Joss Whedon Was ‘Beaten Down’ by ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Joss Whedon Avengers Age of Ultron
Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

In 2012, “The Avengers” closed the Tribeca Film Festival, and four years later, on Monday night, director Joss Whedon sat down with actor Mark Ruffalo, and confessed that “Age of Ultron” really bummed him out.

“I was so beaten down by the process,” Whedon said. “Some of that was conflicting with Marvel, which is inevitable. A lot of it was about my own work, and I was also exhausted.”

Whedon blames himself for the narrative that the project wasn’t perfect, and said he had failed.


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“I think that did a disservice to the movie and the studio and to myself,” Whedon said. “It was not the right way to be, because I am very proud of it. The things about it that are wrong frustrate me enormously, and I had probably more of those than I had on the other movies I made. But I also got to make, for the second time, an absurdly personal movie that talked about how I felt about humanity, and what it means, in very esoteric and bizarre ways, for hundreds of billions of dollars. The fact that Marvel gave me that opportunity 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.”

Ruffalo told the audience that after Ultron, he pleaded Whedon to do Avengers 3 and 4, Hulk 3 and Thor 3.

“I’ve been begging him, and he said ‘I’ll never do it again,'” Ruffalo said.

But Whedon is now back at work, so engrossed in a new project, he’s crying in restaurants while writing the script.

“I wrote all the way through to the end of the movie, and I was crying so hard in public, that the restaurant closed, the valet guy came to me and then turned around and turned away,” Whedon said. “I had to take off my shirt and blow my nose into it. I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t stop crying. And I got in the car and — luckily someone else was driving — kept crying. I just wrote the end of the movie and I’m pretty sure it works.”

Whedon was working on a musical earlier last year, but said for now, he has put that to the side.

“I had a little hitch in my giddeup,” Whedon said. “Partially because after Ultron there were too many moving parts, and I needed to write something that I absolutely understand, and was going to shoot.”

He confessed his brain had also been scrambled by the hit Broadway play, “Hamilton.”

“It was only after the album came out and I was listening to it 24/7, that I can’t hear myself,” Whedon said. “I can only hear ‘Hamilton.’ So as soon as I stop listening to ‘Hamilton’ in 2021, I’ll get back to that.”

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  1. MK says:

    Maybe the guy should go back to writing tv shows, he might not be all that toned into the craft of movies as he was with tv shows.

  2. BarkStar says:

    With all the milestones in TV and movie history he created, he can afford to screw up once or twice. And while AOU is not his greatest, it is far from being a failure.

  3. therealeverton says:

    I’d still like him to make Captain Marvel.

  4. Chip Williams says:

    Seriously? Crying in restaurants? What a pretentious douche. Also bonkers? You know what’s bonkers? That he thought that boring piece of Hollywood Marvel main stream garbage had anything to do with humanity. That was the worse movie I have ever scene.

  5. Nikki says:

    Just promise the world you won’t make another complete mess like cabin in the woods again. PEEE-EWWW!

    • Jedi77 says:

      Cabin was cool. Gross and funny, just how I like my movies (not really a Whedon film, btw. He didn’t direct it).

    • Peter says:

      I hope he makes MANY more films like Cabin. It was brilliance that MANY can appreciate. Too bad you didn’t enjoy it, Nikki..

      • David Flint says:

        Cabin in the Woods was written mostly by Joss and if you are not really a horror movie fan then thats probably why you thought it sucked.
        If you ARE a fan, who is also open minded and doesnt have the attention span of a 2 year old.
        You would know that Cabin in the woods is GENIUS. PURE GENIUS.

  6. Silas says:

    The narrative Whedon is talking about is that the film was imperfect and that this was Marvel Studios’s fault rather than his. He regrets having encouraged this narrative on the AoU press tour, not because it is false, but because he is proud of the movie and has far more reason to feel gratitude toward Marvel than resentment. This article doesn’t quite convey this; see the Deadline article for a better account. (I can’t post the URL because then my post will be deleted by Variety’s anti-spam bots.)

  7. Drew says:

    I love Ultron it was great movie. Whedon you did such a good job:) I had no problem with it. You should be proud of yourself! Keep up the good work.

  8. Wa says:

    He sounds frickin’ nuts.

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