If you thought the New York-levelling finale of The Avengers was huge, Joss Whedon says you ain’t seen nothing yet, promising an even more epic climax in the forthcoming sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
”[Age of Ultron] got larger than the first film,” Whedon explains to Yahoo Movies.
“I didn’t mean for it to get larger, but the climax that I pitched was completely unhinged and nobody said no, so that’s that.”
We caught up with Whedon last May at the film’s lavish set in Shepperton, England, where the 50-year-old writer-director discussed how he planned to up the ante in the sequel to the most successful superhero film of all time. Here’s what we found out.
Love is in the air (maybe)
The first official poster for Age of Ultron, which was unveiled earlier this week, boasts more A-list stars than the presenter roster at the Oscars. It’s a hard enough task for the graphic designer to squeeze all the stars onto one poster, so making sure all the actors are properly serviced in the script sounds like a gargantuan task.
While Whedon didn’t tell us how each role would be pumped for Age of Ultron, he did hint that Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo’s characters — Black Widow and the Hulk, respectively — have “a great deal to do” in the new film. Even more intriguingly, Ruffalo indicated that a romance might on the cards for his character, saying Banner could be “finding love at some point.”
The first trailer indicates that said romance could be between Hulk and Widow, as the pair can be seen enjoying a tender moment during the Johannesburg-set Hulkbuster sequence. Could the pitter-patter of superhero feet be on the horizon?
Emotions will run high
“The biggest thing for me [in Avengers: Age of Ultron] is to go deeper with the characters,” the writer-director explained.
“There are new characters, there are more characters, but the troupe I have from the first movie is so amazing that I want to get in their heads. And this movie is letting me do that in a way I couldn’t in the first one.
“Now that people accept the reality where Thor, Iron Man and all these guys hang out, I can now bend that reality. I’ve got Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and they have very different ways of looking at the world, looking at The Avengers and different powers. So that, visually and emotionally, [allows us to] go to a place that we didn’t have access to the first time.”
It’s partly a “woman’s picture”
If Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller — and Ant-Man is a heist film — in what genre does Whedon think Age of Ultron belongs?
“To me, adventure film is the best way to put it,” he says. “Then science fiction, action, western, war, woman’s picture, horror movie … I’m not kidding; every single one of those things is in there.”
The finale will feature thousands of Ultrons
Whedon wouldn’t elaborate on what the finale will look like — or where it takes place in the Marvel world —but one thing’s clear: It’s likely to involve a huge battle between the Avengers and Ultron’s clone army, as hinted at in early concept art from the film.
“I knew before I made the first film that Ultron needed be in the second one, along with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as well,” the writer-director said. “The way I approach a story is that I find these moments by thinking, ‘You know what I need to see?’ And generally if they work, you go from there.”
“You know they’re going to fight Ultron,” Whedon said. “You know Ultron has a tendency to build hundreds of Ultrons. So that’s going to lead you in a certain direction, but the hard work of the thing is making sure everyone feels serviced and integrated. So, in the beginning it’s fun. You’re thinking, ‘What would be fun, what would be cool?’”
The ending will have repercussions
While the first film was all about building this world, it seems the sequel is set to tear it all back down again.
“The whole movie [Age of Ultron] is a process of changing everything and keeping everything the same,” Whedon said. “You want to hit all the things that made people love the first movie, but you also want to make something new. [Otherwise], why are you here?”
“I don’t want to make The Avengers again — I did that one time. With the ending, it was important for me that we felt a progression. We didn’t just feel, ‘Well, no problem, we cleaned that up!’, because that’s an episode of television. That’s not a film. [In] this film, there’s more at stake and we take that seriously.”
Whedon was “much more focused” second time around
The ambitious, globe-trotting production visited South Africa, South Korea and Italy before coming to Shepperton, indicating that Whedon has been given carte blanche to do everything in his powers to top 2012’s hugely successful first film.
This is some task, considering the first film took in more than $1.5 billion at the global box office. But despite the pressure on his shoulders, Whedon says he’s much more chilled-out this time around, mainly because people know what to expect from him on set.
“I’m having such a good time,” he said. “I think people are a little more relaxed. I had a great crew in the first one, but on this one, we all know what movie we’re making, in a way that nobody really knew when we started the first one.”
“There were a lot things that I couldn’t really focus on the first time because I just had to get the ‘whole’ into existence. Now I feel much better about this experience. I’m a happier person. It has a nothing to do with the Avengers, but it’s extremely convenient for everyone around me.”
Avengers: Age Of Ultron opens May 1.
Watch the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron below: