If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Two of the most anticipated movies of the summer, of the year in fact, are 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'The Avengers.' It's hard to say which major comic book company property, DC's Batman or Marvel's Avengers, will triumph in that epic box office duel. But 'Avengers' director Joss Whedon, streets ahead as he tends to be, is already looking past this battle to the next Avengers installment. The geek icon was asked in a recent interview how he would go about topping this year's superhero epic. Here's what he had to say...
"By not trying to. By being smaller. More personal, more painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself."
He then compared his sequel approach to that of 'The Godfather, Part II...'
"By having flashbacks to young Michael Andolini escaping Sicily to come to New York, where he will be called Corleone. Sequels are always better when that happens."
First of all, I think we can all agree that we'd love to see Whedon come back to direct 'The Avengers 2.' That may be putting the cart before The Hulk, but if this summer's blockbuster is even half as amazing as it looks in trailers and other sundry marketing materials, geeks like myself will be demanding his return. I also really like his decision to actually narrow the scope of the sequel and make it less about the giant spectacle of the assembling of so many superheroes. Part of me wonders if "more personal, more painful" is a hint that we'll see Ant-Man in the sequel, the Avengers member from the comics with plenty of personal demons including his turbulent relationship with The Wasp and the ill-advised creation of his disastrous robot Ultron. It would make sense to include both of these Avengers members from the comics if Whedon is going for a smaller (no pun intended), more personally painful story for the sequel. Of course, that is major conjecture and may be complicated by the fact that Edgar Wright is supposedly doing his own Ant-Man film.
As to his second statement, in which he compares his approach to 'The Avengers' sequel to 'The Godfather, Part II,' I hate to disagree with the man, but the last place I think 'The Avengers 2' should go is into origin story territory. Why? Because Marvel already very deliberately used multiple stand-alone films as one massive origin story. Nearly every superhero movie Marvel has put out since 'Iron Man' has ended with a stinger promoting and hinting at 'The Avengers.' Marvel has created possibly the biggest origin story of any superhero property and to go back again and revisit their roots strikes me as a repetitive and unnecessary approach. However, if I can see the issue inherent in approaching the sequel this way, Whedon already has and is probably working around it. It just strikes me as an odd thing to say.
What do you guys think? What should a smaller, more personally painful 'Avengers' sequel center on? Could an origin story work?