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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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July 18 2014

Joss Whedon's honesty about the original Avengers script. "You need to pretend this draft never happened."

Maybe you could give a synopsis here because the site is trying to make me join so it can give my information to everyone in prison before it will let me see anything.

[ edited for tone by Caroline on 2014-07-19 06:28 ]
I believe this is the same article.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2014-07-19 05:34 ]
It's funny that the things I most disliked about the movie (the predictable good vs evil battle at the end, Loki as the only villain) were imposed on him.

I think the final script could've been more polished. I'm sure if they gave him more time, he'd get it exactly right.

Despite all that, "The Avengers" is still a very entertaining movie and I'm sure "Age of Ultron" will be even better.
Not really sure what you've got in a comic book movie that doesn't include good battling evil sometime near the end-ish, but it sure isn't the 92% rottentomatoes and third highest grossing film CV.
Go Joss. Good for you for seeing something that didn't work for you and standing up and knowing you could make it better.

That's not easy.

[ edited by hann23 on 2014-07-19 14:13 ]
Never in a million years would I prefer a Zac Penn script over Joss. Clearly the right choices were made here. That said, I find the public bashing a little unseemly. Joss has a propensity for bluntly airing some of the dirty laundry from time to time and it's not one of my favorite Whedon traits
I wonder what Marvel Studios would be today if they had filmed using the original script.
I'm not a fan of Zak Penn's work at all, but it's unusual to hear Joss be so undiplomatically negative toward somebody else's work. I know he was insulting the script and not the man, but I think Donald Sutherland is the only other person I've seen Joss trash so openly after crossing paths on a project.
The trash talk seems to be second-hand, but yeah.

I like more ambiguity in my comic-book movies, too. (Winter Soldier was solid in that regard, though the Hydra reveal weakened it a bit.) But if I know Joss, I have no real doubt that Ultron is going to make some cogent (though wrong) points in a big third-act fight-sequence speech.
I remember breathing a sigh of relief when I first read that quote, not long before I saw the movie. It was good to know that they's be a proper singular vision to the story, and not subject to the whole 'too many cooks spoil the broth' syndrome that I've seen in the scripts to a lot of other films.

Plus I wouldn't feel sorry for Zak. He got his name on one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, when he barely deserved any credit at all. Certainly would have been good for his c.v.
Well Joss did trash everyone involved on the Alien Ressurection project from the director to the set designers to the composer to even the people who did the lighting. (I'm pretty sure theres a quote like that somewhere.)
I can't believe Marvel allowed Penn anywhere near this project.
Yea Joss over the years has had choice words for people. It is noticeable that this the first time I've seen it in public regarding someone he wasn't working with. Then again, I'm not sure how he could phrase it politely if he junked the script either.
I wonder what its like for years to have your material misused and thrown away by directors to end up becoming the director who throws away someone else's script? I guess it happens to most writers in hollywood hence the multiple people credited on all the major blockbusters. You have to have thick skin to work in that business.
I think Zak Penn's got the right attitude towards it. For a director to say that it's not what he wants to do, especially a writer/director, is pretty reasonable.

Were these statements from Joss really even all that public? I got the impression that the original statement was what he said to Marvel, and it only came out because of the book documenting it. If that's right, then most of this is Joss responding when people ask him about the original statement. That's not the same as Joss giving a speech at Comicon and trashing another writer.
Yes, I didn't read this as Joss publicly trashing another artist. He gave a candid opinion during his meeting with Feige and had no reason to suspect that his comments would be made public. At least, that's how I read it.
These remarks don't come from the book, they are just resurrected by the book. For instance the "You need to pretend this draft never happened." quote comes from a 2012 article in Wired.
This reminds me of that saying:

Hold your enemies close 'cause your friends will screw you over as well.

Sure I messed that up, but, you'd the point.

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