Although it premiered back in May, Marvel's' The Avengers continues to generate discussion, including some by writer/director Joss Whedon. At a recent screening of the film hosted by Jeff Goldsmith's Backstory Magazine, Whedon dropped a few interesting details about the superhero blockbuster, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here are a few highlights, courtesy of Collider:
- Known for his love of strong female leads, it should come as no surprise that Whedon heavily featured The Wasp in early drafts of the script.
- Marvel gave Whedon a list of elements that needed to be in the film, from the heroes and Loki as the villain to the Helicarrier attack and giant battle at the end. As a result, the script took two years to complete.
- Agent Coulson's death was presented by Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige as a necessary plot point, one that was encouraged by actor Clark Gregg early on in the process.
- The line from Bruce Banner about trying to shoot himself and the Hulk spitting the bullet out came from the Startling Stories: Banner miniseries by Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben.
- The writer/director also wanted to feature a second villain, but was overruled. This mysterious antagonist, whom the heroes could have "wailed on," might appear in a future movie.
- Whedon didn't directly comment on The Avengers 2, but he did say that, while he likes The Empire Strikes Back better, Star Wars is a better film because it has an actual ending while Empire is more of an episode. Presumably, that translates into a complete story for the Avengers sequel.
- In addition to talking about his writing process, Whedon also discussed the Buffy animated series. He said the writing staff completed seven scripts, but no networks would pick the series up because it didn't feature a male lead.
Whedon's next film, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing shot on the sly, will be out June 21. He also wrote a supernatural love story called In Your Eyes for Brian Hill to direct. Of course, he's also working on the S.H.I.E.L.D. television project for ABC and Avengers 2, which he reportedly turned a script in for earlier this month. The S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is expected to shoot in January while The Avengers 2 is slated for a May 1, 2015 release.