Reflecting on the process of helming Avengers: Age of Ultron, director Joss Whedon has conceded that he came off Marvel’s superhero tentpole “beaten down” and “exhausted” last year, even going so far as to say that he did both the movie and himself a disservice.
Closing out the Tribeca Film Festival with fellow Marvelite Mark Ruffalo (via Variety), Whedon offered up a heartfelt account of directing Age of Ultron, and why it seemingly still keeps him awake at night:
“I was so beaten down by the process,” Whedon said. “Some of that was conflicting with Marvel, which is inevitable. A lot of it was about my own work, and I was also exhausted.”
On the panel, Ruffalo admitted that he pleaded with Whedon to remain on board all throughout Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok and even Avengers: Infinity War. But the filmmaker stated simply that, while he’s “very proud” of Age of Ultron, the entire process was so taxing that the possibility of returning to the MCU is effectively out of the question.
“I think that did a disservice to the movie and the studio and to myself. 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.”
Following both Avengers and last year’s Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon’s overly successful tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is over. In his steed, Joe and Anthony Russo will take the reins for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War across 2018 and 2019.