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Joss Whedon isn’t the Godfather of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That title belongs to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Whedon didn’t even kick start this whole endeavor. That claim to fame belongs to Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau. But because of his accomplishment with the initial The Avengers, Whedon is given a tremendous amount of leeway with what Marvel can and should do in their movies leading up to this summer’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and some of the most interesting behind-the-scenes negotiating was revealed this afternoon.

Joss Whedon brought his entire Avengers: Age of Ultron cast to the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank to promote the upcoming blockbuster and talk all things Marvel. When asked by a journalist what concessions Whedon asked Marvel to make during the Phase Two run up to the release of Age of Ultron, the director and Feige recalled two main things that Whedon requested.

For starters, Whedon requested that the characters of Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) be left out of the movies of Marvel’s Phase Two – this would include Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy -- because, as Feige recalls, Whedon had "very big plans for the two of those character in [Age of Ultron]."

And even though James Gunn was directing Guardians, Whedon had one other crucial suggestion for what he thought should happen in the first Galaxy movie. Whedon said:
The only [change] I could think of was pulling Thanos out of Guardians of the Galaxy. … I thought we needed to thread him in more gently.

Does this mean that Joss Whedon has "very big plans" for the Infinity Stone-seeking purple baddie in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well? Actually, that constitutes a major spoiler, and divulging such information is a massive no-no until Whedon’s sequel comes out on May 1. So, zip up the lip.

Joss Whedon

What I can tell you, without spoiling anything, is that Joss Whedon delivers on the promise to make excellent use out of both Hulk and Hawkeye in the latest Avengers movie. We’ve been missing Dr. Bruce Banner’s pissed off monster ever since he battled the Chitauri in New York City at the end of the first Avengers. And Whedon writes a number of very funny jokes into Age of Ultron about Clint Barton’s role on the Avengers team – how he’s extremely necessary, even if the team doesn’t always treat him that way. See for yourself when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens everywhere on May 1.

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