If you had a chance to see Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron last weekend, maybe you’ve developed questions, concerns, and/or desires to know as soon as possible what the heck the deleted scenes are going to look like. Well, Joss Whedon, world’s most tired human, joined Empire Magazine for an Über-specific, 30-plus-minute spoiler podcast that has the director dishing on such trivial ephemera as Marvel’s least favorite scenes, Quicksilver’s success with the ladies, and Whedon’s continued remorse for killing off Agent Coulson. There are also some gems buried in the interview revolving around what could have been, in some of Whedon’s alternate scenes. Reminder: This is a spoiler podcast, so if you haven’t seen the movie you might want to come back later. [In other words: SPOILERS AHEAD!]
Here are some of Whedon’s more blaring highlights:
There was a (more) amazing Thor scene.
Whedon explained to Empire that Thor’s cave scene caused a weird sort of chain-reaction drama. Initially, Whedon wanted Thor’s interaction with Erik Selvig to be much more fleshed out, with “Thor getting answers, but he doesn’t have to ask the questions. He’s the guy giving the answers. And [Chris Hemsworth] gets to do something exciting as an actor. And he’s got his fucking shirt off, so everybody wins.” But Marvel executives wanted Whedon to whittle this scene down because it didn’t play well with test audiences. “The dreams were not an executive favorite, either. The dreams, the farmhouse, these were the things I fought to keep.” Although Whedon talks about some of his filmmaking haggling in Avengers diplomatically, he admitted that when it came down to keeping his favorite scenes, things got unpleasant and he had to pick his battles. For instance: “They pointed a gun to the farmer’s head. They said, ‘Give us the cave, or we’ll take out the farm.’” Yikes.
Quicksilver almost survived all those bullets in the cheesiest way.
“I knew that it would be resonant, work better, and matter more [if he died],” Whedon said. “We did shoot him in the last scene in an outfit with his sister, and we did shoot him waking up from his, Ahh, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds! — and we shot something else with that as well. But the intent was always, We’re gonna earn this and then you have to stand by it.” Whedon added that the only thing that would’ve stopped him from killing Quicksilver would’ve been execs, because the movie is essentially a war movie. There’s a price. And thank God that price doesn’t cash out with waking from a bad dream.
Whedon wanted Spidey and Captain Marvel teased.
“I wanted all those people [at the end], but it would be great if we could add a few more,” Whedon said, referencing Captain Marvel. “And Spider-Man, we could do that, too? … I would’ve put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made.” The New Avengers were almost ten times cooler. Movie theaters nationwide would’ve lost their collective shit had this happened, so maybe it’s for the best.
Loki was also almost in this movie.
Because of contractual issues, Whedon was unable to wholly nab Loki. “[Marvel] was like, ‘We can’t get Tom [Hiddleston], we can’t make a deal. You can have Idris [Elba].’” Hiddleston, as Loki, was initially going to walk Thor through his weird, hedonistic dream sequence. But hey, Elba is awesome, and Whedon thought so, too.
Where is Hulk?
Honestly, nobody knows, not even Whedon. “What I wanted to do was indicate that he might [get shot into space]. I wanted the sky above him to be slightly thinner, a few stars,” Whedon said. “I wanted to leave people with the idea that if this is the last movie, he may have left the world behind. Because I think there’s something enormously poetic about that; there is something also enormously misleading about that, because they don’t plan to make Planet Hulk, as far as I know.”
Here’s the whole podcast, in which a fair amount of shade is thrown at Marvel, and Paul Bettany makes a brief bonus appearance (less spoiler-y, but still fun):