Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ Screenwriting Hurdle? Too Many Characters

It’s always refreshing to hear a filmmaker talk candidly about the concerns and difficulties of creating something as large as, say, a blockbuster comic book movie that’s expected to draw in millions of fans and even more millions of dollars. Today’s burst of honesty comes from The Avengers director Joss Whedon, who told Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie) a ton about the project. Check out the link for more.

The money quote: “It was an up-all-month job. Finding the characters’ voices was not only easy, but glorious fun. It doesn’t suck to write Tony Stark, yet finding the structure was just brutal. I haven’t had that much trouble making a screenplay work since Serenity and, embarrassingly, for the exact same reason: there’s just too many characters.”

It’s fair to say that’s also a concern for fans, but it’s less that there are so many characters and more that there are so many massive, super-powered, enlarged egos in the film. How do you give them all space to shine brightly?

Fortunately, the best reason to be optimistic that Whedon stuck the landing with the script is his work on “The Astonishing X-Men,” a comic book series that might just be the best X-Men storyline in Marvel‘s catalog. If the man can handle that universe and that many larger-than-life characters, it seems reasonable he can do it in the condensed format of film. It’s also fantastic to see him talk about how much fun he had crafting the heroes. Joss Whedon effectively got paid to role play as Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, and Black Widow (although that last one is a little gender-bending) on a large scale and then see his fantasy played out with costumes and huge sets. How cool is that?


A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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