AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON! Many will agree that this is the most anticipated movie for the first half of 2015. (The 2nd half being reserved for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS) With the previous MARVEL film, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, smashing box office records in 2014, it seems the studio can do no wrong. Will the trend continue? We were able to ask the head honchos in person.
On April 11th at Walt Disney Studios, we had the opportunity to speak with Kevin Feige, Head of Marvel and Producer of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, as well as Director Joss Whedon. For good measure, the rest of the headlining cast was there as well. Check out this impressive list:
· Robert Downey Jr (“Iron Man”)
· Scarlett Johansson (“Black Widow”)
· Chris Evans (“Captain America”)
· Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”)
· Mark Ruffalo (“The Hulk”)
· Jeremy Renner (“Hawkeye”)
· Cobie Smulders (“Maria Hill”)
· Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Quicksilver”)
· Elizabeth Olsen (“Scarlett Witch”)
· James Spader (“Ultron”)
· Paul Bettany (“Vision”)
· Joss Whedon (Director)
· Kevin Feige (Producer)
I mean, they almost didn’t fit at the table!
You can read the highlights below, or listen to the full Press Conference right here:
Once the panel was introduced, the press jumped right in, asking Kevin Feige what it’s meant to see the grand plan that MARVEL Studios started almost a decade ago come to fruition.
KEVIN FEIGE: Well, it’s been great, of course. Back then, I said ‘maybe we’ll introduce all the different characters and put them together.’ The minute that happened, the world sort of got it. It’s daunting now, though, because the expectations before didn’t exist. Now the expectations are crushingly overwhelming. But it’s incredible, to look down the line and the table keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s the greatest ensemble ever assembled in cinematic history.
It’s clear the Kevin Feige is excited for audiences to see AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, but how was it for the director, Joss Whedon, to put the thing together?
JOSS WHEDON: (with a touch of sarcasm) There’s, like, 47 of these people! I really didn’t think that through. All joking aside, it’s making sure that everybody gets their moment, and it all serves the story. It’s also about making these guys look good and I think it all came together.
When asked how he began creating the sequel to one of the greatest, largest, most successful movies of all time, AVENGERS, Joss responded with calming words.
JOSS WHEDON: The thing that drew me back to the movie was, what little moments are there between these characters that I haven’t gotten to do yet? What conversations have they not had? What’s funny about them. Those little moments are really the heart of the thing.
Before I movie on to the next question, I want to paint a picture for you. When the actors all walked in and were seated, they definitely did not look like their characters. Scarlet Johanssen’s hair is now short and blond. Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth just don’t look the same without their respective uniforms/armor. Mark Ruffolo isn’t big and green. But Robert Downey, Jr., down to his walk, attitude, expensive suit and fancy sunglasses, is EXACTLY Tony Stark. He also had the distinction of sitting in the exact middle of the panel and causing a ruckus from time to time.
About 10 minutes into the press conference, one reporter stood up and asked Robert Downey, Jr., “We got to see a sort of fatherly relationship with Tony Stark. Did you have that kind of thing in mind when you were playing the role this time?
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. (or Tony Stark – you decide): I must be mellowing with age, but I want to say this very clearly. The next time I’m not asked the first question, I will f__ing walk out!
It was clear he was joking, and we all laughed. He then went on the answer the question.
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.: I read Joss’s script and said “I think it’s great. Let’s go shoot it.” I thought it was a Swiss watch to begin with and Joss really created some great new situations for Tony to be in, so rather than dig in my heels and try to rewrite every scene, I showed up and it turned out great.
James Spader plays the new antagonist, Ultron. His character is motion capture and CGI. How was he able to bring this character to life?
JAMES SPADER: What was happening happened very quickly. I was trying to hold on and stay on the train that was moving very, very quickly. I arrived in London, they put on a suit, they put on all this gear, I’d gone through a range of motion. And then within 15 minutes I was watching me as Ultron. And so really that pace was what it was, through the entire project.
Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye felt a bit short-changed in THE AVENGERS, and he was asked to talk about his first reactions when he read the script in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.
JEREMY RENNER: Well, I speak in this movie, which is awesome. And I become part of the team, which is awesome. I could never do what [Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth & Mark Ruffalo] do, I don’t have that creative a mind. I understood Hawkeye in the sense that he is a human with a high skill set, so I can tap into that. Hawkeye has an endearing secret that is revealed in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, and I’m excited to see where that goes.
KEVIN FEIGE: Hulk and Hawkeye – I had very big plans for them in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.
With some of our questions appeased, we then turned to the woman on the team, Scarlett Johansson, and asked about her character and her awesome motorcycle skills.
SCARLET JOHANSSON: At the beginning of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, we are a well-oiled machine. There’s some sense finally of there being a kind of “normal”. At the end, Widow was hopeful for something. And I think it’s an interesting place to leave her, because there’s many different directions to go.
As for the motorcycle, I embarrassingly rode some sort of a mechanical bull type of motorcycle, which goes nowhere and doesn’t look cool at all. But you know, we had some very professional and amazing motocross work being done that makes Black Widow look like a total badass, and I will say, you know, I’m very fortunate that there’s a team around me that is super-supportive in helping all of Widow’s fight moves and awesome motorcycle riding happen. Luckily Joss writes me some badass moves that make me look just epic and it’s awesome. I just said epic, awesome and badass all in one sentence.
JAMES SPADER: Wicked.
Then the conversation turned to the green elephant in the room. One man asked Mark Ruffalo to talk about how he finds a way to make Dr. Banner feel like such a distinct character from the Hulk.
MARK RUFFALO: I was helped out by the fact that I was green and huge. That helps with the distinction between the two characters. So I can’t take full credit for that.
The audience tittered a bit at this response. It was almost the end of the Press Junket, and we had time for one more question. The Nerd Question Of The Day! “Why is the armor designed to contain the Hulk called Veronica?”
JOSS WHEDON: You know, I just decided to call it Veronica because I used to be in love with a woman named Betty, and Veronica is the opposite of that.
Mind. Blown. Well, it’s definitely a nerd answer to a nerd question! AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is almost upon us. So look for Veronica, along with Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye…*deep breath*…Quick Silver, Scarlett Witch, Ultron and The Vision in a theater near you on May 1st!
Marvel’s The Avengers is the third highest grossing film of all time. Keep reading Adventures by Daddy for all the information leading up to the release of Marvel’s The Avengers Age of Ultron. For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.