by Brett White
No matter what DC Comics or George Lucas & Friends have to say, 2015 belongs to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the sequel to the highest-grossing non-James Cameron film of all time. Writer/director Joss Whedon is back on board for the sequel, and as far as he’s concerned, it’s a chance for him to get things right for once.
Can someone just reassure Joss Whedon that “Avengers” was kind of the best superhero movie ever? Because dude was expressing some doubt about that in his most recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. Granted, this is just a matter of my own gushingly over-supportive opinion versus his, and he does make a few valid points regarding his own work.
“When I think of a great film, I think of something that’s either structured so perfectly like ’The Matrix’ or made so lovingly like ’The Godfather Part II,'” explained Whedon. “There was haphazardness in the way [’Avengers’] comes together—not just the people, but the scenes. I don’t think you’d look at it and go, ’This is a model of perfect structure.’ You’d go, ’This is working.’ I like it. I’m proud of it and I like its imperfections. The thing I cared most about—making a summer movie like the ones from my childhood—is the thing that I pulled off.”
Okay, so that actually doesn’t sound all that harsh. I do agree with him about what he pulled off, re: capturing the feeling of watching a blockbuster from our childhoods—even if our childhoods were a few decades apart. “Avengers” made me feel like a 10-year-old again, and even though I would have probably bought all those action figures anyway, my shopping sprees were filled with a bit more childlike wonder (and thankfully supported by a salary and not an allowance).
So while we may disagree about “Avengers'” structure (I, for one, love the film’s zippy first act, with each recruitment scene playing out like a perfect, quaint vignette, with each stacking on top of the previous like LEGOs building a metaphorical Stark Tower), I’m fully on board with Whedon wanting to top the first film—and it looks like the filmmaker knows exactly what to do.
“I want to be clearer about how I engage the audience, and where I take them,” said Whedon. “I want more control visually, more time to prep it. Not that I didn’t dictate every shot—I did. But there’s only so much you can do when you’re making a summer film when the ball is already rolling as fast as it was when I got in. Why do it again if you can’t do it better?”
When Whedon took on the first film, a number of action scenes were already underway—including Iron Man and Thor’s epic showdown. Whedon had to work backwards with those heavily-CG’ed scenes, figuring out ways to make those set pieces work into a larger narrative. Yeah, that’s definitely not the ideal way to make a film. But hopefully with the aforementioned lead time he has with this film, he’ll be able to include everything he wants too, and not everything he has to.
What do you want to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” do differently from its predecessor? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!