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July 25 2010

SDCC10: Marvel Movie Panel. Joss And His Avengers Have Assembled. Joss and the cast of the Avengers take the stage to end the Thor/Captain America panel. Mark Ruffalo confirmed as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye. First video here, and Hitfix has a good photo of the cast all together. There's also a teaser site up showing the logo. And here's the complete video introducing the cast.

Man, I want to see that riffing Downey was doing.

In case ther is any lingering doubt about who is officially involved...
I changed the link to Hitfix which has a more detailed report.
Awesome! That it all.
"Downey Jr, goes to the microphone asks everyone to hold off stabbing everyone then asks..."

LOL

Totally insane day in Hall H. I hear someone was also "dragged out" of Ballroom 20. No stabbing there, though.
OMG I certainly hope that someone was taping this!
This is an unbelievably amazing day for us all.
Neat. Avengers is trending worldwide on Twitter.
OK, so Black Widow's definitely in it.

Also, Chris Hemsworth ? Not exactly a little bloke is he ? ;)

Nice moment. Is it 2012 yet ?
That's just extremely exciting.

I'm still bummed about Ed Norton, and I hope we'll get at least one more female Avenger. Johansson was just so boring in Iron Man 2. Everytime she was onscreen I'd flash back to Eliza Dushku saying she'd love to play the role, at least she would've given life to the character.

Other than those two quibbles... absolutely awesome.
Here is thevideo of the assembling via twitter.

ETA unfortunately it cuts off Joss at the end there. Boo. Going to go look for a better vid.

[ edited by eddy on 2010-07-25 04:34 ]
Thanks for posting that video.Loved it.
Thanks eddy, I've added the video to the post. Also the teaser site link, with the logo.
They really need to add at least another woman to this cast, as I remember discussing in another thread. Ms. Marvel or whatever she calls herself these days would be an interesting addition to this mix.
Ten years ago when Buffy was in the summer break before season 5 and Angel for season 2,I never would of imagine something like this.That all these superheroes could be brought together onscreen and Joss would be the one writing/directing it
Dude! Hemsworth is giant sized. Love it!
CBR has a bunch of great big photos.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=27445
I just made this my desktop background!
Buffyfantic:

I would have never imagined something like this in January. Who would have thought that Joss, while very talented and much loved, would have been tabbed as director and rewriter of The Avengers right off the heels of a "disappointing" series, in terms of ratings.
Is it too late to replace ScarJo?
Wow, I can't believe I missed this to watch Scott Pilgrim for the 2nd time. Joss completely ruled comicon all weekend.
JAYROCK, why? I found her to be one of the better parts of pretty good movie. It wasn't her fault the character was written as flat. I found her to be a credible action heroine. I have no doubts that Joss can liven up Natasha's character to be a strong, well-rounded character, and ScarJo is certainly a capable enough actress to project that.
I've never cared for her and she looks particularly dull to me in that photo surrounded by the rest of the cast.

I mean, the only big female in the movie is her?? Ugh...

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-07-25 05:48 ]
I just exploded all over Facebook. I had friends who were still doubters. HOW ABOUT THAT PHOTO, HUH? I love it!
jaxn you get to see Scott Pilgrim twice!? I'm fairly giddy at the prospect of getting to see it even once this coming Monday... But I want one of those 1-up buttons which I've heard of. Also one of those Wallace Wells "drunk and/or gay" ones...

As for the female's in the cast thing, I sort of hope/imagine there'd be more than one woman on the team. It's just ScarJo is the first to be introduced already in some context that the world already knows of film-wise. I more or less expect at the very least Wasp to turn up in some sort of context if there's an Ant Man. Plus I sort of wonder if Kat Dennings maybe might be set up for a recurring character even if Portman's character might not be around. (I have no idea who/what she is.)

Wow/yay to Whedon being introduced by Robert Downey though! It's sort of amazing/surprising that they would save the director as the big final player, especially since he already let it leak.
Here's another slightly better video of the introduction of the Avengers, only problem is that it ends with just part of the cast on stage, with Robert Downey saying that Avengers was going to be more ambitious of a movie than Inception.

I was looking for info elsewhere and then suddenly I realized... "oh, yeah, it's a Joss Whedon movie, there's likely to be links on Whedonesque", because while amazingly cool that Joss is writing and directing, it still seems strange.
High quality and complete video from Buffyfest of The Avengers being introduced.

http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2010/07/video-joss-whedon-announced-as-director.html

Can a mod add it to the header?

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-07-25 07:43 ]
I love Joss and I love 'The Avengers.' I hope this will be a good film, and that is a great group of assembled actors.

At the same time, it does sadden me a bit to look at that group and see only one female face. I'm well aware this may not be the final lineup, and I'd guess what we have here is much more the studio''s choice than Joss's. Still, so much I've loved about Joss's work has been about the heroines that I can't help feeling some disappointment in what this suggests about the direction of the film.
It's finally hit home that this is going to be epically epic. That's a huge line-up.
Wow, I'm a very sober, reserved geek. But I have to admit: coming home to this story, I can't deny the massive internal geekout that this is ACTUALLY HAPPENING!

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. Fricking squee.
There is awesomeness. And then there is this!
Downey. *swoon*
For me, it's been hard to imagine that this was actually going to happen. Until now.

When Robert Downey, Jr was introducing Joss, I seriously got chills. And a little teary-eyed. I've never been happier for someone I don't actually know.

Sorry in advance for the language, but this is f*cking awesome.
I know exactly how you guys are feeling: I never really thought this day would come. It's like, wow. WOW. That's our Joss Whedon up there (and I know he's not ours, but emotionally? HE'S OURS) being introduced by Robert Downey Jr. and he's going to be in charge of making one the big tentpole movies of the coming summer. It's a lot to take in.

also, that is really a sea of testosterone, isn't it? Don't know what Joss and co. are going to do to ameliorate that, but a few more female faces would be so welcome.
Another cool pic for your eyeballs.
Who's Joss playing again?
I think it's only just beginning to sink in what a big deal it is that Joss is helming this.
It will be interesting to see what Joss Whedon does with a mostly macho male cast.

As pointed out... Black Widow is the only "strong female character" in Whedon's next project.
I think it's only just beginning to sink in what a big deal it is that Joss is helming this.


Biggest comic book movie ever. No pressure or anything.
Looking forward to the "weak male characters".
Okay, watched the video, had a major geek-out and now I am like "Can it be 2012 now? Please?"

Of course, the old school (1970s) Avenger lover (I even collected the comic books till my stupid brother gave them away)in me keeps asking "Where is the Scarlet Witch?"
Playing a baddie maybe ? In continuity (after 'House of M') she doesn't really exist at the moment, right ? But I guess that doesn't need to be any sort of barrier since they're munging various continuities together anyway.

I more or less expect at the very least Wasp to turn up in some sort of context if there's an Ant Man.

There isn't though (an Ant-man I mean). Just to be clear, Ant-man is NOT in the Avengers movie.

I'm well aware this may not be the final lineup, and I'd guess what we have here is much more the studio''s choice than Joss's.

Y'know, i'm not sure about this. He seems to have a reasonable amount of control for such a huge movie and not everything he does has to be self-consciously meeting a quota for female representation. From the little I know about the Avengers roster over the years, that seems like a pretty great line-up team members wise, almost the pick of the crop (given the restrictions imposed by other studios' copyrights etc. - no Spider-man, no Wolverine etc.).

That said, there'll surely be an element of Marvel introducing characters with a view to giving them solo movies afterwards i'd imagine and the problem with the Avengers is, they don't really have a Wonder Woman sized female character in there (with respect to mainstream name recognition I mean) in the way the JLA does. How many people who saw "Iron man 2" even knew Scarlett Johansen was playing an existing Marvel hero for instance (especially since we don't hear her codename onscreen IIRC) ?
I'm, unsurprisingly, with Saje on this. Apart from Scarlett Witch - who doesn't have much name recognition outside of the already dedicated old school Avengers readership, there just aren't that many female Avengers to be had. And, y'know, that's fine.

Joss can do female empowerment just fine, but he also has a touch for great male characters. Angel, after all, was a great lead for a series and Wesley's character arc was probably the best in any ME-series, though one could argue not that much of that was done by Joss himself. And then there's Mal, who needs no introduction. Or Dr. Horrible.

Like Saje says, not everything Joss does has to be self-consciously meeting a quota for female representation. In other words: I have no trouble with this masculine line-up. I'd even say I hope there's no more additions to an already overloaded cast. It'll be hard enough already to fit everyone shown here into one coherent script.

As for the rest: I'm terribly excited about this movie. I was a little skeptic about the concept of putting all those superheroes into one giant movie (as many superhero movies which featured too many big characters, fell a bit flat in the past), but with Joss on writing and directing duties, my fears are much eased. Also, like others have said: that's our Joss there. I too, can't quite remember a time when I've been this proud of someone I don't even actually know. It's almost like when my national football team - which I have been supporting for ages - reached the world cup final for the first time during my lifetime this year even though, afterwards, they were gutted in over-the-top, unbalanced, pieces in (mostly) the British and American press, but that's beside the point here ;). I'm very happy with this.

Now please, dear Lord, let this movie turn out as great as everyone's hoping it'll be! :)
Wow. Just .... Wow!! I'm speechless with happy for Joss.

Thanks again to Buffyfest for intrepid vidding.
Also, like others have said: that's our Joss there. I too, can't quite remember a time when I've been this proud of someone I don't even actually know.


Like a certain Mrs. Reynolds would say, I swell to even be able to think that Joss is ours. Except, you know, without the subtext... ;)

As for female representation, I, too, am with Saje on this. Despite the fact that Joss' work is often underpinned by female empowerment - or arguably individual empowerment - I think it would take away some of the integrity of this particular universe if Joss were to accomodate for something that characterises his work. That's not to say that I object to a stronger representation of female superheroes/heroines, it's just a matter of catering to the story and what it needs, rather than what it should have.

[ edited by cardea on 2010-07-25 14:20 ]
Scarlet Witch can't be used (and neither can Quicksilver for that matter) because the rights to her reside with Fox and not Marvel. They are X-Men characters first and foremost, so they were sold with the X-Men property.
Ah, cheers for that. A speedster did seem to be the glaring omission, that explains why.

Looking more and more as if it'll just be Black Widow then. Don't mind that too much myself, in Joss' hands she's sure to have a more interesting role than she did in IM2.

... even though, afterwards, they were gutted in over-the-top, unbalanced, pieces in (mostly) the British and American press, but that's beside the point here ;).

The press coverage was over the top but Jesus, some of those tackles were just out and out assault, very ugly. And the worst part is, it seemed like a deliberate tactic rather than "just" a couple of frustrated players. Not Dutch football's finest hour IMO, marred a long deserved (and long overdue) appearance in the final.

Clearly they didn't listen to Simon ;).
Is anyone else completely underwhelmed by the whole thing? I just don't like superhero movies, and while I'm sure Joss will do a great job, it means he's going to be occupied for two years with a project that I just can't get excited about. Silver-lining, I'm hoping, is that it will do well and therefore he'll get the chance to do his own thing afterwards.
Not a big fan of Mark Ruffalo in general. Oy.

Scarlet Witch can't be used (and neither can Quicksilver for that matter) because the rights to her reside with Fox and not Marvel. They are X-Men characters first and foremost, so they were sold with the X-Men property.


NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! They were the Avengers I wanted to see the most! This sucks!!! >:<
All the good female Marvel character seem to be in the X-Men. :(

I'm actually excited about Joss having to go the more testosterone amplified route than he has in the past. Nice to mix things up a bit.

And this being a big summer blockbuster movie aimed at teenagers, then there has to be a happy ending right? Not the usual "the-world-sucks-then-you-die" gloominess that, (even though I love that about Joss's works) can get overbearing sometimes.
A few days ago I rewatched "Man on the Street" with the audio commentary and remember Joss talking about the fight scene and how he didn't direct it and how, he doesn't think very much of his own abilities in that regard, which is why he has the Solomons and the Grossmans stored in his cupboard.

Isn't "The Avengers" -- at least a version of it that will gross where Marvel needs it to -- going to need a lot of the David Solomon stuff?
I don't think so. I think they could have very easily gone a different route and made it all about the action and saving the world, but by recruiting Joss and getting him to write and direct gives it an entirely different feel. All of the characters have very interesting voices, so they needed someone to be able to bring that together and make it fun. There obviously will be a lot of action, but for some reason, I think we'll see more banter between them. Some of the comedy/action fight scenes could be hilarious.

I think Marvel like having some critical (and nerd) acclaim as well, and making Transformers 2 won't give them that.
Ah, check, that makes sense, Scarlett Witch being sold with the X-Men property. (Although this does make me wonder if there's a nice big folder of character definitions hiding somewhere in a lawyer's desk with every single Marvel universe character being defined as belonging to a certain property or not ;)).

I'll do the next thing in small, as a football discussion is pretty much off-topic here ;). I'd mail you my reply Saje, but then you don't have an e-mail address in your profile ;)). Maybe we should take it to the flickr group if we wish to discuss further? (I'm always up for a good football discussion ;)):


The press coverage was over the top but Jesus, some of those tackles were just out and out assault, very ugly. And the worst part is, it seemed like a deliberate tactic rather than "just" a couple of frustrated players. Not Dutch football's finest hour IMO, marred a long deserved (and long overdue) appearance in the final.


I wouldn't agree with the plural there, Saje. I agree that De Jong's tackle, rightly described as a karate kick, was completely out of bounds. It should have received red, but I hardly think it was deliberately done that bad (one has to be insane to kick someone like that deliberately, after all). If you rewatch the tackle, he's clearly looking at the ball and while he has lifted his leg irresponsibly, I hardly think he was thinking 'let's kick this guy in the chest now, that'll be good' ;).

The only other tackle I saw which was bad (but much less so than De Jong's kick), was a sliding tackle from behind by Van Bommel, which could have received red, because he didn't play the ball (Simon certainly would've been angry ;)), but that was hardly unlike anything I've seen happen in hundreds of competitive Champion's League matches or other competitive matches.

A lot of the myriad of yellow cards Holland received by the final whistle weren't even for tackling (and, for instance, Van Bronckhorst's card or Heitinga's two cards were very light touches, hardly deserving yellow at all - especially Van Bronckhorst who was one of the most sportsmanlike players on the field) and Spain caused some pretty big fouls as well - they escaped 2, arguably 3 red cards in the second half just like The Netherlands did in the first.

So after the final, I was left with the impression that the Dutch defensive and unattractive play (which was forced by a superior Spanish side) coupled with the one unlucky and incredibly horrible looking tackle by De Jong (which serves as an iconic and dramatic image featured in many a news article about this game), framed this final in the public's eye and, I think, in the eye of the ref, who had a truly horrible turn in what admittedly wasn't an easy match.

He should've sent of De Jong and Van Bommel in the first half, but was afraid to, and then overcompensated in the second half by seemingly ignoring Spanish fouls and whistling for every single bit of gas the Dutch passed, thereby allowing the emotions to rise and the game to completely derail. Much of the anger by Dutch players like Robben - who was fouled against in front of the goal in a much clearer way than the much less clear tackle which sent Heitinga off a few minutes later - or Matthijssen - who was complaining about the incredibly obvious not given corner kick which immediately preceded the Spanish goal - was understandable and even justified. Which I'd say the English press should be able to relate to, after the horrid turn they received by the referees in your game against Germany ;).

In the end, I think Spain deserved to win, because they were qualitively better, had the better play and the better players on that day. But Holland hardly deserved the trashing they received in the media. The unattractive play (in the sense that they weren't offensive or creative like this team can be and has been - this is the same team that won with huge margins against France and Italy and were then kicked out by Russia, because they didn't yet know how to play defense when forced to on an off-day in the previous Euro Cup) and one - or, arguably, two - bad fouls should not earn headlines like 'Dutch disgrace world cup' or 'Beasts 0 - Beauty 1'. Imho :).


Anyway, back to all the exciting Avengers news now :). Did I mention I'm looking forward to this movie? ;)
Oh well, at least ScarJo is in it. I'll get my "Scarlet" fix one way or another...
Except she's absolutely wrong for the role and was only cast for her pair of Scarlet's. She's not a superhero and does not kick ass.
flugufrelsarinn, you're definitely not the only one underwhelmed by this news/development and who doesn't enjoy superhero material (though Buffy and Angel are arguably superhero stories without the tights and especially given how inspired Joss and some of the other ME writers were by comics from their youth). Lots of folks on Whedonesque have said that they'd rather see him do original material, though most of those folks will also concede--as you have--that this could/probably will lead to more freedom in what else he gets to do from now on. I'm hoping for something like Christopher Nolan's movie career--give us a Batman, then your own idea, then maybe another superhero/sequel to keep your name in the game/keep the studios wanting you, then more original stuff--that sorta pattern, maybe, only with the odd TV mini-series, internet project, and comic book thrown in in Joss' case.

Best approach is probably wait-and-see. Only half of the properties/components that're coming together to result in The Avengers have been released so far (Iron Man x2 and The Incredible Hulk), Thor and Captain America have yet to see release. Thor's being directed by Kenneth Branagh, who's big into Shakespeare/has acted in and directed a number of stage and film versions of the bard's plays. Thor's a mythological god first, superhero second, and I have this feeling that Thor might be the oddball project among the Marvel films (might be more of a fantasy film, as opposed to the sci-fi actioners that every other superhero film is?). Give that one a shot, but if you don't like it and didn't enjoy the previous three Marvel Studios films, yeah, maybe Avengers won't be your thing.
Isn't Black Widow a villainess? Anyway, ScarJo's extremely talented and I've loved her in everything I've seen her in, so that piece of casting is good in my book.
P.S. I don't know what a pair of "scarlets" is. What are they?
I would imagine that it's a euphemism for breasts. Though I would like to think we haven't descended to the level of saying than an actress gets cast purely because of her body. As it is insulting and something I would like not to see happen here.
Well if Joss were in charge of casting, I'm positive he would have picked someone more suited for the role. That's all I'm saying.
Presumably it's a reference to her breasts. She did fine with the action in Iron Man 2 IMO and physically she's a pretty good match for Black Widow. Happy to see what she can do with a bit more to get her teeth into.

Maybe we should take it to the flickr group if we wish to discuss further? (I'm always up for a good football discussion ;)):

To be honest, it's done with now GVH so i'm not hugely into rehashing it (picked its bones clean in the couple of weeks since ;) though i'll just respond quickly. Well, ish ;).

1) that wasn't Van Bommel's first foul by a very long chalk (either in the game or tournament), he was lucky not to miss a match due to multiple yellows IMO.

2) De Jong's foul wasn't just dangerously high due to inattention it was late and actively negligent IMO - fair enough it very likely wasn't deliberate but every player has a responsibility to ensure he's not leading with his studs at or above rib height for a ball that someone is sure to be challenging for in the air, it's plainly dangerous.

3) To name two, Van Persie committed a couple of lighter fouls as did Sneijder but in general across the team the tactic to me seemed to be niggling fouls, little pushes, shirt-tugs etc. at the other side rather than try to create something, pretty negative all in all.

4) A lot of the Spanish fouls (and there were plenty of those too) had the feel of retaliation to me (which is also completely uncalled for BTW, let the officials handle that stuff and just get on with the game. Understandable though, to some extent).

5) That said, the referee was far from blameless (I can see why he didn't want to send De Jong off after half an hour because it would've basically killed the game but if he had it might've had a calming influence on everyone) missing obvious fouls on both sides, maybe a hand-ball etc. The Dutch substitutions were brave and positive too, all credit to the manager for that.

6) A lot of the vehemence of the press coverage felt tinged by general disappointment at the lacklustre final and was unduly harsh on the Netherlands IMO.

(anyhoo, I feel the long arm of the Mod descending so i'll leave it there ;)

Not into the whole comic book superhero thing? Just look at it this way - Joss Whedon is writing and directing a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster film starring the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. Think of the pastabilities...


Hmm... I must be hungry.
Scarlet Witch can't be used (and neither can Quicksilver for that matter) because the rights to her reside with Fox and not Marvel. They are X-Men characters first and foremost, so they were sold with the X-Men property.

I seriously doubt that. The way shared characters tend to work when licensing is that they can be used in either. Scarlet Witch could most likely (unless specifically stipulated) be used in either/both X-Men and Avengers, especially because she hasn't appeared in X-Men.

Two glaring absences from this roster though are Hank Pym and Wasp. I'd love to see what Joss could do with them. (Please dear god, not domestic abuse.) I'd also love Carol Danvers or She-Hulk (although the latter is perceived as an over-the-top rip-off character, Jen Walters is actually a fantastic character both in and out of Shulkie form.)
Think of the pastabilities...

Hmm... I must be hungry.


LOL!

Been wracking my brain for other female Avengers to have a slightly larger feminine presence (sorry folks, but I'd like a little more estrogen to temper all that testosterone) in the film and all I can come up with are the Wasp, who would be interesting to see, and Mantis, who I doubt anyone besides me even remembers.
The way shared characters tend to work when licensing is that they can be used in either.

Why would it work that way when the films are being made by entirely different (competing) companies ? Don't know much about it but that just seems strange, I mean what's the point in selling rights to a character at all if the seller can then just use them when they feel like it anyway ?

Clearly a deal could be made of course if they were desperate to have her in there and I realise rights often revert if the character/option/etc. isn't used within a certain time.

As to Ant-man, maybe they felt the character's abilities don't fit in with the tone of the movie. Personally I don't miss him, as I say, that's a great line-up of characters.
I've heard that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver belong to only Fox and the X-Men so many times but never seen any actual proof of it. I'm not saying it's not true but I don't have as much belief in it as most people seem to.
Well if Joss were in charge of casting, I'm positive he would have picked someone more suited for the role. That's all I'm saying.


We need to get off this kick. Big budget Hollywood means model casting. That's just the game. Would the real Tony Stark look like he just walked off the cover of GQ? Well, since I've never met a person who juggles running a business, inventing most of the time, playing the superhero, and getting drunk... I'm still going to guess he'd look a little more frazzled. That seems a lot more plausible. Why do we cast RDJ? Because women want to see him and men at the very least think he's "cool." There are a LOT of actors who get their jobs based on that extremely shallow criteria. I like Johnny Depp, but seriously...

I mean, I'd go see a superhero film with a bunch of average looking people, but I know it's NOT going to happen. And any time it does, it will be a comic spoof full of "misfit" heroes. Because ugly/average=misfit in LaLa land.

And I've got to agree, SJ fits the look of the comic Black Window pretty snuggly. The only complaint might be that in some comics, she looks less full figured and MORE like a model. But that's only if I'm being hyper-critical and shallow about it. My only complaint, no bouffant.

To me, there's only one superhero that really works as a model, and that's Superman. Mainly, because he's simply "gifted" as being superhuman in general. It's IN the character. Many of the "human" characters like Batman, Iron Man, etc., run into this logic trap of "because they are smart" they can do everything. See, an IQ over 150 gets you a 36 hour day, where you can spend 4 hours working out, 8 researching the latest technologies and inventing, 6 hours sleeping, and another 18 fighting crime. And Batman apparently has no muscle recovery time at all which is nice. Nevermind, I just didn't get into MENSA and I think I'm bitter. Stupid smart people. :)
Why would it work that way when the films are being made by entirely different (competing) companies ? Don't know much about it but that just seems strange, I mean what's the point in selling rights to a character at all if the seller can then just use them when they feel like it anyway?

Because Fox didn't license a list of characters for the film--they licensed the X-Men brand. Marvel didn't say, "here's a list of 150 characters that are exclusively yours." Because Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch have spent so much time on the Avengers, it would make sense that they were not specifically licensed to Fox as X-characters and thus could be used by either.

As to Ant-man, maybe they felt the character's abilities don't fit in with the tone of the movie. Personally I don't miss him, as I say, that's a great line-up of characters.

I completely disagree. Hank and Jan are the more human characters to Iron Man's playboy, Cap's time displacement, Thor's godliness, etc. Giant Man and Wasp are fairly normal people in a relationship, who are both very intelligent and provide an excellent and fairly necessary component to the team. I would be disappointed if they didn't have a role in the film.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-07-25 21:00 ]
I would be disappointed if they didn't have a role in the film.

Well prepare for disappointment cos as I say upthread, Ant-man isn't in it (according to Joss). And aside from possible "splash-page" cameos, my impression is the cast at the panel is the Avengers as they appear in this film, that that's the complete line-up (i.e. Wasp isn't in it either). Could change of course, the script isn't finished yet.

Because Fox didn't license a list of characters for the film--they licensed the X-Men brand. Marvel didn't say, "here's a list of 150 characters that are exclusively yours."

Is that actually known ? Because i'd have thought quite the opposite i.e. that their lawyers would've been very specific about which characters are included in the licence rather than just the nebulous "X-men brand" idea (as an extreme example, if Spider-man joined the X-men tomorrow would Fox then be able to use him ? Clearly not).

So when I read upthread that Fox owned Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver I just assumed that they appeared on a list somewhere of characters that are usable in any X-men productions by Fox. That may well not be true of course (as I say, I don't know much about who owns what and googling indicates it's not black and white, more of an assumption than an official fact).

I mean, I'd go see a superhero film with a bunch of average looking people, but I know it's NOT going to happen. And any time it does, it will be a comic spoof full of "misfit" heroes. Because ugly/average=misfit in LaLa land.

I never really get the "average looking" criticism for super-hero characters on film either because, basically, very few of them are average looking (it tends to be the more comedy oriented heroes that're kind of ordinary looking). You couldn't cast just an average looking guy with dark hair and a 'stache as Tony Stark because, y'know, look at the comic - he's written and drawn as being good looking. Same with Black Widow, Batman etc. etc. In comics, the heroes are almost all quite well built (or at least well proportioned) and have regular, symmetrical features (so at least not ugly). Is that right ? Course not, people that aren't strapping examples of humanity can be heroes too but it is how it is.

The proportions of male and female* characters in comics you can take a lot of issue with (absurdly thin waist, big breasts/very broad chests, muscles on their muscles' muscles etc.) but the translation to screen has to at least pay lip service to how the character looks on the page.



* (but mainly female)
I think there are more far beautiful women out there than ScarJo but as Simon says, it's insulting to discuss that here. I think she was perfect in movies like Ghost World and Lost in Translation but I do not think she kicks ass and don't believe her in these movies.
I find it odd that Scarlet Witch would be considered an X-Men character. She's Magneto's daughter, sure, and she started in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but after that she was almost exclusively in the Avengers. Although, honestly, I don't have an intense desire to see Scarlet Witch in the movie anyway, Brian Bendis totally ruined the character for me during "Avengers: Disassembled" and "House of M." Also, her power set can be so random and very deus ex machina.

I don't know if ScarJo was the perfect choice for Black Widow, I might've leaned towards Yvonne Strahovski or Stana Katic, but I thought she did a pretty good job in Iron Man 2. And I had issues with that film, but she wasn't one of them.

I would guess Hank Pym and the Wasp are absent because Marvel wants to establish those characters in the Ant-man movie and the Ant-man movie won't be coming out before the Avengers. Maybe they'll pop up in the Avengers 2.
Yeah, I bet that came up when Edgar Wright met up with Joss a while back (checking that neither of them were going to queer the other's pitch re: Ant-man).
Yeah, I bet that came up when Edgar Wright met up with Joss a while back (checking that neither of them were going to queer the other's pitch re: Ant-man).

They are making Ant-Man gay for the movies?
Personally I thought that Scarlet Johansson knocked Gwyneth Paltrow off the screen, and I found her action scenes toward the end of the movie convincing, so I'm confident that Joss will find a way to bring out her character, AND utilize all the sexy men too. I'm so excited that Joss is getting the opportunity to work with all these big stars and make this ensemble of super heroes into a really exciting team (which I felt that Fantastic 4, and the X-men movies really failed to do).

But is it weird that I'm still afraid that someone (some suit at the studio) will find a way to kill this sometime in pre-production (like 'Wonderwoman') or in post-production (like 'Cabin in the Woods')?
Not to me, i'm excited but I won't totally believe it until it's on the screen (or at least until they're well into filming). It'll never happen post-production though (not in the way it's happened to 'The Cabin in the Woods' anyway) - the film itself will cost so much money that it just won't ever make financial sense not to release it.

Other mishaps (Joss being replaced, cast members being replaced, script interference etc.) can happen at more or less any time until release though. That said, Joss has some juice at Marvel I think so I reckon of all the studios making this sort of film, they're least likely to interfere with him.
To me, there's only one superhero that really works as a model, and that's Superman.

Don't forget Wonder Woman - imo the only true authentic drop dead gorgeous superheroine.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-07-25 22:07 ]
What I understand (3rd hand) is that Fox licensed all mutant characters. Full stop. Not just the X-men. Not a list of characters. All mutants. So if Scarlett Witch is a mutant then she can't be in the Avengers without serious amounts of lawyers involved and money changing hands.

I fully expected to scoff at ScarJo in Iron Man 2 and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked her performance and her character. She has the acting chops (with a ridiculous amount of awards and award nominations to prove it) to pull off whatever Joss throws at her.
It's already such a crowded film, I don't think throwing in more characters that the majority of people have no previous conception of (as opposed to iconic characters like the Hulk, Capt. America, etc.) is really that great an idea. It's a huge ensemble cast, and even though I have faith in Joss, it's not going to be an easy job to make a great movie with all these characters & their disparate back stories. I would love more female characters in the mix, but it's already going to be hard to give all the major characters enough screen time AND meaningful things to do -- there are already so many of them!

I'm not scared that the rug's going to be pulled out from under Joss before filming... I am scared to death that the movie won't be a great movie. Let's face it, this is NOT going to be an easy movie to make. He has to work with a bunch of characters culled from other sources, thrown randomly together to fight evil, without a unifying motive, and do it in a way that serves everyone: fans, casual movie watchers. The bar is set so high in terms of expectations that failure is not an option.

Everything's been set in motion and all I can do now is hope the movie will turn out wonderfully: a satisfying superhero movie that makes you think a little, is a lot of fun, has some graceful and moving character moments, and a handful of "oh, cool!" moments... I want it not just to watch a great Avengers movie, but because I don't want two years of his creative effort to be wasted and damage done to his career.
I wish everyone would stop the ScarJo hate. I don't do that with Mark Ruffalo. I'm not exactly a fan of his but I wish him well and hope he knocks his part out of the ball park.

Maybe the film would have been better served with some drama on the set. There are plenty of examples of unhappy sets producing great movies. But who knows if Ed N would have been a problem? He's not the only actor with a rep as difficult to work with. Some in this line up have a rep as being even bigger pains in the ass.

I know a couple of Hollywood directors who are bigger than Joss. By that I mean taller of course. They told me that yeah so and so can be hard. But give them a great part, know what you want on the set and they are fine. Just sayin'.
Other mishaps (Joss being replaced, cast members being replaced, script interference etc.) can happen at more or less any time until release though. That said, Joss has some juice at Marvel I think so I reckon of all the studios making this sort of film, they're least likely to interfere with him.


Me too, basically :). We've seen mess-ups around major studio productions so often that the thought alone makes me worried. Then again, after this comic con presentation the chance of these things happening seem lessened by a huge bit, as anything happening after having the property established and launched like this, will be a huge PR disaster. Which still doesn't mean it won't happen, obviously. I'll be keeping my fingers mentally crossed for a while yet :).

And yeah, who knew that Marvel making their own movies is the best thing that ever happened to Joss' career? ;). After his wildly successful run on Astonishing X-Men, his input for Civil War and his obvious love for all things Marvel, they're bound to give him much more leeway than any other company would've. Having said that, with a movie and investment this huge, it won't be anything like a small creator owned movie. Which is more than fair enough, if you ask me.

What I understand (3rd hand) is that Fox licensed all mutant characters. Full stop. Not just the X-men.


Wow. If that's true, it's an incredibly good deal that Fox made there. A huge amount of characters in the Marvel universe are mutants of some kind. Not all of them - and none of the characters currently announced - but that's a truly enormously huge bit of the marvel universe Fox'd own there.

It's already such a crowded film, I don't think throwing in more characters that the majority of people have no previous conception of (as opposed to iconic characters like the Hulk, Capt. America, etc.) is really that great an idea.


I do agree with this to some extent. The movie is so crowded that it hardly needs more characters. But with Ant-Man and the Wasp, like marvelknight616 mentions, there would be a bit more human sized (heh) and 'normal' characters in there to ground and balance out all the iconic superheroes. Plus, a married couple is great for the group dynamic; just look at how Wash and ZoŽ influence the group dynamic on both Firefly and Serenity. But then again it's not needed for anything to work and while I'd have loved to see them (instead of, say, Hawkeye), I'm sure it'll work like a charm without 'em.

To be honest, it's done with now GVH so i'm not hugely into rehashing it


Fair enough, Saje. I'd only discussed the final with Dutch friends so far (and we're all bound to have a bit of a subjective view of that final ;)). I'll leave it at that you make some fair points and we very nearly agree apart from 1 or 2 minor niggles that are of small consequence :).

ETA that I'm a big fan of ScarJo. She's a very talented actress, imho. And she did a great job in Iron Man 2. I'm very excited Joss is working with her, to be honest. I'm a little surprised that some people seem to be implying people only hire her for her looks. To which I say: tsk :).

ETR my mispelling of ZoŽ ;)

[ edited by GVH on 2010-07-26 13:22 ]
as far as the Scarlet Johansson factor is concerned I can't say I'm a huge fan - based on what I've seen of her she seems to rely too much on the Dull Surprise acting technique for my liking - but I'm not inclined to carp too much or for too long about it, although I would feel better if she weren't the sole female primary cast member (Imo one more would round out things nicely.)
That gave me chills as well, the entire thing was just epic and to see Joss come out and join that powerhouse of stars and be the one they're all applauding was just spine tinglingly good. Seriously fucking thrilled for the man and love all those stars, especially all of them. I've been a fan of the Avengers for nearly two decades now and having not only a movie coming out but being done so by my favorite writer/director. Epic squee!
I would assume (but not know) that Fox don't have the rights to all mutants due to the fact that Marvel Studios are in the process of developing a Runaways movie. If Fox own the rights to all the mutants such a film couldn't feature Molly, which I seriously doubt would happen.

As to the Avengers, it's great news and I am really excited. I seriously doubt that anymore Avengers will be added to the cast as the film would simply become far too crowded.
Well, I'm late to the party, but can I just say that while I do understand the desire to see more women on screen get action roles (especially since we know Joss would do something interesting with them), I think y'all are missing the main point.

It's not numbers that makes a gender's presence in a story felt... It's the character. Does the character have independent opinions? Does the character get to make choices?--ones that actually effect the plot? Is the character's individual experience honored and truthfully explored?

I, for one, am salivating over the possibilities that Joss has to play with. A lone(ish) woman in a boy's/man's world is a fairly common experience in our society for women with (still) uncommon female jobs. The fact that we never see this facet explored in a action/superhero film, is the failing of those films and not the story possibilities.

What is wrong with a movie that explores the nature of a family of mostly guys? (Especially high testosterone, alpha type guys, as I assume most superheros would have that tendency.) --other than the fact that is so seldom done well, I mean. It's a (potentially) fascinating world that I see in my mind, as being somewhat akin to an all male spec ops unit. I find the story possibilities very exciting. There is a special kind of love and a special kind of family in that situation. And there is also a special type of relationship with the professional women they are involved with.

In this case, I think the story dynamics can be even more interesting due to: no real chain of command, extremely colorful personalities, a smidgen of divinity, various competing motivations, and some very blatant Achilles heels. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Joss does with writing a situation outside of his normal tendencies. I like it when my favorite creators step out of their comfort zone. I also like it when a creator's personal paradigms engage stale situations. I mean, what an opportunity! To be able to play with pre-established characters in a pre-established world and to explore their untapped depths... Joss gets to make fan fiction! He's in for a ton 'o fun.

If the Black Widow is written as a real person actually experiencing and responding to the world she is inhabiting, then I think we will get to see something exciting that I don't believe has existed on the big screen before. Token Woman Syndrome TM only occurs when the female character is just there to be a woman and her character: 1. either could have been written out completely without effecting the plot, 2. could just as easily have been a man, 3. is there to introduce some sort of sexual dimension to the story, or 4. is there to do simply do some damseling or be killed off as a motivation for the male hero(s). I don't expect any of these common annoyances to appear in a Joss film.

ETC: morning mush brain typing
ETC: morning mush brain typing...Again!
[ edited by BreathesStory on 2010-07-26 14:28 ]

[ edited by BreathesStory on 2010-07-26 15:01 ]
... as being somewhat akin to an all male spec ops unit. I find the story possibilities very exciting. There is a special kind of love and a special kind of family in that situation.

Well put. Too often the consensus seems to be that in portraying male groups (or predominantly male groups) the relationships are therefore necessarily shallow or less worthwhile or emotionally one note. Hopefully Joss can put the lie to that.

And seeing a single Mk 1 Human Female character that can hold her own and play a vital role in a team consisting of super-beings, enhanced humans and Gods is worth a hundred token women there solely to fill a quota or appeal to a particular demographic IMO.

(just finished a book called "Love My Rifle More Than You" which is the account of a woman soldier in the US army during the invasion of Iraq so women functioning in a traditionally male environment and the ideas, themes and possibilities - fictional and otherwise - arising from that tension are at the forefront of my mind at the moment. Not saying Joss is going down that avenue but if he does who better, right ?)
Well, I'm late to the party, but can I just say that while I do understand the desire to see more women on screen get action roles (especially since we know Joss would do something interesting with them), I think y'all are missing the main point.

Totally different point actually - I just don't like even numbers. We know for a fact that joss is particularly adept at dealing with large order group dynamics (particularly nine* - one more than the current Avengers line-up) and an additional female character just seems - to me - like it would round out things nicely.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Joss does with writing a situation outside of his normal tendencies. I like it when my favorite creators step out of their comfort zone.

Out of his comfort zone maybe, but this project has had Joss Whedon's name written all over it in sparkly, glow-in-the-dark ink from the start.


*Discounting Serenity and Summer Glau's feet which would bring it to eleven - another odd number.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-07-26 19:08 ]
RE: ... as being somewhat akin to an all male spec ops unit. I find the story possibilities very exciting. There is a special kind of love and a special kind of family in that situation.

Yeah, to me that is the closest equivalent paradigm to what The Avengers can be. I've seen it (a little) and heard about it (much more.) Absolute acceptance is how I would characterize the male spec op relationships. It was the true beauty of being a thoroughly human man, complete with big personalities, fist fights, loyalty, swearing, chivalry, disgusting crudeness, philosophical discussions, absolute professionalism, and "male" humor. (Disclaimer: variations abound amidst the various permutations.) One woman on the team is going to create some interesting situations--and no, I don't mean romantic ones.

RE: Numbers...huh, I didn't even count. I was all caught up in the excitement. Yeah, even numbers are bad. Very bad. Everyone knows that arrangements of objects are more dynamic with odd numbers. Of course... objects that you can pair up, sell better than odd numbered ones... Oh! And even numbers would let everyone divide up into nice "two-man" teams... Everyone could have a buddy! (The number one mantra uttered by exhausted, pushed-to-their-limits men on a mission, "I will not let my buddy down.")

And well, I figure we just got spoiled. Joss has been a go-to-guy for "strong female characters" for so long that we'll miss that (what with this being a two year commitment). Because unfortunately, there just aren't that many being written and therefore his creative absence leaves a big ol' hole. That's the real problem here; there are still very few other people doing it--especially creating characters that possess the richness he always manages to imbue them with. Damn it.
Brinderwalt said:
"an additional female character just seems - to me - like it would round out things nicely."

Maybe a nice adolescent girl with super powers?
I got so emotional when I saw that photo of all of them for the first time. This is HUGE for Joss. I feel like - forgive me for using a sports metaphor - my beloved older brother just got signed to a major league baseball team after years of being the best player in the minor league. I am so proud of him - and scared because there is a lot more at stake with this and a lot more pressure.
Exactly! - it's not like we've ever seen that before.

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