The Avengers: Joss Whedon Talks About The Challenge Of Bringing It Together

Last month director Joss Whedon (Firefly, Serenity) revealed a few bits about his upcoming Marvel Studios superhero team-up film, The Avengers. Whedon said that while Scarlett Johannson‘s Black Widow will be the only female Avenger in the first film, there will be other female characters who are  important to the storyline. Which opens up speculation that Gwyneth Paltrow (Contagion) could reprise her role as Pepper Potts from the Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

Now, in an interview with SFX Magazine, Whedon spoke about the main difficulties in bringing this ensemble movie to the big screen.

“What I will struggle with, in the outline and throughout, is that I would like to put these actors in a room and just make Glengarry Glen Ross,” he laughs. “We’re talking about really exciting people and at the same time I have to keep the momentum of the thing going. I can’t let it turn into a lull fest. Knowing that I have enough time to do both of those things – that by the end of the movie you will feel ‘in’ with these guys – is the trick. It’s not an easy one but one that Marvel absolutely honors.”

“They don’t hire Mark Ruffalo [the new Hulk] to say one iconic line and strike a pose. They hire him because he has so much humanity in him. He’s the antithesis of the iconic actor. He’s so human. He was my first choice to play the part, and the fact he is playing the part is nuts! They went to great lengths to make that happen and they understood exactly why he was right for the part.”

Whedon then addressed the feeling by a lot of fans that the size and scope of The Avengers will prevent him from telling a story in his character driven style.

“There are definitely stipulations and restrictions, but Kevin Feige is very active as a producer and worked with me a lot on the story, but they are absolutely honouring the fact that this is my film. What I kind of think ultimately defines Marvel Studios was the first thing they did and that was cast Robert Downey Jr. They said, ‘What if we got great actors and let them have some time to be the people they’re supposed to be instead of going through the paces of hitting this mark and that mark?’ They don’t always 
get it right, but nobody does. But if 
you look at who they already had, and who they allowed me to add to the cast, they are thinking about the integrity of the characters. Obviously we have to get from point A to point B, and fans really want to see this – and ideas for set-pieces which I said are great. Now I’m going to make them matter and they are completely on board with the idea.”

Whedon also made the following statement which should give fans some hope.

“I’m feeling that everything that I have done before has prepared me for this, besides the fact that I’ve been reading The Avengers since I was 11.”

The film stars Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye).

The Avengers is slated to hit theaters on May 4th, 2012.

Jason Moore
Written by Jason Moore

is a member of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and the Founder/Editor In Chief of SciFi Mafia®