Though the plot of The Avengers remains shrouded in mystery, it’s a safe bet that it won’t focus on Nick Fury telling his employees that all but the team’s top two performers will be fired at the end of the film — but that doesn’t mean that director Joss Whedon isn’t thinking along those lines.
Speaking with SFX, Whedon declared that he won’t have trouble striking a balance between the quasi-realism of Iron Man, the godly world of Thor and the genetically enhanced Captain America when The Avengers rolls into production. Instead, the director’s weakness lies in one of the film’s biggest strengths: its all-star cast.
“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,” joked Whedon, referring to the classic David Mamet story about a group of realtors who are informed that all but two of them will be fired based on their work performance. “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 honours. 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.”
I have to say, it’s refreshing and somewhat relieving to hear Whedon basically admit that he’s in awe of the caliber of actors in The Avengers. There’s a lot of talent lined up for this superhero flick, and I know that if I was the director — which, thankfully, I am not — I would have a very tough time not letting the actors simply do their thing. That said, this is The Avengers, and there needs to be avenging. Whedon knows that a balance between acting and action must exist, and if he can push himself to satisfy both itches at the same time, Marvel fans should be in very good hands when The Avengers assemble in 2012.
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