Joss Whedon Explains Why The Avengers Will Focus On Captain America

By Katey Rich 2012-01-13 13:25:35discussion comments
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All of the trailers have given us a sense of The Avengers as a team, made up of a bunch of bold personalities who want to compete for the spotlight but somehow learn to get along together. If the preview material has emphasized anyone it's been Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, which makes sense-- he gets all the good liens, of course, but also has two hit films behind him, while upstairs like Thor, Captain America and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk are either one-hit wonders so far or just being introduced. But when we finally see the film this summer, it won't be Tony Stark who is the audience's guide through the film. It's goody-goody Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America himself. Here's how director and writer Joss Whedon described it to Entertainment Weekly:

“So much of [The Avengers] story takes place from Steve Rogers’ perspective, since he’s the guy who just woke up and sees this weird-ass world. Everyone else has been living in it. He’s the guy that feels that sense of loss.

There is an anachronism to him, and Chris [Evans] and I have always tried to make it, without making it goofy or too obvious, always tried to make him that same grounded ’40s Steve Rogers he was in the other movie.”

Whedon and EW are careful to clarify that Cap isn't the main character of the film, and that The Avengers is a true ensemble film-- you have to assume Thor and Iron Man wouldn't stand for having the spotlight stolen anyway. But every story needs an emotional hook, as Whedon well knows, and the sense of disorientation we felt right alongside Steve Rogers when he woke up at the end of Captain America seems to be the guiding emotion as the Avengers assemble for the first time. It's strange for any superheroes to be forced to work together, but when one is used to living in the 1940s? It probably feels downright impossible.

It's wonderful to hear Whedon talking about the movie in these terms. So much speculation before a movie comes out focuses on the bare plot details-- who's the villain? What do the costumes look like? What are the big action set pieces? But what makes a movie work is this kind of nitty gritty character work, and as untested as he seems as a superhero director, Whedon seems like the perfect guy to bring that out. We'll find out how well he succeeded at it when The Avengers comes out on May 4; in the meantime you can learn everything you need to know about the film at our Blend Film Database.
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