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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship."
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April 19 2011

(SPOILER) Another female character to appear in The Avengers? Hearsay contradicts prior hearsay?

I was one of the fans vaguely surprised that there was only going to be a token female superhero in Whedon's Avengers, but a lead actor from one of the solo hero movies suggests at least one of his female co-leads will be crossing into the franchise as well.

Previously I thought they had all but confirmed that none of the romantic leads would be crossing over but maybe things have changed.

Wow, never thought the appearance of Natalie Portman in an (or THE) Avengers movie would have me disappointed. I really thought this was going to be about the Wasp getting an appearance. That's what I want most of all as far as "another female character."
I just watched Black Swan, where Natalie was amazing, obviously. At this moment, I'd watch anything she's in. And I'm glad Joss will get the chance to work with her, if she is in it.
Btw if you think the actual working of the URL may contain spoilers, then feel free to shorten it. I've done that for you.
Wonder if all these Thor holdovers do anything to bolster the Loki-as-bad-guy rumors...
Natalie Portman is not gonna be in it, gossi? Oh, kinda sad about that now. Not a huge fan of Scarlet Johannson as Black Widow to be honest and would have preferred a more physical actress in the role. But let's just hope they don't retread the Iron Man 2 fight scene territory and maybe shoot more fighting and less pouting.
Also, gossi, how do you always know? I never know! This is kinda frightening.
Honestly, male or female I'd like to see fewer characters. I really can't stand movies where "names" pop on for two seconds to service some plot minutiae and then disappear. I'm just not a big fan of wasted story real estate really. Less is more.

Right now you have a bare minimum of five main characters plus their assorted helpers (at least 8 total). That doesn't even count the baddies who generally need some screen time to be any good. So you're already looking at a cast that's pushing the size of the original LoTR (not quite there, but getting there.) I'm sure Joss can do it, but I rarely find character sprawl a good thing.

The only exceptions tend to be movies that are already built as trilogies or are designed to be split up.
Well if we look at Serenity, aside from Book(spoiler alert) getting minimum screen time and eventually killed, Joss managed the characters just fine. Not so worried about that.
Yes, but I'm one of the few people on this board who actually was underwhelmed with that film. Although not one of the few people I know who was underwhelmed, just here amongst the faithful.
Actually that's a bit of an understatement. I thought it was fine, I just don't find it worthy of the buzz it gets. But I saw the movie before I saw the show. And it was in that context-less viewing that I found it lacking.

It's better in context, but my point about movie making is that unless you're making trilogies (or some series of movies), you can't assume your audience understands your full context. A movie needs to be a self contained dramatic unit. It can't borrow pathos from previous disparate source material like TV shows or in the Avengers case, six unrelated movies.

[ edited by azzers on 2011-04-20 05:24 ]
And that would be where I disagree. I firmly believe in the crossover potential of film and other mediums. I too watched Serenity before watching Firefly(it was cancelled before it even hit these shores I believe) and could not only follow it just fine, but also shed a tear or two(and that was just at how beautifully Summer Glau performed those fight scenes!). Knowing that there was a back story made me more determined to watch the show. There doesn't need to be an ocean between the source and the product. Anyone could watch Buffy without having seen the movie(okay not the best example) or even throw on an episode of Angel without watching Buffy and still understand the amazingness of I Will Remember You. A relationship is still a relationship with or without backstory.

With all those web stories that come out nowadays for films(like the Matrix and Saw) we're clearly seeing that films are no longer stand alones. Book adaptations and continuations and prequels and comic forms and spin offs. The Avengers is coming from a rich comic history, there's not feesable way for that to be a self contained unit, that nor any of the marvel films that we've seen. They've all been origin stories and this is probably gonna be the Avengers origin story. I assume it will work in the way that we're coming in in medias res of the characters stories, but not their relationships, that will be their origin as a unit.
Gossi is just shy of Omniscient I've come to find.

azzers, what six unrelated movies? All of Marvel Studios movies to date are supposed to tie together. They are also supposed to stand alone, even Iron Man 2 works alone. I agree the main cast is a bit large, and I normally see that as a bad sign, but if anyone can handle it it's Joss. And all of them have been previously established in other movies. Which is to say, Joss will still need to introduce them to theoretical new viewers, just as he did with Serenity.

In the first, what, 10 minutes of Serenity Joss had the plot laid out, the villain introduced and feared, and 7 "leads" introduced. 3 of those leads were fleshed out enough to understand and truly care about, the other 4 had enough characterization to be likable and have a basic understanding of them.

I'm all for the concern, but I have faith and hope you can too. I love Serenity but agree that it is overhyped by many. I find it hard to believe that after seeing the show and the movie you can't trust Joss to handle an ensemble cast :) (which is to say nothing of Buffy et al)

Then again, when your ensemble contains RDJ, SLJ, Chris E... some potentially very big egos to contend with!

ETA: OT - Love Natalie, hope Gossi's wrong! But in the end, as long as she's in movies in 2012, doesn't have to be The Avengers...

ETA: Not that I really think Joss should repeat himself, but I just had some Steadicam porn in my head of a 5 minute oner introducing the Avenegers in their HQ or something... Mmmmmm...

[ edited by bobw1o on 2011-04-20 02:47 ]
I think it's a little tough to compare Serenity's existence in a no-context vacuum for those who saw it before seeing Firefly with The Avengers...few if any people who go see The Avengers will not have seen most if not all of the movies building up to it. At a bare minimum they will have been overwhelmed with the marketing and general cultural imprint the series of films leading up to it have made on the popular consciousness since Iron Man came out.

I see both sides of the coin with Serenity; Joss did a pretty spectacular job of throwing new viewers into the storyline, but it's tough to expect every single new viewer to have gotten into the vibe with that opening sequence.

[ edited by MrArg on 2011-04-20 06:18 ]
As far as Portman goes, I could either see this being bunk or this being a deal where she's going to shoot 2 scenes, which could be squeezed into both the film and her busy schedule.
I love Portman but I think she'd be a distraction in the Avengers. So I hope Gossi's right. Joss will already have his work cut out for him managing all the characters without having to integrate the cast of all the individual films.

General question: How come Avengers posts don't generate more discussion? This movie is the biggest project of Joss's career but Whedonesquers seem much more interested in other topics. Just curious.
Probably because we have little to chew on at the moment. No trailer, no script reviews, no test screening reports etc.
I guess. But when news of the upcoming Dollhouse series first broke, I seem to recall much much longer threads, despite having a similar lack of stuff to chew on. I wonder if Whedonesquers prefer Joss in media other than movies? Or maybe they're less excited because Joss didn't create these characters?
Squishy, I think that's the issue, there's no real mystery as there was with things like Dollhouse. We really had no idea. Avengers has a huge back catalogue, it's like a pick and mix. Someone's pulling Joss's strings and I guess it's not the same as him pulling ours.
Yes, that sounds right. I think theres a perception that Joss is an important part of the Avengers but that the movie has an identity independent of his involvement. This is awesome for someone like me, who's a huge fan of both Joss AND the Avengers. But to others on these boards, perhaps it's less of a big deal.
Someone's pulling Joss's strings

He did have his strings pulled when he was doing his own shows - network, studio, actors, exec producers, agents, advertisers, fans etc.

The only two projects were he really has been his own man would be Dr Horrible and Buffy Season 8.
Squishy, with not knowing all that much about The Avengers (beyond the Marvel movies) and having never picked up an Avengers comic and also not wanting to be spoiled completely for every detail, I think I won't have much to say (I'm sure many are pleased :) ) about this project until after Thor and Captain America. Maybe not until the first Avengers teasers and trailers start sneaking out. I'm probably not alone in that position.
While I guess it would be a little distracting if everything played out in actual comic book format, where there'd need to be footnotes to explain what characters are up to or why they're not around when they reasonably should be, it would be cool in a slightly more limited capacity.

It just doesn't really seem reasonable necessarily that these stories would all take place in voids though. Like if Iron Man/Stark Industries plays a large role in facilitating the Avengers as he has at times, it seems to make perfect sense that as a consequence Gwyneth Paltrow's character ought to show up.

Likewise, it would be interesting to get some civilian perspective on some of these characters coming together. That or I just like those two actresses in particular-- And Liv Tyler wasn't that bad either-- so it would be cool to see any of them integrated. (I wonder if Hulk at any point will threaten Freddie Prinze Jr's life until talked down by Betty like in the Ultimates?)
Yeah, Ultimates was the best Avengers story I've ever read. By far. I hope the movie lives up to that precedent.
Almost every Marvel film has Stan Lee acting.
For all of about 2 seconds per film.

Just because Portman will be involved in the shooting, does not mean the movie will become "Jane Foster and the Avengers".

As for having a large cast of supporting characters, I don't think Joss will fall into the bad habits I see in other films. The interesting side characters should feel like they have a life outside of the central plot. The mistake other movies make is when they fell they have to *explain* that outside life of every secondary character, even when it takes time away from the central story.

Edit: At the bottom of the page, the "actor image gallery" shows Nathan Fillion. Shiny!

[ edited by OneTeV on 2011-04-21 15:50 ]

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