For Marvel Comics fans, the big news of the week is that (reportedly) Joss Whedon is in final negotiations to both re-write and direct the upcoming “The Avengers” movie. As with anything regarding Whedon, this is being met with mixed results.
Both industry insiders and fans seem to be split on if they like this possible development. Those putting a positive spin on this cite Whedon has a great track record with ensemble casts.
Many people also are excited that someone who is a definite fan of the characters may get the chance to be in charge, as it is a big plus to have someone who truly loves the team and the content bring them to life. Lastly, his work on the â€œAstonishing X-Menâ€ comic shows what he can do with this kind of material.
On the negative side, some people are worried that Marvel will not let Whedon have the kind of creative freedom that allows him to work at his best. Marvel has a tendency to be a bit controlling when it comes to their properties. This is not necessarily a bad thing in general, but could clash with Whedon’s style.
Another negative some people are mentioning is that they are not sure that his â€œvoiceâ€ will work well with “The Avengers.” Some are afraid he will try to make them too much like other things he has done, or try to update them in ways that are not consistent with the characters.
My personal take is that I think if he does get involved with this picture, it will be great. He knows what fans like, and he has proven he can bring it to the screen.
I think that Marvel has done its homework, and if they want Whedon on this project, they know the personality they are getting, and that he will want at least some measure of freedom. Likewise, I’m sure he knows what to expect from Marvel. If he and they did not think they could find a way to work together, they would not be negotiating.
Fans also have been buzzing about the possible casting of the remaining Avengers (and perhaps others from the Marvel universe that may make short appearances). Hopes are high that Whedon will be able to cast some of the fan favorites who have worked for him in the past. One name that is coming up quite often is Nathan Fillion (as possibly Hawkeye or Hank Pym), and perhaps Felicia Day or Summer Glau could find themselves in the cast.
While I like these actors, I would hope that they are only cast if they are indeed the best of the available choices for the parts. Casting just because of past work with Whedon may not be the best thing for the film.
Nothing is set in stone at this point. While several places are reporting this story, Marvel is not commenting. I’m sure that there are indeed ongoing talks, but until Whedon and/or Marvel make a formal announcement, it is not final. Also, any casting comments are strictly rumors at this point, based on the excitement of Whedon’s possible involvement.
I hope that the deal is signed, and that Whedon is given the chance to not just play in the Avengers playground, but to pick the games and equipment. If done right, he and the Avengers will make a great combination.