How do you successfully bring The Avengers, one of the most iconic comic book teams of all time, to the big screen? Only one man in Hollywood can answer that question right now, and it's Joss Whedon.
Whedon, one of the most vaunted geek directors in the film fanboy world, knew he was taking on a challenge when he agreed to write and direct The Avengers. With so many huge characters (not to mention the great actors playing them) and so much backstory to sort through, it seems like an almost impossible task for any writer to make the story work in a mere two hours. According to Robert Downey Jr., however, Whedon has done just that.
In an interview with MTV at the premiere of his new comedy Due Date, Downey Jr. said he had "just read" the Whedon script and that "it’s going to be fantastic.” A moment later, Downey Jr. joked that it would be even better once he was through with it, saying, "Once I tear his script to smithereens and fix it, we’re going to have a great movie."
Check out the video of the red carpet interview (complete with a camera- and scene-stealing Zack Galifianakis) to hear Downey Jr. talk about The Avengers script.
At Comic Con, Downey Jr. was all smiles when he introduced his Avengers cast members, and you can see his enthusiasm on display again here. Realistically, though, even if he thought the script was terrible, RDJ wouldn't call out the script in a public interview, so his comments don't necessarily mean that The Avengers script is ready to go.
This past spring, Screen Rant Senior Editor Kofi Outlaw asked if The Avengers was hurting Marvel's other movies by forcing them to follow a pre-established narrative. The reverse question also applies. Are Marvel's other movies too divergent in style or tone to give The Avengers a chance to tell a cohesive and enjoyable story?
There's a ton of pressure riding on both Thor and Captain America to make big dollars for Marvel - and to deliver good enough stories to set up a full-fledged Avengers movie. Both movies look great so far, but one has to wonder about their respective plots. Fanboys will flock to The Avengers no matter what, and most audiences will at least be interesting in seeing something of such epic spectacle, but there is a legitimate chance that the story will simply to be too convoluted to connect with audiences in the way that we all want.
I, for one, am hopeful that Whedon will be able to pull this off. As I mentioned at the top of the article, few Hollywood directors have earned as much street cred in the geek world as Whedon, so he'll get extra latitude among fanboys. Still, we're a fickle bunch and a few kind words from one of the stars of the movie isn't enough to stop fans from being suspicious - until we see the finished product.
The Avengers is set to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.