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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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March 22 2013

Ryan Reynolds thinks Joss Whedon does superheroes "right". Talking to Empire, Reynolds says: ""I believe that Joss Whedon is the guy that just nails it."

It's a little strange to see Joss Whedon and Chris Nolan lumped together. Yes, they both make AWESOME superhero movies. But in the vein of comic book adaptation, we have to agree that Joss pays tribute to original material whereas Nolan creates his own. I don't read comics but from what I've heard, Nolan does NOT adapt Batman mythology so much as reinvent it.
I don't read comics but from what I've heard, Nolan does NOT adapt Batman mythology so much as reinvent it.

I'm going to assume that whomever you heard that from hasn't read very many of the comics either...
Well now that we know Joss has Ryan Reynolds' stamp of approval we can all breathe easy. :p
Wait, does that mean he want's Joss to do Deadpool? Because that would be my comic book wet dream (and I'm a girl).
WhatsAStevedore: I don't read comics but from what I've heard, Nolan does NOT adapt Batman mythology so much as reinvent it.


While Nolan does have his own take on things, his movies are very much adaptions of existing comic book storylines, to the point that particular scenes in Nolan's movies are direct copies of scenes from the comics. They are never direct adaptions, in that each movie tends to pull from multiple famous Batman comics. Example Batman Begins takes Batman: Year One and merges it pieces from The Man Who Falls, and The Long Halloween storyline. Also all of his Batman movies takes from The Dark Knight Returns. So Nolan definitely takes things and stirs the pot while adding his own to it. However, take away those key comics and I can't see Nolan's Batman movies existing on their own.

While Joss' Avengers while paying tribute to the material, to me it seems Joss has gone more out of his way in creating an original story with Avengers. Or at least I haven't read any Avengers comics that Joss had taken from nor have I heard of him taking anything.
I'd say there's a difference between story and world.

I'd say Nolan not so much reinvented as reinterpreted Batman. He transposed the Batman idea into a less heightened world, and aimed to make it as grounded in reality as possible. Story-wise, he did pull from a lot of existing Batman tales, but the way he put the world together was quite different from at least the DC universe I've seen in any comic. Tonally, I do think he kind of changed things up significantly. It plays not as much like a comic book as like a cop movie. The most blatantly heightened aspect of the Nolan Batman movies is Two-Face being able to pronounce all the consonants without a full set of lips, and the reason why that breaks the suspension of disbelief (for me, anyway) is because the movie hasn't suspended enough disbelief beforehand to get away with a dude who has half his face burned off and can still say B, F, M, P and V without using ventriloquism (using the tip of the tongue behind his teeth, instead of the lips, to make approximations of those sounds).

Joss's approach to the Avengers is kind of the opposite. Tonally, he's staying pretty close to what the Marvel universe feels like, while story-wise building something that's in large part new.
Or at least I haven't read any Avengers comics that Joss had taken from nor have I heard of him taking anything.

The scene that Banner tells the group about his suicide attempt, how he fired a gun into his mouth and then the Hulk spat the bullet back out, is lifted straight from a comic. I guess it wasn't really part of The Avengers, but it does show that Joss did take some things from the comics.

[ edited by Kaan on 2013-03-23 11:25 ]
A LOT of fingers were burned on GREEN LANTERN.
The most blatantly heightened aspect of the Nolan Batman movies is Two-Face being able to pronounce all the consonants without a full set of lips[…]

Not to mention how his vocal tract resonances would be all screwed up (making his vowels unintelligible) due to him not having a cheek (voice science rulez!) In fact I'm inclined to say that that right there is why the Dark Knight is my least favorite of the trilogy.

But I digress...
There was a lot I liked about Green Lantern - it reminded me of the comics I read as a kid. However, this isn't 1965...
Kaan- I'd heard that the Banner suicide thing was taken from deleted scenes that were supposed to be in The Incredible Hulk. (And Ed Norton was none too pleased at their removal, and how the studio also later backed out of an extended cut when it came to the DVD..)

However you are right in a sense. In that Incredible Hulk pretty much lifted them from the comics to begin with. So in a roundabout way Avengers did take that from the comic.

Though the most obvious thing that was probably based on the comics is that the original villain in Avengers #1 was Loki. And he did manipulate the Avengers into fighting the Hulk. Plus the alien invasion is also probably based on the first Ultimate series, which was a rebooted alternate universe origin of the team. Where it was a pretty big deal that the Hulk was used to turn the tide by being pretty much guided into fighting the aliens.
And it's a safe bet that Joss was aware of them, given that he wrote the foreword to the first Ultimates hardcover.

Actually I kind of really liked that it took the best of both worlds from the two differing origin tales and made a story that was more epic than both. Not to mention the fact that Joss's dialogue was far, FAR better written..
Jas, Joss said in an interview:
Bruce Banner’s confession of his suicide attempt was taken from a Hulk comic with artwork done by Richard Corben in which one issue had Banner committing suicide via a self-inflicted gun shot and the next issue’s splash page had the Hulk spitting the bullet out.

Joss mentioned how painful it was to wait a full month not knowing how Bruce Banner's suicide attempt would play out.
Cool. Guess Norton and co were taking it from the same comic then. Certainly Ed came across in interviews as really knowing his stuff as far as Hulk comics were concerned..
I think Mr. Reynold's experiences in the superhero-genre run such a counter-example to 'right' that ANYTHING ELSE seems like 'getting it.' TBH, Johnson and Branaugh got more than a little 'right.'
Joss had a lot of artistic success in The Avengers. it's only 15 mins shorter than The Dark Knight-but it feels like a 90-Min film. whereas TDK feels like a 4-hour epic. (i timed that Thor is in its denoument at the time The Chitauri attack, but Avengers never bogs down for all the characters/motivations/action.)
The advantage Joss had over Nolan is that, at this point, Batman is fighting its own MOVIE MYTHOLOGY. The 2nd Bane-4th or 5th Catwoman....there's a limit to re-creation. Nolan did truly brilliant work with fresh material...Ra's and scarecrow...but even Ledger's performance suffer when you look at Romero's and Nicholson's work. Romero has megalithic presence, Jack has presence, adding in the macabre actions. Heath did a great job, but it felt more like twisting the knife more than a new cut.

[ edited by BarryC on 2013-03-24 19:15 ]

[ edited by BarryC on 2013-03-24 23:07 ]

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