'Avengers' Star Scarlett Johansson Praises 'Fanboy' Joss Whedon

Actress tells MTV News she thinks director of next year's ensemble flick will 'protect the franchise.'

While we have yet to see anywhere near enough "Avengers" footage to get a sense of what direction Joss Whedon is taking the ensemble superhero flick, if leading lady Scarlett Johansson is to be believed, it will be unlike any of the previous Marvel films.

The cast of "The Avengers" assembled at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Saturday to unveil new scenes from the comic book movie, and after a panel presentation, MTV News caught up with Johansson and co-star Jeremy Renner. The actress explained how Whedon has set himself apart from the series' previous directors.

"Joss is a fanboy," Johansson said with a chuckle. "I think that Joss is going to protect the franchise by staying true to the characters' integrity."

The "Iron Man 2" star had only worked with Jon Favreau on that Marvel film, but that experience was enough to underscore for her that Whedon is taking a unique approach to "The Avengers."

"I think Jon Favreau is such a different director from Joss Whedon," Johansson added. "The flavor is different, their fingerprints are different; they just have a different way of storytelling — same with Ken Branagh."

"Avengers" castmembers have remained mostly mum about the movie's story line, talking primarily only about the tease revealed at the end of "Captain America: The First Avenger." But over the weekend at D23, two new scenes were revealed. Still, when asked about her favorite scene to shoot, Johansson said it was the big ensemble sequence seen in that first "Avengers" teaser.

"I do think one of my favorite moments is when we all assembled together. That was kind of amazing, when all of us were there," she said. "It's extremely surreal. It's strange."

"Thor" leading man Chris Hemsworth had the same pick as Johansson when we spoke to him at D23. "One of our first days was the whole assembly. That was pretty crazy," he said. "Not only meeting Robert Downey and Scarlett and whatever, but it was meeting Iron Man and Black Widow and the Hulk. It's exciting."

Check out everything we've got on "The Avengers."

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