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Joss Whedon: Before and after The Avengers 2

by Joe Utichi for JoeUtichi.com

The following unabridged conversation is the result of two interviews I conducted with writer/director Joss Whedon. The first and longest interview took place in February 2012, whilst Whedon was in London overseeing the scoring of The Avengers. The second interview took place at the Glasgow Film Festival a year later – February 2013 – when Whedon presented Much Ado About Nothing.

The Avengers was released in April 2012 to critical praise and a lifetime box office of more than $600m.

17th February 2012 – Covent Garden Hotel, London

You’re here to score The Avengers – when you work on something for so long, to get to see it being performed with music by a live orchestra must be quite exciting.

It’s different than anything. I love live orchestra music anyway but when you’re in the hands of a master you see what you remember as being this endless and very tiresome process elevated to this glorious thing. Especially when you sit through. The first time I did it was Toy Story, and John Lasseter said, “Go in the room!” I said, “I can hear it in the booth,” and he insisted, “Go in the room.” It’s completely different. Your hair… Well, if I had hair it would move back. It’s great.

I loved The Cabin in the Woods, but I was intrigued when you described it as a “hate letter to horror”. What did you mean?

You know, I sort of wish I hadn’t said that, because I would say it was more of a scolding than a hate letter. [laughs] It’s such a joyous film and contains so much love that Drew [Goddard] and I have for horror and absurdity and all those things. The fact of it being a little bit of a critique of where we think the horror film’s sort of gone off the rails is not really the headline of the thing. I’m not big on hate, but there is an element to this torture porn promulgation that’s made me as angry as I can remember being. But most of the movie is actually a love letter. It’s even a sonnet by two mad men.

It’s full of references to some of the best examples of the genre. It answers all of those questions that you have when you watch horror films: how are these people so stupid? How does this world exist?

The removal – the disconnect – between human behaviour and movie behaviour – and this isn’t just in horror, but it’s particularly lethal in horror – at some point starts to strain, and besides being cliché, it takes you completely away from the characters.

I was reading, just recently, somebody saying, “Well, if a horror movie has characters they call it a thriller.” But every narrative should have character, and that goes away in horror. And it starts with the tropes of, “I’ll drop the knife now. It’s a really good time to be unarmed while I have my back to the thing.” And then that goes further into, “I’m an unbelievable asshole and also I’m doing drugs, and crime and sex all at the same time so I not only might die but deserve to. I need to and you want me to.” Really? That’s not good.

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It becomes oddly political too. You’re showing this character that does all the things that society deems to be inappropriate because apparently that’s a crime punishable by death. I do wonder if, in America, that’s an attitude that may be more prevalent than elsewhere in the world.

The films that I’m talking about do come from America, God knows. The punishment for youth-y behaviour is bizarre and unsettling to me. This really is, in many ways, like a 70s conspiracy thriller. It is an oddly political film because in a way it’s structured like those old political thrillers that we love. If I start naming all the influences on this movie, by the time I get through you’ll run out of tape. But that is an element: that this is being done. This is being caused. That it’s not just, “oh, culture is naturally–” No, we are responsible for the culture that we are making and we should take a closer look at it.

It seems to me that the fabric of a lot of your recent work has been a reaction to what is being made within the studio system – the mass entertainment media. Would that be fair to say?

Yeah. You try not to do something that is purely reactionary, or perhaps I should say reactive, where it’s clearly like, “He has an agenda and he has to spout off about it.” I dislike agendas; I like obsessions because obsessions are part of what make us individual and exciting. Agendas – not so much. The joke of the whole thing is that this is the silliest movie I’ve ever made, and that Drew and I just had an enormous amount of fun. The ramification, the political message, of the thing, was very clear to both of us. It was never an issue, and never a worry about “well, how do portray this that or the other?” It was just, “this is how we feel, this is a really fun way of expressing it, how can we figure in a unicorn?”

Is there a strange catharsis to getting to ask all those questions?

There is. And to be able to answer them definitively. It’s sort of an absolution for all the poor damn people who ever took a bad vacation in a teen film and to say, “this was done to you.” The message of the thing is, I think, quite sweet, because it says people still matter to each other, regardless of what these movies seem to be telling us. And our own desire to see them.

I adore horror. I want to see a horror movie. But something that I never articulated, actually, until today, is that horror has nothing to do with killing. I mean obviously they often come hand in hand, but horror was never about the killing. It was about the dread. And then all of a sudden the pendulum seems to have swung a bit and the killing is the thing.

I want to say that it was the remake of Friday the 13th. I did walk out of it, but I found it fascinating that the movie opens with a group of expendable teens, Jason kills them all – not by the way, very inventively – and then the movie starts. It was as much formula as a Bond film: we want to see the killer kill, but we’ve got to give him a dose, and another even more expendable teenager shows up. It was hateful as anything I’ve ever seen. Not to sound super stodgy – though I am – if you don’t care, who cares?

You’re very clear, though, with Cabin, that for all the in-jokes, for all the nods to the genre, you’re also intending to scare.

Absolutely: we wanted to make a legitimate horror movie. We love horror movies, and we love the Halloween/Nightmare on Elm Street genre of the young teens in peril. We have a problem with that as a structure – its devolution is upsetting – but we love to see people in peril, and Drew and I are little horror encyclopaedias. Someone asked, “Which horror movies do you like?” And I said, “Let’s see, starting with Nosferatu and going all the way through…” There wasn’t an era of horror that I didn’t adore.

Done properly, it’s one of the most artistically rich and inventive genres of cinema.

It is. And it can be radical, because you can take people to very strange places. I described it as being like the early days of rap, where you could be more openly misogynistic than anybody had ever imagined in popular culture, and at the same time, women could have a new kind of strength and voice that they did not have in pop at the time. And the horror movies in the 70s and 80s were the same thing. The same genre that killed an endless series of bimbos also gave us the Romero trilogy, which was deeply feminist and political. It gave us a completely new kind of heroine. It’s both, and that extremity is exciting.

And you have to accept they’re going to come hand in hand. That the bad is going to come with the good. The whole point of horror is enjoying objectification and identification at the same time. I mean the point of horror is to have the shit scared out of you, but you are doing two different things at the same time. You are in conflict and it is a perfectly comfortable conflict. I don’t think this movie would work at all if Drew and I didn’t love horror movies.

That’s been clear for years in your work. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was essentially a horror movie every week.

Well, it turned into a soap opera and then briefly into a porn, but it had a horror structure. I found it less and less frightening as the years went on and I was less and less interested because I was so invested in the characters. That’s a problem with a television show when you know the character is going to live and you want them to. I’m not good at introducing the expendable person of the week.

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But Buffy did kill off quite a few major characters!

Oh yeah. People died, don’t get me wrong. But horror wasn’t really its greatest strength. But Buffy was an answer to the question, “Why does that blonde girl, who likes to have a good time and is cute and funny, always get killed?” Cabin in the Woods is an answer to the same question. It’s a very different answer, but the question is exactly the same.

It’s interesting you say that Buffy become more of a soap opera. The stakes got ever higher for Buffy, and the longer we knew her the less we wanted her to suffer. But suffer she did in those last few years.

Yes, she did. And the more we did the show, the more we made her suffer. She’s great at it. We used to call Sarah [Michelle Gellar] “Jimmy Stewart”, because this girl suffers so well, and you’re so with her when she does. That was sort of the first rule. But even just maintaining the idea of danger was a challenge. Tara was introduced largely because Willow had become so strong that we didn’t have a damsel anymore.

And then you killed her off.

Yeah… You know, just the other day, for the first time, I had a realisation about Tara. I put Amber Benson [who played Tara] in the opening credits of that episode so that everyone would go, “Ah, she’s a regular now!” And then I shot her in the chest. I realised that this terrible reputation I have for killing people has come about not because I killed a beloved character, but because I was such a dick about it. [laughs] Because that’s just mean. That’s just cruel.

But Tara… She may be dead, but she haunts me still, because now all anybody ever talks about is the fact that I kill characters off and I think, I do do other things as well. And then you get to Cabin in the Woods, but it’s a horror movie and I’m allowed!

That act is really a version of what you’re doing in Cabin in the Woods, because it’s about playing with the medium. You don’t expect a series regular to die. When the Enterprise beams down to a planet it’s the nameless red shirt that will be killed, not Captain Kirk.

Exactly. You want to play with their expectations. In TV, somebody who was in the opening credits is all right. They cannot be harmed. And in movies, there are certain things like if teenagers go into the woods, they are not going to be the most intelligent, organised people ever. Every now and then you’ll see, in movies or on TV, people actually do what they would do in that situation – even if it’s panic but in a believable fashion – and you just go, “This is awesome. Thank you.”

We’ve been waiting for this film for a while. I understand it got caught up in what was going on at MGM. What’s the brief history of that?

The brief history is a sad one. It’s simply that MGM went bankrupt right after we finished the movie, so we had to sit on it, and legal issues had to be worked out. But part of their crawl back from bankruptcy was to sell off their assets. So they screened Cabin and Lionsgate fought like tigers to get it, and they’re actually the better studio for this kind of movie. MGM was great because they let us make it exactly what we wrote, but once we made it, they sort of went, “we’re not really positive how to deal with this.” Whereas Lionsgate went, “it’s a horror movie. We could probably help you with that.” And they genuine love the piece we created and all the marketing they’ve done – they’ve pushed really hard – has been really intelligent. They had twenty different posters, all of which were fascinating. And the one that won out was my favourite, and I thought, “nobody’s ever going to do this. I love it too much.” I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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Presumably you have to go this abstract with it – otherwise how do you sum up this film in a poster? A trailer?

Well, it’s not something that the other studio cracked. Lionsgate got it the first time out. And it was: you take the structure of the film and you make it the structure of the trailer. It comes on and says, “You think you know the story,” and what’s left of my hair just stood up. I said, “Oh, bless you, that’s exactly right.” When they were pitching different tag lines for the poster I said, “Look guys, you already got it. You already have the tag line. You wrote it – it’s in the trailer. ‘You think you know the story.’ That’s all.”

Is there some strange irony to the fact that it’s being released by the studio that was really built by the Saw movies?

A little bit. I think I remember being in a meeting at Lionsgate and saying something like, “Blah blah blah blah Saw!” And somebody went, “Joss, look at the posters behind you.” “Oh! That’s a lot of Saw. Whoops.” But you know what, they’re not precious about it. Those movies are very successful. They love them, but if they didn’t love them, they wouldn’t know how to market this. It’s that same thing. They’re aware of the contradictions.

By the way, I’ve never seen the Saw movie. I’ve seen bits of some of the movies and I’ve seen other movies in the genre but that’s the one that always gets called out, and if it’s a full disclosure I should say that I haven’t actually seen them. But it seems like inventive death traps. That seems to be the thing.

It’s the same theory that makes Scream so successful. If you want to deconstruct the genre, have people well-known in the genre do it.

Yes. And Scream worked like gangbusters because it’s fucking terrifying. And there is a thing, that knowledge of the genre will not help you survive it. [laughs]

Cabin is very different. Somebody referred to it as a satire and I went, “No, no, no!” This movie has its own reality. I mean, Scream is much more postmodern. Scream breaks the fourth wall very deliberately and, in at least one case, so brilliantly that it takes my breath away, which is of course Jamie Kennedy yelling at the TV, “Look behind you,” with the murderer behind him. That’s as good as it gets. But this is a completely different egg. Oddly enough, I think this movie takes itself much more seriously while being so absurd in its concept.

It’s of the world of movies, whereas Scream was more of the “real” world. Cabin is the sort of movie they would have watched in Scream, but not the other way around.

Yeah, exactly. Everybody in Cabin is living a reality that is not based on horror movies. They’re not making pop culture references. Well, they’re making pop culture references but they’re to Little Nemo which was pop culture a hundred years ago. I’m so glad we got that.

It really felt at the time that it was becoming evident that the film was going to be caught up in the turmoil at MGM, that it was the latest in a long list of spectacular industry tragedies for you.

Trust me, I have kept count. [laughs]

How do you keep going in that world? It feels like it’s almost betrayed you in a lot of ways.

You feel it strongly. Anybody who works does. I mean, after I made Serenity, I had Goners set up at the studio. Mary [Parent], who’d basically produced Serenity when she was working at Universal, had bought it. Everything was in place. And the new people just completely shitcanned it. I wasn’t ready for that. And it happened right after the people at Warner Bros. said, “Yeah, we don’t like anything you’re doing with Wonder Woman.” I thought, “OK.” There’s this whole laundry list of gut punches that you take.

Having said that, the first script I ever wrote was Buffy and it was produced. The first TV show I ever made up, and the second one, were produced. You can spend your time counting the ills – and just recently I had another really shocking blow in terms of the business – and I thought I can either stew over this forever, or I can accept that the business is the business and that I’m luckier than 99.99% of the people working in it.

Admittedly, I will never get over Firefly. That arm doesn’t grow back. But honestly, it would be absurd for me to be bitter when I’ve had so much success. Success simply in terms of I had something to say, I got to say it, people heard it, and they agreed. That’s every artist’s dream. That’s the brass ring.

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As far as Firefly is concerned, I have to say that 2005 remains one of my favourite years to be doing this job, because of Serenity – and not just because of the film but because of the warmth and the strength of feeling from the Browncoats that rallied behind it. I hope your experience of that year was the same.

Yes, first of all, it was. I mean it was as stressful as anything, because everyone was trying to get it done and that was my first real press tour. But somebody asked me, “Is this movie an f-off to the studio?” And I said, “This movie is a love letter to the cast. This movie is about the fact that this story was in me and needed to be told.”

Hate is an inefficient fuel source. And everything that I do comes from a sense of joy. I happen to be a very grumpy person. I happen to be just obnoxiously discontented…

I’m getting that vibe!

Oh yeah. Fucker. [laughs]

But then the work is always about the thrill of being able to create for a living and to work with the extraordinary people I work with. I believe that I have a gift, and that gift is for hiring ensembles that are so good that I can pretty much phone it in. They’re all so good at being the character, playing very difficult roles. Especially for the kids where you have to be one thing and another thing and the way they have to change. It’s subtle stuff and they’re just great, and so I come away from all of these things just aglow.

Then it gets shelved for three years. But I’m so used to that that I have a defence mechanism where I just shut down and do the next thing. So when I heard this was going, I thought, “Oh! That’s nice.”

If you’re going to win in Hollywood you may as well win by directing The Avengers, which is pretty much as big as it gets. Did it feel a little like going from zero to a hundred?

Yeah, it did. I don’t think of it in terms of business very often. I mean there was a moment where I just went, “Oh, boy, this is big.” And my wife said, “Joss, it’s just the next story.” You know, they’re talking about, “We need to make this much and it’s got to do this, it’s got to do that.” I’m going to make it as good as I can. That’s my job. And if it doesn’t hit, then that’s business.

I’m lucky in that it’s not a means to an end for me. If I never make another giant movie, I’m not going to be like, “Well, it’s because I failed and remorse, remorse.” I shot Much Ado About Nothing almost to the day after we wrapped Avengers. I can’t believe it happened. Honestly, I’ve never felt like such a stud in my life. At the same time I spent the first two days apologising to everybody for coming and being in my fantasy for so cheap. Then I realised they were all having fun and I stopped.

My wife and I were going on vacation she said, “I think you’d like to make the movie.” I said, “I can’t.” I had just sort of gotten the take on it. I always wanted to do it but I had just gotten the take on it. I said, “I think I get why I would make this into a film.” And she goes, “Well, you could use our vacation.” I said, “I can’t possibly adapt this into a film script, prep it, cast it and then have it ready in a month.” She said, “Well, November doesn’t work for us. See what you can do.” It was just like, “All right, challenge accepted.”

There were times when I was just thought I must be insane. And then it really was a joy and I’m really proud of the film too. So it’s a nice year because I had a lot of years of, “Working hard everybody!” And a lot of years where I thought, “Should I even go to Comic-Con? I have nothing to say, except, ‘I failed at the following things…’” So it will be nice to be able to put out some product, and such varying product.

In a way, perhaps it’s a good thing that Cabin is coming out now, with Mr. Hemsworth’s star ascending.

Yeah. When I spoke to him during all this – before I even got Avengers – he asked, “You think they’ll put the movies out?” And I said, “Yeah, but there’s a good chance that they’ll wait until Thor comes out, even if the movie would sell before that, because then they’ll have famous you.” And that turned out to be the case. But I think that I’m king of the world, and then he’s got three movies coming out in the space of seven weeks. I gotta take him down. [laughs]

The interesting thing is that you’re quite well known for re-using cast, and there’s a lot of Whedon alumnus in this film. Chris was coincidental.

It was complete coincidence. The wheel turns thus: Kenneth Branagh called me to ask about Chris because he was considering him, and then cut to a year later I’m calling him and saying, “Tell me about Chris, because I’m going to be doing Avengers.” So it was this weird symmetry, but it’s great.

Have you had fun on Avengers? Have there been moments when the nature of Hollywood has sort of encroached?

The nature of Hollywood has encroached a couple of times. But honestly, there will never be a better experience with a studio than the one I’ve had with Marvel. It is basically a mom-and-pop mega studio. And they handed me the most important thing they’ve done, and I said, “This is what I want to do with it.” And they said, “All right.” And that’s exactly the film I made.

Obviously they had restrictions and strictures and needs, but I understand the business and I love comics, and I know the difference between movies and comics even though they’re based on comics. I felt very comfortable meeting their expectations while making my film, and they couldn’t have been more supportive or less intrusive. It’s extraordinary.

I was still miserable most of the time, but in my defence, I had insomnia and was in Albuquerque. And I was away from my kids, which, I won’t do that again. But it was a grand experience and one that I will look back on with much fonder memories than I was actually having at the time, because it was a lot of work.

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24th February 2013 – Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

When I spoke to you last, while you were in London recording the score for The Avengers, the theme of the conversation was regret. With the success of the movie do you feel you’ve turned a corner in figuring out Hollywood?

A lot of it just doesn’t register with me. Things happen to me very gradually. There’s no big “oh my God” moment, but several months in I’ll think, Oh, this seems to be different. There have been a couple of instances this year where I’ve noticed the change. But mostly, and most gratifyingly, in starting work on the second Avengers film there’s a sense that the trust that had to be earned now has been. It doesn’t make me think I’ve cracked the Hollywood code, and everything I do now will be magic – I’m still nervous and working way too hard and way behind – but there’s definitely a certain comfort in knowing there’s a perception of me that even people that don’t understand storytelling have to give into. The puzzle pieces are fitting together. They will probably fall apart, but there are more of them than there used to be.

Has it allowed you to change your approach to the projects you pick?

I made a decision to pursue only the things I wanted to do, because I wanted to be my own boss and do my passion projects, and now the only difference is – when I make time and when I stop doing every Marvel thing – that there won’t be any air of, “Well, it didn’t really happen, so at least I get to do this.” It’s now, “I really should do this.” I feel a greater obligation to push my boundaries as a storyteller and a filmmaker because of this dangerous comfort zone.

Most directors dealing with a giant summer blockbuster wouldn’t choose to use their two-week break to go off and make another feature film. But it seemed Much Ado About Nothing was just as important to you, and as urgent.

It absolutely was. The only thing that I try to fight is the Eastwood thing: one for them, one for me. Making The Avengers was very important to me, but it was also extremely arduous. I missed my friends and I missed my home, so I decided to throw them all on camera. Which is the only way I seem to know to relate to people – a problem to be discussed later.

But I was blissfully happy when we were shooting Much Ado About Nothing – and, by the way, it was actually only one week and three weekends – and then I went back to cutting The Avengers much better at figuring it out. I was in the very early process – my first assembly was very long and I started chipping away at the things I loved and that were important to me, and it felt terrible to be removing myself from the process. When I came back from Much Ado I realised, actually, that’s filmmaking. Part of it is taking yourself out of it and servicing the film, and without any rancour or confusion I was able to cut the film down to length and readily focus on the things that mattered. I think I would have come to that one way or another, but Much Ado sped it up and made things very clear to me. Here I was making absolute, giddy, ridiculous art, with no expectations, and nothing but joy and wishing that my neighbours’ dogs would shut up.

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With both of the films you’re also working, in a filmed medium, with someone else’s material for the first time.

Yes – apart from guest-directing a couple of episodes of television, this is the first time I’ve ever approached somebody else’s stuff. And I think those guest-directing gigs probably helped enormously, because when somebody else has built it and you have to approach it strictly as a director, it’s a different muscle you’re flexing.

But not that different, too. For me it always comes back to the same thing: what is the point? How can I make this the most accessible, the most emotional? Where should the camera go so that we understand exactly what they’re going through and we’re there with them?

There are, of course, the cuts. Much Ado About Nothing is a long play, and I didn’t want it to be a long movie. It should be light on its feet. And that process was actually pretty easy. There are lots of easy lifts and then I combined a few characters and rubbed a couple more just to concentrate on what I thought was important. I couldn’t understand what Antonio was doing in the play. I figured out Borachio, and I was really pleased about that because I think there’s a kind of tragic relationship going on there, but Antonio was just like, “I got nothing. He’s just taking.”

Did you feel Kenneth Branagh’s breath on the back of your neck, given he’d done Thor and Much Ado?

[laughs] I did. I saw his Much Ado many times, and was very surprised to realise when we were filming that it had been 18 years since it had come out. I was shocked. It was so present. I didn’t watch it again, because it’s hard for me to distance myself. What I wanted to do was something very different, but not different because of him. Different just to be different. There are certain things he did – particularly with Beatrice and Benedick – that are indelible and you can’t get away from them. Of course there’s the Patrick Doyle score, which is a classic, and during the shoot I thought, I can’t remember how it goes, and I mustn’t think about that. I didn’t think about music at all during the shoot, except for the songs. And then we were filming the kiss – where they admit they love each other – and as we were doing the two-shot of them coming together, just as they kiss his love theme exploded in my head as if somebody had thrown it on speaker. It was like, oh! I think the kiss worked!

You’ve just wrapped the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot – another part of the Marvel universe. It’s going to be very different from the superhero formula we know on screen, isn’t it?

That was fun to do, but again, too much work, and what’s wrong with me?

Yes, you know, the idea of the Little Guy is something that I am very fierce about, and there has never been a better Little Guy than Clark Gregg. He was one of the things that made the Marvel movies work, because of his dry acceptance of, “Ugh, superheroes, what are you going to do?” That intrigued me, because there is a world around the superhero community in the Marvel cinematic universe. It’s the people whose shop windows get blown to pieces when the Destroyer shows up. It’s the more intimate stories that belong on television, that we can really tap into the visual style and ethos, and even some of the mythology, of the Marvel movies, but do something that you can really only do on TV, which is to say, actually, sometimes it’s not epic. Sometimes it’s about these three people and what they’re going through. That excited me and I think we’ve put together another really great ensemble headed by Clark.

I think it’ll be a great opportunity, and how much it’s actually seeding or hinting or reacting to what’s going on in the movies is something we’ll let play out as we go. For me the most important thing is that people fall in love with it on its own merits, rather than constantly asking, “Is there gonna be an Avenger?” Well, there’s not gonna be a Hulk, because that guy’s too expensive.

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Is the plan for you to run that show?

The Avengers [sequel] is a lot more than a day job. Basically I put the pilot together with Jed [Whedon] and Maurissa [Tancharoen] – who had done Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and Dollhouse with me – and Jeffrey Bell – who did Angel with me and Spartacus with Jed and Maurissa – and so we all have a shared history. I will be as involved as I can be – mostly on a story level. It’s kind of what I’m doing with the other Marvel movies, except on the TV show I can say, “No, do it my way.” I’m just trying to keep it exciting and meaningful and surprising.

Do you benefit, going into the Avengers sequel, from having figured out the patchwork nature of the first? Is the pressure off, or do you just switch it for the pressure of making it bigger and better?

I don’t need bigger, but better is what I’m aiming for. It totally removes the pressure of having to introduce them all, so I can cut straight to the story, but I knew from day one that you shouldn’t try to match the scope and the success – you should try to dig a little deeper and tell a story that will resonate a little more than what came before. If you’re not trying to make it better, why are you doing it at all?

And as you say – you’re knee-deep in the Marvelverse, which ruled you out of the Star Wars gig. Would you have had a take?

Oh yeah. And it’s everything; it’s not just Star Wars. Everything I see I think, Oh, I’d really love to do one of those. I’ll read something or have an actual idea of my own, and think, I wish I could do something with that. And sometimes you can say, “I think I will.” But I’m trying to be a little more careful in the next few years about budgeting my time than I was in the last two.

Did you take a meeting with Lucasfilm?

No, all of this happened long after I was committed to The Avengers, so there was never any question. There was just a peep of sadness from me. But I think, in all honesty, that J.J. Abrams is the guy for the gig and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Are you keeping the gaps you do get, then, for more projects with your friends?

Yes. The S.H.I.E.L.D. show did push a few of them by the wayside, which was sad, but they haven’t gone away, they’ve just been delayed. But you can’t always have what you want.

And somebody should have explained that to me before I decided to commit to a television show.

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