There was a lot going on in Avengers: Age of Ultron, with many different characters, plots, future films, and backstory to toss into one 2 1/2 hour experience. Where the original Avengers was the culmination of a ton of work by a ton of directors before Joss Whedon got involved. He crafted a fine origin for the Avengers, but Age of Ultron got mixed results and it seems to show.
He stopped by Tribeca for a chat and it seems that he carries a lot of regret with Age of Ultron and how he reacted when the movie came out. According to Variety, Whedon said he was “beaten down” by the sophomore Avengers film and the process was frustrating:
“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.”
It’s definitely easy to feel like a failure when it comes to something on the scale of Age of Ultron. It was meant to be a home run, flagship product that topples the original and the response was much different than expected. It’s not like Age of Ultron was a horrible movie or unsuccessful. The bar was set very high.
We’ll have to wait until Infinity War comes out just to see if it was Whedon or if it is just juggling all of those superheroics on the big screen. From what we’ve heard about Civil War, the pressure might’ve just gotten to the guy, but it isn’t like he’s in the dog house.