For legions of TV and film fans, Joss Whedon is in a class of his own. Not only is he responsible for the legendary series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, he also wrote Toy Story, The Cabin In The Woods and delivered one of the best screen versions of Much Ado About Nothing ever made, during his 2012 summer vacation.
But, it was his work for Marvel that cemented his status as creative icon, with writing and directing Marvel’s The Avengers – a box office blockbusting juggernaut that brought together the studio’s greatest heroes in live action for the first time – closely followed by the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now that the second Avengers instalment – Avengers: Age Of Ultron – is almost upon us, the world awaits the news of where Whedon will now wander.
It is not just Whedon’s body of work that has gained him a devoted fan following, of course. It is also his outspoken attitude toward the lack of female leads in the superhero genre. It is no secret that he wrote a script for a Wonder Woman movie back before Iron Man had ever taken flight onscreen, and that he has been one of the most vocal proponents for the making of female superhero movies. But, does that mean he would consider lending his considerable talent to Marvel’s planned Captain Marvel movie?
According to the filmmaker’s recent interview with Buzzfeed, you shouldn’t hold your breath.
“Um, I would never rule anything out, because I like working here. By the same token, the biggest thing for me is that I need to do something that I create myself. It’s been too long since I created a universe. The last thing I did before The Avengers was [directing an episode of] Glee, and in between I did Much Ado About Nothing. So I haven’t created my own universe for over five years. That feels wrong. You know, my own universe might be a book of haiku. I’m not necessarily saying I’ve got a grand scheme.
“I will say that, when I was thinking about, ‘Well, if I wasn’t going to do Avengers 2, what would I want to do?’ Of course, the first thing I thought of was ‘turn-of-the-century female Batman’. Not Batman actually. But, you know, something cool. One person. Can’t stress that enough. Movie about one person – not a team, not 10, just one. But [I would] do a nice sort of hard action movie that combined all my favourite things. Something that would be the love child of Sam Fuller and Edward Gorey. You know, I’ve had many thoughts since then. ‘Oh, I could do this! Oh, I could do that!’ But it is my instinct to want to tell those stories.”
The thing about the instincts of Joss Whedon – at least in professional terms – is that they are rarely wrong. Perhaps Marvel could let Lesli Linka-Glatter, Kasi Lemmons, Lexi Alexander, or Mimi Leder direct Captain Marvel, and allow Joss Whedon the space to create a new and original universe, with an honest-to-goodness female superhero right at the heart of it. I can hear the faint chime of cash registers already.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson, and will be released on May 1st, 2015.