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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Out. For. A. Walk. Bitch."
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October 13 2014

Robert Downey Jr. to join 'Captain America 3'. RDJ's addition to the cast hints at a specific Marvel comics storyline being adapted for movie screens.

Spoilers: on line-wide ramifications for Marvel Cinematic Universe

Badass Digest reports Joss may not direct Avengers 3 and 4 with the Russo brothers possibly taking his place (this report contains Age of Ultron spoilers).


Marvel confirmed for winning everything.
Devin Faraci at Badass Digest has more on this including what sounds like news that Joss will be sitting out Avengers 3.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2014-10-14 03:15 ]
Faraci reliable?
He's usually pretty good.
Would be a shame. Not a surprise, but a shame. Would have loved a trilogy. On the other hand, one "Whedon full hands on" project every three, four years, does kinda suck, no matter how big. So... not gonna weep too much if true either.
I would consider him to be reliable. BAD is a great site and a wonderful community as well.
hmmm... well, i'm not opposed to joss doing something smaller... maybe coming back to agents of shield, or just doing something new... or old :D but we'll see how this plays out, cause i'm fine with it either way
Yeah Devin is pretty reliable. I read his twitter all the time and theres been hints for a while that Whedon was not returning for A3.

There was a rumor that James Gunn would direct A3 but he shot it down.
Ugh...didn't realize the SPOILERS tag was big Age of Ulton spoilers. Can we adjust that title to specify? I was NOT looking to have the end of that movie ruined for me like the article seems to have done :(
Is this confirmed?
Fortunately, I did not read that far down. Even though I have to write about this stuff, I don't want to know the ends of movies. Or middles. Or even beginnings.

Pictures are OK. Blurry ones.
I didn't see any Ultron spoilers in there? What did I miss?
Makes sense. Last August Joss told Entertainment Weekly in a massive ten-part interview that after he finished Age of Ultron he wanted to join Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a staff writer while working on smaller, original projects. He emphasized the fact that he wanted to focus on "creating new content" and not helm another studio owned tent-pole project. A Boba Fett spin-off movie was used as an example.

Here are the two key pages of Joss' August 2013 Entertainment Weekly interview.
Note: "Entertainment" takes you to page 6 of 10, while "Weekly" takes you to page 8.

If true, this also makes sense given his past. He doesn't like to repeat himself. After having success with the first five seasons of Buffy, Joss hasn't been a showrunner since. He's produced shows for his fellow Mutant Enemy writers and worked on them in various capacities (Tim Minear's co-exec on Firefly, staff writer on Seasons 2-5 of Angel and executive producer/guest writer on the first seasons of Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Buffy: Seasons 6-7 and Dollhouse), but he hasn't been a showrunner since 2001.

Then after having success with Astonishing X-Men he hasn't written a comic book since. Well, except for 14 out of 40 issues of Season Eight. And six issues of Runaways, but that was as a favor to Brian K. Vaughan. Now that he's had success with The Avengers, which he said set-up a darker and more personal Age of Ultron, I don't see him helming say a Star Wars movie. He might make an original blockbuster someday like Christopher Nolan did with Inception and Interstellar, but he seems done with studio franchises.

As long as Joss is happy, I'm happy. Whatever he wants to work on is cool with me.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2014-10-14 05:06 ]
So we've got vouchers for Devin Faraci of Badass Digest's reliability, but not for the leading article?

In regards to the Civil War bit, it looks to me to be the Civil War popular rumor, which has been going on forever based on the storyline's immense popularity (but doesn't make sense to me for the MCU, personally), coupled with Marvel comics recently announcing a return of their Civil War title in 2015 (which Variety mentioned). But I don't think the return of the title necessarily means it's what's going to happen in the movies. IGN speculates that the return of the Civil War title may have to do more with the revival of the Secret Wars title also for 2015. (Interestingly, MoviePilot puts forth the idea that Secret Wars is the future of MCU, not Civil War.)

I'm probably not helpful here, but that's what I came across looking for an explanation from google.

[ edited by TenTonParasol on 2014-10-14 04:56 ]
The Badass digest post seems to be spoiler-y. But then again he cites his "facts" based on anonymous sources and then speculates on those "facts" in the post.

[ edited by Tausif on 2014-10-14 04:55 ]
I thought marvel Announced officially CA3 was going to do the Civil War storyline at NYCC, but the signal to noise ration on marvel news on the internet is pretty awful this week. So I dunno. Not a fan of that storyline myself. Seems too early.
OK, fanboy theorizing/hopes based on all of the above: Civil War happens over Cap 3/Avengers 3 under the steady hands of the Russo brothers, Joss decompresses with some Bellweather projects and some AOS writing, MCU is a mess after said war but they all have to come together to battle Thanos in Avengers 4 and our man triumphantly rides in to write and direct after taking deep breath but staying close to the franchise (maybe Gunn helms Joss' script?). Only time and the reality of scheduling and interest will tell, but I'd be more than OK with it going down something like that. I'm at a point where I can't see how they do this right without the Whedon touch but I sure would like to see him back in somewhat of an indie element. Maybe this strikes the balance.
I'd be more than OK with Joss doing his own original stuff for a while.
I don't really see how Civil War applies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The government already knows everyone's identities and recruits them whenever they want.
I just had a thought about how the Civil War arc might tie into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In this season's sixth episode . Not to mention the fact that . In set photos from Age of Ultron we see that .

Maybe this coupled with Age of Ultron's main plotline of .

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2014-10-14 06:26 ]
Joss did have an input into the ending for Civil War. And I like the idea of Tony being the big bad for CA3.
A few points to consider, adding to all this Civil War speculation:

1) Since Iron Man 2, Stark has been expressing a "control freak" attitude regarding other super humans and super tech. Neither the government, nor his private business competitors are allowed access to his ARC reactor, his suit, or his weapons. He believes world peace should be "privatized," with himself in charge. He is proud of his arrogant, loner status and the fact that he was rejected from the initial Avengers initiative. In Avengers, he distrusts authority, actively provokes hostility from other supers, and flaunts his own superiority constantly. How quickly does he condemn SHIELD for utilizing the HYDRA-developed Tessera-tech, while he himself has developed equally devastating technology to use for the same purposes? Iron Man 3 has him describing Aldritch Killian as a "demon" - which could be a description of Killian's evil nature, or it could be an indicator of a wider prejudice Stark has against all super beings - and taking it upon himself to wipe every last Extremis user out of existence. And word has it, the driving force behind the rise of Ultron in Avengers 2 is going to be Tony, creating a deadly, replicating machine to police the world and control all gifted threats across the planet. It's only a small step to get to the idea of Stark wanting to lead a totalitarian vendetta campaign against all supers everywhere in a film in the very near future.

2) Agents of SHIELD, in the direct aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, showed us that HYDRA emptied The Fridge and released all the super powered people SHIELD was keeping under wraps. After a year or two of these gifted people running amok (and given the damage they've already had with Absorbing Man, as well as Couldon's parting shot at General Talbot to put him "somewhere more secure than last time"), the Super Human Registration Act would be an ENTIRELY logical move on the part of our hyper-reactionary US government, and the "more secure" location could easily, by extension, turn out to be the Negative Zone prison. Assuming Marvel Studios has the rights to the Negative Zone . . . they could be under the control of Fox, seeing as they own the rest of the Fantastic Four rights, but I digress.

3) Chris Evans has made it clear that he wants to get out of acting and start directing, and has specifically stated that he wants to get out of his Marvel contract ASAP. And just how exactly would he do that? Oh, wait, how did the whole Civil War arc end in the comics? Ah, right, Captain America was arrested, then assassinated, shot and killed, on the courthouse steps. Seems like a logical storyline to push if you're a big name actor who wants to break contract early to become a big name director instead.

4) Of course, the fans are still going to need their Cap fix. Who could possibly replace Steve Rogers behind the stars and stripes shield? Why, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier himself. Fans of the comic knew this was a key aspect of the character and saw this whole Civil War thing coming the moment the title of the second CA movie was announced.

So no, I don't think it's too early at all to do the Civil War. If anything, they've been laying the groundwork for it since, basically, the middle of Phase 1
Last interview I read Evans said Marvel was the one acting gig he wanted to keep doing.
I haven't heard anything about Chris Evans wanting to break his contract. He has talked about being ready to retire from acting, but that was part of the explanation for why his contract is for 6 movies, not the 9 that Marvel wanted. After Cap 3 there will only be 1 movie left in his contract, so I don't see him trying to rock the boat to get out of one movie.
Now that Avengers 3 doesn't seem like a traditional end to a trilogy, I'm more than happy for Joss to drop out of the Marvel picture. He has laid some incredible ground-work for the Universe, and boy howdy, if he doesn't get out soon he's going to be around for a fair bit longer if they're going in this direction.

...wouldn't say no to him doing an even bigger film in a few years, though!
I agree with Batman1016 insights onto the Civil War storyline. I don't know how I feel about this. On one hand I've been able to see the 'Civil War' story line developing since they released the full name of Captain America 2, and on the other I really don't want to see Steve die. Of course he came back to life in the comics; however, I don't think the MCU movies are going keep bringing dead guys back to life.
hpgwbtvs, I think Marvel would just pass the shield to Bucky, as it has been in the comics. If Chris Evans doesn't want to keep doing Marvel movies, there is a very natural succession plan. And I do think it would be Bucky and not Sam Wilson. The Winter Soldier becoming Captain America is a much, much more cinematic story arc.
I'm just impressed at all the thought people have put into their speculation! This is almost as good as watching the movies!
@Jason_M_Bryant: Well, the "break the contract" is more paraphrasing/speculation on my part. But remember, even a minor/cameo/flashback role in a film constitutes a fulfillment of a contractual appearance, so he could easily get killed off in Cap3 and show up in flashback in Avengers 3, or cameo in some movie down the line to say "hey, I'm still alive, but retired" or something of that sort. Still makes perfect sense from "actor wants out" standpoint, while still filling all his contract obligations.
I don't think cameos count. If that were the case, then the cameo in Thor 2 would count for Chris, and the cameo that RDJ did in Hulk would count for him. Since nobody seems to be counting those, I think there's a separate clause for the small cameos.

Do you have a link to something where Chris Evans talks about trying to get out of his contract early?
@the ninja report: I know, I read the comics, and Bucky (and Sam) made great Captain Americas. I'll miss Steve Rogers and Chris Evans, not Captain America.

I'd rather see flash backs of Bucky's time with Natasha during their time at Department X and the Red Room. Those two remind me a lot of Sierra and Victor from Dollhouse. Going out on missions together, assassinating people, and going back to base to get your memories altered.
The cameo for Chris in Thor 2 was worked out outside of his larger contract, so it didn't count for him in the long run.
The same was probably done for RDJ in Hulk, but I've never actually read anywhere on whether it did or not.

It's more than likely though that in order to fulfill their requirements the actors have to actually be apart of the plot/movie for it to count. Like how Scarlet was involved in Cap2. If she had just had a cameo then Marvel would have tried to work out her appearance outside of her contractual obligations, or else wouldn't have included her.
If Marvel is going to pay the actors for a certain number of movies, you can bet they are going to make the actors work for it.
@Jason_M_Bryant: As was the VERY FIRST THING I SAID in my last comment, I admitted the "break contract" thing was paraphrasing/speculation. So no, I don't have a reference. I'll even go further as to state that I have subsequently read an article where Chris Evans clarified that he had every intention of finishing out his Marvel obligations. So yes, I was in error on that specific point. Which I already basically said. *shrugs*

Nevertheless, he still reiterates that he wants to move on, directing is his next big step, and that acting will be limited to his current contractual obligations. Not retiring, but switching jobs. Whether that means only the six movies, or whether there's another clause in his contracts that say he has to be available for other stuff, I don't know. But regardless, he does seem to have a final cut-off point in mind, and it's not as distant as many fans would like.

As for cameos, whether it fulfills contract would, I imagine, depend on your definition of a cameo. Iron Man 2 had Samuel L Jackson with just over 6 minutes of screen time in three 2 minute scenes (and I timed that myself). I call that an over-long cameo, but you might call it a minor role. Either way, it was still contract fulfillment. I'd agree that a stinger likely doesn't count, though I do remember reading somewhere that Robert Downey Jr's scene after the Hulk DID constitute a contractual appearance, and it was one of the sticking points of the Avengers 2 negotiations. But I can't for the life of me find that link, so I'll assume either it was in error or I read it wrong. Still, I think it's semantics. Hollywood lawyers and agents can spin anything in their clients' favor, so if Evans wanted a stinger to count in his contract, he could probably make it happen. Though, as I noted above, he does appear to be more open to acting through his Marvel contract than I had originally understood.
The cameos don't count as contract fulfillment. It's mentioned every time someone pops up for a few minutes in any of these.

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