Joss Whedon has been immersed in the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU), with writing and directing duties on Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron for years now. In an interview with Business Insider, Whedon has referred to it as, “the hardest work he’s ever done.” Adding that, “at some point, when it’s that hard, you just feel like you’ve lost.”
And it’s no wonder working on an Avengers movie might be exhausting. The MCU covers a lot of ground and is continuing to expand. Age of Ultron has the original heroes, of the superhuman variety, as well as those from the now-defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. It also has not one, but two new villains: Ultron, the robot made to protect the world who goes in another direction and Baron Strucker, a former Nazi officer and one of the leaders of Hydra. Then there’s the addition of three more superhuman characters with wavering alliances: Vision, the android; the magical Scarlet Witch and the speedy Quicksilver.
“Age of Ultron is an odd film in some ways,” said Joss. “We went to some strange places in this one, and making that work and making it flow and making it all feel like it’s part of the same movie was difficult.”
With all the various moving parts, there’s already more than enough pressure to keep it all working together, but Whedon had the additional weight he put on himself to make the second movie better than the first.
“When I watch [Avengers], I just see ‘flaw, flaw, flaw, compromise, laziness, mistake. The reason I set out to make another film is because I wanted to make one that was better, and I wanted to up my game as a shooter and work harder on every aspect of it and sort of give myself up to it in a way that’s hard for me, because I have a family. I started as a writer in low-budget TV, and there was always this element of, ‘This is good enough.’ And with this movie, I never wanted to say, ‘This is good enough.'”
The movie has been getting some early love at press screenings. If the heavy action of the trailers are any indication, its easy to see why. But if the patented Whedon humor, as seen in the clip below, is part of the balance then it should easily climb its way to the upper echelons of the box office.
— The Avengers (@Avengers) April 15, 2015
When The Avengers come back for their third and fourth movies, Infinity War Parts 1 and 2 respectively, they will be written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and helmed by Joe and Anthony Russo — the four men behind fan favorite Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
As for where Joss Whedon’s going next, right now, he’s not looking too far into the future. He told Popsugar, “I’m so excited to be alive in the present. Right now my future is: I can’t wait to see Ant-Man! I don’t have any plans beyond that.” But that said, Whedon doesn’t rule out any screenplay contribution in the future.
“I love this place and these guys, and I can’t imagine not sitting down and talking about the movies with them, but whether or not that’s an official thing, I don’t know.”
Check out Avengers: Age of Ultron when it hits theatres on May 1.
[Image by Albert E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment]