By all accounts, we're at least a year away from shooting any film, and there's plenty of casting and script decisions yet to be made. But these days, there is one person who can't yet afford to look that far ahead: Jon Favreau.
"No I have not read that script," the "Iron Man" franchise director said of the recently filed, top-secret "Avengers" script, which is the most desired read in Hollywood at the moment. "I have my hands full, if you haven't noticed."
Marvel maniacs are happily devouring news of Nick Fury and Captain America and Thor references, all in the new movie and all meant to tease the eventual assembly of the superhero supergroup. And while Favreau has overseen all those forward-thinking references, he hasn't had much time to focus on his executiv-producer title on the May 4, 2012, film.
"I had to finish writing this script before this movie was in theatres," Favreau grinned. "So there's a lot to do here."
As for newly appointed filmmaker Joss Whedon, Favreau said he stands behind Marvel's selection of the geek god. "I think it's a great choice," he said. "He's got a good sense of humor. He has a deep knowledge of the whole universe, which I think 'The Avengers' would require, because you're weaving a lot of different mythologies and story lines together."
As any comic book fan knows, the Avengers have always been not only about the powers of these characters teaming up, but also the odd dynamic in such disparate personalities attempting to work together. From cocky Tony Stark to nerdy Hank Pym to old-school Captain America, the group always saves the day — but sometimes seem on the verge of strangling each other.
"[Whedon] has a really fun sense of action, if you look at 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' and 'Buffy,' and I think his background in small movies will help," explained Favreau, who got his own start writing ("Swingers") and directing ("Made") some memorable indie flicks. "I think he can up the ante on his action quota. I think that will come with a bigger budget and good people around him and working with Marvel, as it did with me. But I think that [he has] an ear for dialogue and a good, fun story sense on how to reveal and unfold a story.
"I think he's great," Favreau said of his new collaborator Whedon. "I think he'll attract a great cast."
Referencing Whedon's love for badass female characters like Buffy, Willow and Echo from "Dollhouse," Favreau admitted that Joss' participation could also lead to another fan favorite character: Black Widow.
"Sure sure," he agreed. "Which one was it? It was 'Serenity.' 'Serenity' had that little ninja-Jedi girl."
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