Joss Whedon's tired.
There is a certain kind of fatigue that is particular to the directors of these giant mega-budget high stakes sequels, and if you end up talking to one of those directors, you can see it in their eyes. They're zombies. I remember talking to Gore Verbinski near the end of the third “Pirates” film, and it was like he was having an out of body experience.
Because Whedon's tired, he's been candid about some of the speed bumps they experienced making the new “Avengers” film. He's spoken in the past few days about the decision to bring Coulson back to life after “The Avengers,” the things he regrets about “Agents Of SHIELD,” and more. When I sat down to speak with him a few days after seeing the film, I told him that I wanted to ask about an amazing sequence that was in the original script but that was not in the film, and we did it off the record. Glad I did, because he says he wants to use the beat elsewhere, and so it's worth keeping it a secret. His explanation made sense, too, because in order to get this one great moment to work, he would have lost a lot of other things that are in play during one of the biggest third acts I've ever seen.
I'm hearing rumors that Disney is making overtures to Whedon about another of their major franchise properties, but for now, I think this is his swan song in the Marvel universe, and I think he leaves having signed the entire film universe thanks to the groundwork laid by his two movies.
While the film is open now in much of the world, for US audiences, they'll be able to join the fun this Friday, when “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” opens everywhere.
We'll have more “Avengers” interviews for you every day this week as we count down to the film's opening.