A member of the audience at SDCC captured the complete Joss Wheon Experience on video and kindly upload it all to YouTube — not a huge amount on The Avengers, but worth a watch. We’ve embedded a playlist below.
Whedon has also been talking to MTV about casting Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.
The thing about Hawkeye, he’s got his bows and arrows, you need somebody who’s very very down to earth, who’s very grounded, and who’s going to be the kind of guy who, you see him, and you understand why he likes to be far away from things and then shoot at them.
Mark was my first and only choice for Bruce Banner. I’m stunned that we landed that, just stunned. He has what I remember loving about the show, that quality of, you just look at him and you go through it with him, he invites you in in a way that [no] other performer has since Bill Bixby. He is a guy who’s been beaten up by life, but not defined by that. That’s what I want from Bruce Banner, is a guy who’s still getting it done, even though he has his problem.
Iron Man director Jon Favreau has also commented on the recasting at Comic-con:
“It’s tricky,” the Iron Man director said. “I know Edward, and I dig the guy’s talent tremendously. He’s always been a very great guy… I’m sure that however this comes out, it’s going to be something that’s amenable to both the filmmaker and the studio. I know that we faced the challenge of recasting with Don Cheadle and Terrence Howard, and although I think breaking continuity is always a challenge and should be avoided whenever possible, it is the reality of the movie business that sometimes things don’t work out.”
At the end of the Thor panel at SDCC, Kevin Feige dimmed the stage and a large ‘A’ appeared on screen, with the voice-over of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury explaining the formation of the world’s biggest super hero team. Then Jackson came on stage and introduced the cast, one by one.
The picture, from left to right: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron man), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner), director Joss Whedon and producer Kevin Feige.
At this year’s SDCC Joss Whedon, whilst on stage with J.J.Abrams, officially confirmed that he will be helming the Avengers movie adaptation, set for release in 2012. The movie is still in the outline phase and in the process of reworking the story.
“The thing I love about it is how completely counter-intuitive it is. These people should not be in the same room, much less the same team. The very definition of family.”
In other news, Nathan Fillion will NOT be playing Ant Man in the adaptation, Whedon jokingly announced Fillion would be playing the role, but that Ant Man wouldn’t be in the film. All very confusing.
More solidly, Whedon has confirmed that Jeremy Renner will be taking on the role of Hawkeye.
Ed Norton will not be playing Bruce Banner in the upcoming Avengers movie. He would have joined Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Kevin Feige reports,
“We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.”
This statement resulted in a kick-back from Norton’s agents and Norton himself:
This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He told me it would be his fantasy to bring Edward on stage with the rest of the cast at ComiCon and make it the event of the convention. When I said that Edward was definitely open to this idea, Kevin was very excited and we agreed that Edward should meet with Joss Whedon to discuss the project. Edward and Joss had a very good meeting (confirmed by Feige to me) at which Edward said he was enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the ensemble cast. Marvel subsequently made him a financial offer to be in the film and both sides started negotiating in good faith. This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part. This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings.
We know a lot of fans have voiced their public disappointment with this result, but this is no excuse for Feige’s mean spirited, accusatory comments. Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige’s statement is unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton talent, tireless work ethic and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans.
From the bumpy golf buggy, Jon Favreau shared some Avengers information with MTV. First up, he will not be directing The Avengers movie. Secondly, Ed Norton will not have a cameo appearance in Iron Man 2.
“We want to reinforce a lot of the stuff we started to tip off,” Favreau told MTV News. “‘The Avengers’ is a much larger concern for Marvel and Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel. They’re going to be doing ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America,’ and the way we might start to tease those things in this movie, some of it is stuff that we’ve discussed [and] some of the stuff you do last-minute as you figure out how that stuff is coming together.”
“It’s an evolving, amorphous thing,” he explained. “If we decide and commit too early, the secret always gets out.”
“They’ll have to [find a different director], because I’m not going to be available,” he explained. “It’s something I’m being the executive producer on, so I’ll definitely have input and a say.”
“It’s going to be hard, because I was so involved in creating the world of Iron Man and Iron Man is very much a tech-based hero, and then with ‘Avengers’ you’re going to be introducing some supernatural aspects because of Thor,” he continued. “How you mix the two of those works very well in the comic books, but it’s going to take a lot of thoughtfulness to make that all work and not blow the reality that we’ve created.”
“That’s why it’s good that you have the guys from Marvel like Kevin Feige, who knows the books well and has been involved with the making of all the movies, and he’ll be very involved with ‘Thor’ and ‘Cap,’” said Favreau. “You need somebody who has the perspective of all the different franchises to bring them together. I have the myopic vision of just knowing and loving Iron Man.“
This opens up the question, who should direct the Avengers movie?
Some press folk were lucky enough to visit the Iron Man 2 set recently, and in doing so had a long chat with Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios producer. A transcript from this talk from UGO reveals a few things about upcoming Marvel movies.
Zak Penn, Avengers screenwriter, shall begin penning the script next week. The movie itself shall revolve around the team saving the world, with a much different focus to the individual superhero movies. It shall be global and epic in its scale, a threat that one single hero cannot handle. As such, the budget will likely be larger. Kevin Feige would also like to see The Hulk as part of the team, hopefully with Ed Norton playing the role.