A year on, Joss Whedon’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is looked back on as arguably one of the minor mid-tier entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Expectations were sky high following both the commercial and critical success of the first “The Avengers” that reviews for the ambitious but flawed follow-up were understandably more muted.
At the time of release, Whedon himself made headlines for talking fairly candidly about his exhaustion and arguments with the Marvel higher-ups, one of the big reasons he handed the creative reins of the “Avengers” films over to the Russo brothers for the next one. At a Q&A with Mark Ruffalo at the Tribeca Film Festival this week (via EW), Whedon addressed the current perceptions of the film’s quality and his public misgivings with the end result:
“Ultron, I’m very proud of. There are things that did not meet my expectations of myself, and I was so beaten down by the process. Some of that was conflict with Marvel, which is inevitable, but a lot of that was about my own work. And I was also exhausted, and we went right away and did publicity, and I sort of created the narrative, wherein I’m not quite accomplished at it, and people just ran with that: ‘Well, it’s okay, it could be better, but it’s not Joss’s fault.’ And I think that did a disservice to the movie and to the studio and to myself, ultimately. It was not the right way to be, because I am very proud of it.
The things that are wrong frustrate me enormously, and I probably had more of those than I had on other movies I made. But I also got to make, for the second time, an absurdly personal movie where I got to talk about how I felt about humanity and what it means in very esoteric and bizarre ways for hundreds of millions of dollars. The fact that Marvel gave me that opportunity twice is so bonkers and so beautiful, and the fact that I come off of it feeling like a miserable failure is also bonkers, but not in a cute way. It becomes problematic.”
Whedon remains steadfast in his desire not to return to Marvel, instead his next project will be a departure from his previous works and is one he’s happy about because it emotionally wrecked him:
“I wrote all the way through to the end of the movie and was crying, in public. The restaurant closed. The valet guy came to me and then just turned around and went the other way. And I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself, but I had to take off my shirt and blow my nose into it because they had taken away all the napkins. I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t stop crying, and then I got in a car – luckily somebody else was driving – and kept crying for about 20 more minutes.”
Speaking of the MCU, artist Alexander Lozano created various pieces of promotional art for “Captain America: Civil War” over the past few months, and he’s saved the best for last. Today he’s posted an unused piece of art he created for the film, one which pretty much tops all the other more standard fare artwork seen to date. Check it out below: