The Avengers won’t arrive in theaters nationwide for a few weeks but director and screenwriter Joss Whedon is already talking about what’s not in it. The super-hero mash-up has been racking up plenty of praise and it seems as though, even though the film is the longest Marvel movie to date, audiences are likely going to want even more time with earth's heroes.
Details are slim on the super secret scene the cast recently filmed (which will be attached to the final version of the film) but, as mentioned, Whedon left plenty of other scenes on the cutting room floor.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Whedon described a scene he wrote for the movie involving Captain America that ultimately was edited out. In this case, the scene (as well as the subsequent analysis) could be considered a SPOILER for anyone who has yet to see Captain America: The First Avenger - so proceed with caution:
One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, Guys, we need to lose this. It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what’s happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that.
As many of our readers likely remember, Captain America promised his First Avenger love interest Peggy a date before the film's climactic finish - until the hero crash-landed in the Arctic, suspended in ice, until S.H.I.E.L.D. found his body and restored him in the present day. The scene Whedon describes might have been the date the pair never had (with Peggy now significantly aged).
That said, it's interesting to see that the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is already talking about what’s not in the movie, although anticipation for this blockbuster will likely not abate after news of this scene's removal. The removed encounter does, however, signal that The Avengers is going to focus more on the group dynamic than on any one specific character - even though it was previously reported that the film is presented from Captain America's perspective. Just because it's presented from his perspective doesn't mean he gets a disproportionate amount of screen time.
The point is further clarified in a separate New York Times article, where Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was quoted as saying that this is not a sequel to any of the other individual superhero films:
“This is ‘The Avengers 1.’ And everything needs to service this as the origin story for that team, and no one stands above any of the others.”
Whedon’s admission seems to confirm that possibly unnecessary subplots about the individual superheroes in The Avengers have been removed in order to make more time available for the team itself. Considering the large assembly of characters in this new project, it's good news that Whedon is keeping the project tight. Of course, he can always explore any individual character moments that had to be cut in the plot of the inevitable Avengers 2.
The Avengers opens in theaters on May 4th.
Follow John on Twitter @johnhanlon.