A bunch of set reports for The Avengers take us deep inside Joss Whedon’s superhero team-up movie. Plus check out new trailers and videos for Game of Thrones, Snow White and the Huntsman, Awake, and Men in Black 3!
Spoilers from here on out![SPOILER]
A bunch of set reports hit the web yesterday, so let’s try and do a digest version of all the new information. Here’s the dialogue for an actual scene that was filmed during the set visit, which sounds like it details the death of a random S.H.I.E.L.D. operative:
Captain America: Was he married?
Tony Stark: No, just a cellist.
Captain America: Sorry, he seemed like a good man.
Tony Stark: He was an idiot
Captain America: He was doing his job.
Tony Stark: For taking Loki alone, he was out of his league.
Captain America: Is this the first time you’ve lost a soldier?
Tony Stark: We are not soldiers! I am not marching in Fury’s fight.
Captain America: Neither am I. He’s got the same blood on his hands as Loki. Right now we’ve got to put that aside and get this done.
For what it’s worth, when asked about the scene, Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans said the dead man’s identity was something they couldn’t discuss, so I suppose it’s conceivable that the dead man will have some added significance after all. There’s plenty more at the link. [Moviefone]
Speaking of Downey, Jr. and Evans, the pair were asked which character is the heart and soul of the Avengers, and they both chose each other’s character:
EVANS: I think without Tony, we don’t work. He really is the glue in the family. He is the fire, the thing that keeps you coming back. I think, at least for this movie, Cap’s struggling with finding his footing in this modern day -– he’s a fish out of water. He’s a little more uncomfortable in his own skin than he normally might be, and he’s not hitting the ground running without the charisma and the leadership and the character that Tony Stark is.
DOWNEY JR.: Well, maybe you’re right, if you put it that way. Okay. But I think that’s the other thing too. What Joss, Kevin (Feige) and the creative team has been able to do, is make it so that nothing is predictably definitive. I remember that one of my earliest concerns with this was, “Haven’t we done this ‘it’s a bunch of superheroes together but they’re a dysfunctional family’ thing before?” But it has transcended that in a lot of ways. Obviously there is only one person whose name is Captain, and if you have a squad of people, there is a time where we need his prowess in terms of things that require actual strategy and military stuff, in what is essentially a war that we are trying to avert, of sorts. So I think that that’s really valuable.
Joss Whedon explains how he kept the stakes high in a film where he can’t do his go-to move of killing off a major character:
You know, it is a struggle. How do you make stakes when they are all really strong and really tall and handsome? Ultimately the answer is always what’s at stake has to be more than their lives. It has to be something bigger externally and smaller internally like they have to be going through an internal struggle that matches what they are facing on the outside, so that even if they survive, they may be compromised to a point where they can’t recover and if you have that and you really push them towards that, you push them towards something that is frightening and unlikable and a real choice that they can’t necessarily deal with, then you have some stake, you have emotional stakes that go beyond the hitty and the punchy.
He also explains why most of the supporting characters from the other movies (give or take the occasional Pepper Potts cameo) don’t show up here:
The fact is one of the things that I was very adamant about and I don’t think people were really fighting me on it, but don’t have the support systems of all of these movies, because these movies have their own internal workings and have the supporting characters, they have their own feel. I’m like “First of all, this can’t feel like any of those movies and second of all, you have to take them away from their support systems,” First of all that’s a good way to make a team, it’s like they all go to camp, and second of all they said “Do we want to put Jane Foster in the movie?” I’m like “Yeah, that’d be great. Then the writer of THOR 2 will come and kill me with a trowel, because their first meeting will be ‘I haven’t seen you, except that one time.” There are iconic things going on in their own stories that I’m not going to touch. They have to step out of their worlds into the The Avengers world and hopefully this things works on a big scale, but because there are so many of them everybody gets so much juice and then they have to step aside, the other movies have a much easier through line… It’s never easy, but a simpler through line of that one person’s journey where they really get to explore that person on a level that in this movie I’m just never going to get to.
There’s more at the link. [/Film]
Mark Ruffalo kicked off his set interview with this potentially massive revelation, but the delivery is so obviously tongue-in-cheek that it’s hard to know how seriously to take it:
Buddy, I’m going to let it rip. I’m the worst.
What were you told as you were walked over here?
“Don’t say anything of interest.” I’m going to say this, and you can print it or not: Hulk may or may not end up being the bad guy in this movie. Look at him [points at on-set publicist]. He’s thinking, “What the fuck is he doing?” He’s on the phone with my publicist right now.
He also discusses Bruce Banner being a more enjoyable character this time around, and his relationship with Tony Stark:
It’s hard to watch a movie [about] a guy who doesn’t want to be there. I think Banner is aging and he’s been living with this thing. Two years have passed since the last one, and we’re kind of going for this world-weariness of accepting, and trying to get to the point where he can live with it and maybe master it, or come to peace with it, and so there’s this kind of nice ironic wryness about Banner. He’s not so fucking miserable. I think that’s kind of a throwback. We started to talk about a throwback to Bill Bixby, which was the Banner that I grew up on basically. He had a kind of a charm about him in this kind of world-weariness. He was on the run but he was still able to flirt sometimes and smile sometimes and occasionally crack a joke, so that’s in there. When you have a movie when there’s so many characters, you end up getting about 10 minutes of screen time for your particular character and, in the 10 minutes that we have, we’re trying to bring out this kind of charm in him and maybe this idea that he wants to be a superhero. He looks at Stark and he’s like, “That’s the dude who actually did what I attempted to do.” He’s the model. He made it work, so Banner and Stark have a very cool relationship in the movie.
You can also check out additional set interviews with Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson, and Clark Gregg. We’ve got a couple roundups of the greatest hits from those interviews right below. [Collider]
Here’s a big list of tidbits about the film from Collider. There’s still a bunch more at the link, including multiple videos detailing the set visit:
– Whedon approached the film as The Avengers: Part 1 instead of as a half sequel to all the previous Marvel movies. We’re introduced to all the characters like we’ve never met them before.
– The Avengers is told from the point of view of S.H.I.E.L.D. Whereas in the other Marvel films S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury randomly pop up, we’ll get to see what their day-to-day actions are.
– Loki has scenes with most of The Avengers individually, trying to break the team up.
– Around 20% of the movie takes place on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.
– Nick Fury and his team are initially after Bruce Banner not for the Hulk, but for his gamma expertise.
– Ruffalo’s version of the Hulk talks, but they’re not really sentences. They have all the components of a sentence, but it’s not quite all there.
– They make mention in the film of why Natalie Portman’s character from Thor isn’t Thor’s focus in The Avengers.
– In the beginning of the film, Thor has returned to Earth because his brother is involved in the chaos happening on Earth.
– Hemsworth says Thor never saw Hawkeye when the character appeared in Thor.
– The bulk of Ruffalo’s scenes are with Robert Downey Jr.
– Ruffalo looked at a lot of gorillas to prepare for the physicality of the Hulk when doing motion-capture.
– The film picks up about six months after the events of the last Marvel film, chronologically.
– The movie will show The Avengers assembling. They won’t already be together at the beginning, so Fury has to get the team together.
– In The Avengers, two years have passed since the events of The Incredible Hulk.
– Banner has a tiny semblance of control over the Hulk, but he still doesn’t have complete control.
Here’s another, similar list of tidbits from /Film. Again, this is just scratching the surface of what’s at the link:
– Whedon on the stakes in The Avengers: What’s at stake has to be more than their lives. Bigger externally and smaller internally. It’s the risk of characters losing themselves over characters losing their lives.
– The script was influenced by Civil War and the Ultimates comic book storylines.
– Producer Kevin Feige describes The Avengers as Marvel’s “disaster movie.” The film will have huge scale destruction and the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.
– When asked about casualties, Kevin responded that there will be long term consequences from things that happen into this film.
– An event occurs which causes problems for Nick Fury, and he must try to get this group to come together and fight the threat.
– Hawkeye is on his own mission for most of this story.
– Captain America is struggling with the change in society, morals, values, and also technology.
– Robert Downey Jr. on his relationship with Captain America: “imagine you met your long lost brother who was your father’s favorite and is in town but doesn’t want to hang out.”
– Agent Coulson meets Bruce Banner and Captain America for the first time in this movie. In the Marvel Universe, everyone grew up idolizing Captain America. So it’s a big day for Agent Coulson when he first meets the Cap. Clark Gregg describes Agent Coulson’s job in The Avengers: He needs to get all the rockstars together on the stage at the right time.
– Iron Man will have a couple new suits. Iron Man will start off with a Mark 7 armor and later transition to Mark 8.
– Some minor tweaks have been made to the Thor costume which gives it “more edge” (also: no cape on Hellicarrier)
– The fish out of water humor in Thor has been expanded to Loki in The Avengers.
– Joss saw Loki as “a damaged soul looking for his purpose in the universe.”
– The story is partly about “the healing power of being part of a team.”
– Whedon on Stan Lee‘s cameo: “You’re going to see a side of Stan Lee you haven’t seen before.”
Tons more at the link. [/Film]
In discussing future Marvel movies like Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige discusses how they will connect with The Avengers:
We’re looking to replicate that experience that a comic reader had, who loved reading his Thor issues and loved reading his Cap issues and loved reading his Iron Man issues and they always had their favorites and would argue about who’s better and who would win in a fight and occasionally they would get together for an uber-event and then after that uber-event would go back into their own comic stories. So the story that Shane [Black] is developing now on Iron Man 3, while it does not avoid any references to The Avengers, is very much Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) is back in his world with his players dealing with his issues and is not going to pick up the phone and call Thor (Chris Hemsworth) or Captain America (Chris Evans) or anything like that, necessarily. It’s not that won’t happen down the line. It could. But particularly with Iron Man 3, a year after The Avengers, it’s more about getting Tony back into his world.
He also discusses the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. in future films:
Well, I think that the good news is that it’s a tool in the toolbox. If the screenwriters want it to have a purpose to serve… Frankly, I think S.H.I.E.L.D. would be most relevant in a Cap sequel, because Thor has nine worlds to traverse and many, many supporting players and Iron Man has his supporting cast and many villains and plotlines to go through and Steve in the modern world sort of doesn’t have an anchor, necessarily and the anchor we’re establishing in this one is S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s early days on Cap 2, nobody’s counting those chickens yet, but maybe there’s some connection there.
As with everything else, there’s more at the link. [/Film] [/SPOILER]