Whedon vs the machine

Joss WhedonIt seems that in directing Avengers Assemble (the official title of the new Avengers movie) Joss Whedon has finally found a studio that will allow him the scope to make a film as he has envisaged. “Marvel,” he tells Den of Geek, “really let me make my own film.”

“They said, ‘here are the things we need; here is the villain, we want this to happen; we need the conflict here; here’s the third act, it will involve the following’. Which I’m fine with. That’s great, give me the parameters… I know what their agenda is in terms of style, in terms of thrills and the adherence to the Marvel universe, with which I’m very familiar.”

The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse is best known as a television powerhouse and, to a lesser extent, a talented screenwriter (he was nominated for an Oscar for the Toy Story screenplay) and script doctor. Despite his numerous successes and massive fanbase, Whedon’s past experience with film studios has been nothing short of frustrating.Avengers Assemble

In the early 90s his original screenplay for Buffy the Vampire Slayer was entirely rewritten, removing the darker elements and creating a frothy, rather silly film. Whedon ultimately disowned the project and, in making the television series used his original script as backstory for Buffy’s character rather than the film.

Before Christopher Nolan’s commercial success with Batman Begins, lifelong comic fan Whedon had also pitched a Batman film to a major studio. “My heart was on the table,” he said. “I was so into it. And… it was like I was talking to a wall… I actually said to myself like, how much more indication do I need that the machine doesn’t care?” More fool that executive.

Avengers Assemble opens on 27 April.

About The Author

Katherine hails from South Africa, where she subsidised her uncompleted Masters in Film Studies by trying to persuade students there was more to film than the oeuvre of Steven Spielberg. Her portfolio of film criticism includes film column “The Maguffin” for iafrica.com (where the controversial “What Could a Nice Girl Like Me Have Against Forrest Gump?” caused quite a stir), a year as DVD Review editor for FHM and a lifetime of utter, unrelenting geekdom. Passionate about film in its many forms, she has a particular fondness for the Marx Brothers and David Cronenberg, and a DVD collection that takes up half her lounge.

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