It's been remarkable to follow Joss Whedon around on his press tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It would appear that he's feeling quite liberated now that Ultron is out and he's no longer involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a series of quotes that range from passive aggressive, to humorous, to borderline hostile, Whedon has been letting it be known that working with Marvel Studios wasn't always easy.
The latest little nugget comes from a podcast conducted by Empire. They sat with the director for 30 minutes and covered a number of topics, but the juiciest bit came when discussing additional characters that Whedon had wanted to incorporate into Age of Ultron. As I reported here a few weeks back, Whedon wanted Captain Marvel in the film- even shooting a sequence intended for a cameo by the character at the end of the film, which would later find Scarlet Witch taking that spot instead. Sounds like he wanted her in there even before the studio had decided that they were going to give the character her own film.
He also wanted...Spider-Man. Whedon seemingly felt that the kind of deal that was struck earlier this year could've been done while Ultron was in pre-production, and the timing just- frustratingly- didn't work out.
Here are his comments on this topic:
"So I would have put both of them [those characters] in, but neither of the deals were made. And then they were like, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie and we’ve got ‘Spider-Man’ as a property,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve already locked my film you fuckers! Thanks for nothing."
Please keep in mind that Whedon is a jokester, and the above quote should be taken lightly, despite the salty language. While there's definitely an undercurrent of "I'm free, at last!" in his interviews lately, I highly doubt he's as negative and ungrateful as some of these quotes imply. In fact, if you look at the timeline of things, it's unrealistic that Spidey could've ever been involved. All of Age of Ultron's pre-production was done between the releases of The Amazing Spider-Man's 1 & 2. So unless he thought he could work Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb's version of the hero into the MCU, there was no way Sony was going to be willing to let Marvel reboot the character before they saw how Amazing Spider-Man 2 was going to be received. That film came out two months after Ultron had begun filming.
So Whedon's remarks here are more that of an excitable, greedy fanboy. Not a disgruntled filmmaker.
Still, what do you think of the near-constant passive aggression in Whedon's interviews lately? Are we, the media, making too big a deal out of it? Do you think there's something to it? Is Whedon burning his bridges with these comments? Should everyone just lighten up? Discuss.