Joss Whedon Chats About Updating the Characters in 'The Avengers'
Joss Whedon Assemble! We just got a rather kick ass tease of new character artwork in the form of two big banners for Marvel's The Avengers, now it's time to get an updated from Whedon. Yahoo's Movie Talk posted an interview with director Joss Whedon today, and it features quite a few quotes about Avengers, specifically, about crafting a few of the characters for the film, including how Iron Man/Tony Stark has progressed, updating Captain America, and how Nick Fury fits into everything too. It's a solid update and as always, I love hearing Whedon actually talk in depth about characters and what they mean. Read on!
We've heard updates from Whedon before on the ensemble superhero movie, and we've seen at least one full trailer, but there's still plenty more to talk about and a lot we don't know yet. One area he touches on that I'm glad to hear about is how much he's working with Mark Ruffalo to craft Bruce Banner into someone who is already the Hulk, and not just a fresh face. You can read the full interview (with more than Avengers) on Yahoo, though here's some of Whedon's best quotes about a few various characters from The Avengers.
On Iron Man/Tony Stark "I think the conversations were largely about 'Where is Tony now?' Like, 'Who is he now? Where is he [going] from Iron Man 2 towards Iron Man 3?' He is such a well-delineated character, so it was really a question of, 'What do we want to stress and what do we want to say? We have said that, we have done that, so let's not go there.' He felt a sort of isolated man who is—even though there is an element of that, just because that's sort of what any team movie is about. He didn't want to be the sort of just, 'I am totally wrapped up in one thing and I am not thinking about everybody else.' He didn't want to be the tortured lonely man, which I totally get. And it was easy to make him as delightful and gregarious as he can be and still go, well, there is a piece missing and it's the piece that makes him an Avenger."
On Captain America: "I love a straightforward character. I am the guy who loves Cyclops on the X-Men, because he is square. [Captain America] is a little square, and he is aware that he is a little square, and he is aware that the world is a beat ahead of him, or in his case, 70 beats. I think that's very disarming and very charming. I relate to that guy. I also don't know who the popular singers are right now, so he is actually really easy for me to write. There were some lines where [Chris] would be like, 'Okay, now I just sound like an idiot.' And in context, I was like, 'Yeah, actually, now that it's all laid out that is a bit much.' But he is very aware of his dignity, but at the same time understood why I wanted to find the humor in somebody who was so out of touch."
On Bruce Banner/Hulk: "Yeah, he and I did the most character work of anyone, because we really were starting fresh, but we were starting with something that had been embodied several times. And both of us agreed upfront that the template for who we wanted this guy to be in his life was Bill Bixby, the TV [show character] who was busy helping other people. That was more interesting to us than the Banner in the first two movies who was always fixated on curing himself. We spent a lot of time talking about what makes us Hulk out, the nature of anger, how it feels.
"We even fought some. I mean literally we actually got some pads out and did some tussling. Just to talk about the physicality, and also the physicality of somebody who has to control this thing, and the way he moves in space and the way he relates to the people and the objects around him. It was extremely fun. What we found was that he could be very bumbling and kind of awkward, but at the same time very graceful and in this almost transcendent control of himself."
On SHIELD's Nick Fury: "He is not going to be talking about his childhood, and you do want to keep a certain mystery. Also—and this is something that I was very pleased that Marvel actually mandated—they were very interested in keeping him, not just in the sort of a mystery of how the organization operates, but a real moral gray area where you really have to decide, 'is Nick Fury the most manipulative guy in the world? Is he a good guy? Is he completely Machiavellian or is it a bit of both?' And that was really fun to tweak."
"I felt that in the other movies, they had been cameos and he had been called upon to come in and be Sam Jackson and bluster a little bit. And I told Sam upfront that my big agenda was to see the weight on someone who is supposed to be in control of the most powerful beings on the planet. The weight on somebody who has to run the organization and the gravity of it. Not that we don't have any fun with Nick, but he definitely—it's, I feel like a much more textured performance and at times really moving."
Honestly, this all sounds pretty good, I just wish we could see more of it in the actual footage in the trailers. I'm glad to hear that Whedon is spending time on every character, as that's exactly what this movie needs, someone who can balance time between the ensemble cast of superhero heavyweights and numerous world famous actors. While they have finally finished shooting, Whedon still has a lot of work ahead of him as they into five more months of post production before their early May 4th release next summer. I still haven't been sold on the character balance in all the footage we've seen so far, but the way Whedon speaks makes it sound like it's definitely there. Let's hope that's true. We'll continue to keep you updated on The Avengers!