Things have been pretty quiet from Joss Whedon since the release of “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” last spring. The reception to the film was less enthusiastic than the first installment, and the director also left Twitter shortly afterward (though he insists the shots he took at the expense of ‘Age Of Ultron’ had nothing to do with it). But last month, the filmmaker popped up at the Oxford Union to give an hour long talk and he hit a lot of big topics.
Foremost, Whedon discussed his exit from Marvel. He was tapped as the creative guru for Phase Two of the company’s stretch of comic book movies, and he explains what prompted him to move onto to other things.
“…I was their sort of consigliere for a while… We do not discuss our thing… [audience laughter] But, I sort of had my finger in all of the films in the second phase, but then I just had to concentrate only on ‘Ultron,’ and sort of know when it was done I was just going to stop,” he said. “So I made a completely clean break — not because we had a falling out — just because I was like, ‘I can’t…’ If I was still there going, ‘Well, here are my thoughts on this film,’ I’d be there every day. I wouldn’t do anything else because there are a lot of films, and it is a lot of fun. It’s very seductive. When you can put your little fairy dust on things and just improve them slightly, and they actually listen to you… I was a script doctor for a long time, and the part where they listen to you was very rare; so it was very important for my own self to go ‘we can still be friends,’ but…”
So, it looks like Whedon just wanted to make sure he had the space to pursue other projects. But make no mistake, Whedon put everything into “The Avengers” movies, with the director saying that ‘Ultron’ found him taking hundreds of millions of dollars, and trying to do something personal.
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“When people [were asking], ‘What little art movie are you secretly holding in your heart?’ when I was making ‘Ultron,’ I’m like, ‘Trust me when I say, when you see this, you’ll see, I was trying to make a little art movie.’ Which is actually, a pretty shitty thing to do to a studio that gives you a lot of money,” Whedon said.
The result was a movie that was not as beloved as the first for a variety of reasons, and Whedon is candid about how it affected him. ” ‘Ultron’ has been the most complicated response I’ve gotten, and the way I deal with it is becoming fetal for about eight months [audience laughter]. I fucking have no spine or self-identity or anything, and it’s horrifying. It sucks… But I’ll be okay… Later…” he said.
If you’re not quite ready to get back to work, give the whole conversation a listen below. [via Cosmic Book News]