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Marvel's The Avengers

The Avengers Up-Close: Joss Whedon

Up-close and personal with 'Marvel's The Avengers' Writer and Director Joss Whedon

By Zack Zeigler

Writer and director of “Marvel's The Avengers” Joss Whedon didn’t set out to make another “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” or “Thor.” While all of those Marvel Studios releases were successful and served as precursors to his film, he didn’t think “Marvel's The Avengers” could work unless it used a different formula to tell its story.

Director Joss Whedon behind the scenes of "Marvel's The Avengers"

“The Avengers can't feel like any of those [standalone] movies,” Whedon told Marvel.com during a visit to the set last June. "Those all have an easier throughline; they’re one person’s journey. [In ‘Marvel's The Avengers’] there are so many things that serve as a ripple effect on everything you do, but as long as it’s respectful to everybody’s perspective, everybody has a moment where they shine…and the story is compelling, people will want to come back to it."

While you can expect plenty of Hulk smashes, Mjolnir sightings, and impressive CGI action sequences, Whedon didn’t allow that to dominate the story. He made sure he blocked out enough time for the super heroes to establish on-screen relationships.

Director Joss Whedon and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) behind the scenes of "Marvel's The Avengers"

“My favorite moments are the scenes between two characters; where I get to pair two characters that you might not expect to see together, and you see them go at each other,” he said. “Whether they get along or not, there’s always friction."

On top of serving as the showrunner for popular character-driven TV shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse,” Whedon is also a hardcore comic book fan. He even contributed to the script for 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” to ensure character continuity for what he had planned in “Marvel's The Avengers."

Director Joss Whedon and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) behind the scenes of "Marvel's The Avengers"

"[Marvel] thought we could push the script in certain places, and I was like, ‘Sign me up!’” he said. “I spent a lot of time with the character, which, for me, really was important because Steve [Rogers] is…looking into this world with fresh eyes, and he’s not impressed. He’s sort of feeling disconnected, and that’s something that’ll be laced throughout the film. The film is about lonely people."

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers” -- the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013; and "Thor 2" on November 15, 2013.

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everyone loves to relate back to things they are familiar with.


A trend I believe will be successful for both Marvel and the actors and actresses they hire.


I like the fact The Avengers is connected to a series of movies.