Joss Whedon is back in the headlines with an interview with Complex Magazine where the director was asked what was on the horizon for him and if he would ever consider doing another franchise blockbuster.
I mean, it’s a fun thing to do, to put yourself in the service of something if you think you can add an interpretation. It’s no different than any other storytelling. There are some times when you get micro-managed to death but with Marvel, they let me make two movies that were very much mine. So do I want to make James Bond movie? Yeah. Anne Hathaway does Catwoman again? Sure, I’m in. Do I want to make a Star Wars movie? Yeah. I was like, “I don’t want to make a Star Wars movie. Like, god dammit, why?” But I saw the trailer for Rogue a while ago and I was like, “I want to do that.” To make a Star Wars movie and not be wed to the bigger picture.
Sounds pretty selfish if you ask me. Now before I get into this let me just say that I am a fan of the director’s early work. I was twelve years old when Sarah Michelle Gellar first hit the scene as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, right as all my hormones were kicking in and boy did I have a crush on her. Add the kick-ass action and the fantastic chemistry between the cast complemented by Whedon’s ability to juggle characters and I was totally in. Buffy was actually the first show I can remember wanting to come back to week after week. I was a latecomer to Firefly but the show had everything I loved about Buffy so I fell in love with that as well. I’m just glad I knew it was only a season going in so I tempered my expectations and didn’t get too invested.
Fast forward to The Avengers. I’m going to give the unpopular opinion here and say that I did not think the first Avengers film was any good. Now before you go screaming at me in the comments saying “It was the first time we got to see The Avengers on screen together!”, yeah, that’s just it. That’s the only argument anyone makes as to why it was a good film. I didn’t grow up a fan of the Avengers (Sorry, I’m a Star Wars/Batman/Spider-Man guy), so I wasn’t blinded by my love for the characters. The spectacle of seeing them come together on screen wasn’t enough for me to love the movie like most Marvel fans did. I thought it was a rather boring two hours featuring a bunch of superheroes sitting around on a flying aircraft carrier waiting for a reason to unite and save the world. The final action sequence in New York City was also rather lame. Just a bunch of CG shots of generic looking interdimensional beings attacking the city as it cut back and forth to the actors on a soundstage. It wasn’t all horrible, though, obviously, Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk were absolutely fantastic.
The answer to why Whedon will never direct a Star Wars film is simply Avengers: Age of Ultron. Even as bad as I thought the first Avengers film was, I thought Avengers: Age of Ultron was a hell of a lot worse. We all know the drama surrounding the production of that film and how it broke Whedon’s spirit before he all but dropped off the face of the planet. If Whedon can’t handle an Avengers film, how could he handle helming a Star Wars film? I don’t care who you are, no one comes in and just does their own thing with the Star Wars franchise so he can kiss that dream goodbye. Lucasfilm has a plan for the franchise and they select directors who they believe can realize their vision along with adding their own style and sensibilities as directors of course. But no matter who you are, you don’t get to just come in and do whatever you want.
Regardless of whether or not he could make a good Star Wars film, he’s already burned his bridge over at Marvel, who we know, are part of the Disney family along with Lucasfilm. Given the challenges that marred the production of Ultron it’s highly unlikely Whedon would be welcomed into Lucasfilm to helm a Star Wars film.
Sorry Joss, but no thank you. How about a sequel to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog instead?