Considering all of the attention and speculation that's been bestowed upon Marvel Studios' The Avengers, it's sort of amusing to realize that the actors bringing life to these iconic characters have barely spent any time together.
There's still a lot of ground to cover before Marvel's ambitious onscreen team up, including the solo outings of Captain America and Thor. So even though we've all been buzzing about The Avengers since the end of the first Iron Man movie, it's important to remember how early into its actual development the film currently is.
Although Thor star Chris Hemsworth admits that the cast of The Avengers are little more than acquaintances at this point, he's still incredibly excited about the project. MTV caught up with him at the Sundance Film Festival, where he spoke briefly about the anticipation surrounding the film and Joss Whedon's script.
Hemsworth seems to realize what an important event The Avengers is for fans and teases that the draft of the screenplay he's seen makes for an impressive foundation to build the film on:
“I saw a very early draft and, yeah, it’s incredible ... Look, everything about the story in the comic books is huge. You have these huge, big superheroes and these huge, big egos kind of crammed into one small space. Reading the script, it was massive. I said to Joss [Whedon], ‘I don’t know how you’re going to shoot this thing, but I’m excited to be on board and let’s give it a go.’”
Rumors that The Avengers would be battling The Skrulls and The Kree in the film were recently debunked and although Hemsworth obviously didn't reveal the identity of the actual villain (or villains), he did admit that there will be great deal of tension between the team itself (with particular emphasis on the Thor/Hulk relationship):
"Plenty of friction, yeah. Hell of a lot of friction. You know in the comic books him and Hulk have their fair share of tangles..."
Hemsworth closes out the interview by saying he can neither confirm nor deny the recently rumored cameo appearance of an Avengers team member in Thor. I think we all know what that means... ;-)
While it's encouraging to hear The Avengers script being referred to as "massive" and "incredible", Hemsworth himself acknowledges that what he read was a very early draft. Even when Robert Downey Jr. was similarly complimentary of Whedon's screenplay back in November, he jokingly referred to the fact that it still had to undergo a series of rewrites.
And of course, the elephant in the room here is Marvel's notoriously tightfisted approach to their productions. It's easy for Whedon to write down anything he dreams up - whether or not he gets the money to actually shoot it is another matter entirely. Here's hoping that whatever elements the actors have responded to so positively are preserved in the final product.
Just the premise of The Avengers suggests something epic in scale, but more important than the spectacle is the interaction between the characters. Whedon previously promised that every major player will get their due, and his previous work indicates that he's quite adept at balancing ensembles.
I know he has his detractors and that many of you will disagree, but Whedon is actually one of the main reasons I'm optimistic about the film. For the moment, hearing that others are responding so positively to his script is helping me keep my skepticism at bay.
Thor hits theaters on May 6th, 2011. The Avengers is scheduled for May 4th, 2012.