When Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron was about to release, anticipations and expectations were really high. When the film received lackluster reviews and fan reception was less-than-stellar, Whedon announced that he was exhausted with the film and handed off future Avengers to the Russo brothers. The film is not the worst Marvel film, but it is far from matching or surpassing the first Avengers.
Whedon did not have an easy time on the film. Besides his exhaustion, he was battling Marvel executives on the direction of the film. This week, at the Tribeca Film Festival, Whedon addressed his woes and loves of Age of Ultron. During an interview with EW, Whedon talked about his troubles with the film, his opinion, and how he felt about its reception:
“Ultron, I’m very proud of. There are things that did not meet my expectations of myself, and I was so beaten down by the process. Some of that was conflict with Marvel, which is inevitable, but a lot of that was about my own work. And I was also exhausted, and we went right away and did publicity, and I sort of created the narrative, wherein I’m not quite accomplished at it, and people just ran with that: ‘Well, it’s okay, it could be better, but it’s not Joss’s fault.’ And I think that did a disservice to the movie and to the studio and to myself, ultimately. It was not the right way to be, because I am very proud of it.
The things that are wrong frustrate me enormously, and I probably had more of those than I had on other movies I made. But I also got to make, for the second time, an absurdly personal movie where I got to talk about how I felt about humanity and what it means in very esoteric and bizarre ways for hundreds of millions of dollars. The fact that Marvel gave me that opportunity twice is so bonkers and so beautiful, and the fact that I come off of it feeling like a miserable failure is also bonkers, but not in a cute way. It becomes problematic.”
What ever was said behind closed doors at Marvel must have jaded Whedon, because he is adamant about never doing another Marvel film. He spoke about his next film, which appears to be an emotional film, because of how writing it affected him:
“I wrote all the way through to the end of the movie and was crying, in public. The restaurant closed. The valet guy came to me and then just turned around and went the other way. And I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself, but I had to take off my shirt and blow my nose into it because they had taken away all the napkins. I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t stop crying, and then I got in a car – luckily somebody else was driving – and kept crying for about 20 more minutes.”
Whedon is one of my favorite directors, his vision and dialog are hard to match. They have an elegance and a style that are truly their own. My first Whedon love was Firefly, and ever since then I have been hooked. Whatever this new project is, I will be standing in line with popcorn upon the films release.
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