dynamic between the titular team's members, via his (literal) mind games. Suffice it to say, a more flat-out evil Loki sounds like an excellent opponent for our heroes.
The Avengers will open in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on May 4th, 2012.