Midnight tickets for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers went on sale today, giving fans a chance to reserve their seat for the anticipated blockbuster, which opens in theaters on May 4.
That’s very good timing, as Whedon was in Austin for South by Southwest this weekend, making the press rounds on behalf of his outstanding The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote and produced with director Drew Goddard). Every once in a while, Whedon strategically dropped various Avengers tidbits to inquisitive journalists.
For those who haven’t been paying close attention, Whedon’s The Avengers culminates a multi-year effort to assemble Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) into a super-powered team that’s able to defend our planet from a mysterious alien force.
Here are the five need-to-know items we learned about the superhero extravaganza this weekend.
1. The “mysterious alien force” is NOT The Skrulls. Or the Kree. Or the Vulcans.
Those are the two most-popular fanboy predictions for the film’s chief villain. Yet speaking at a SXSW panel, Whedon joked, “It’s the Vulcans. I don’t know a lot about the Marvel universe, and I thought there were Vulcans. I know we’re going to get a lot of emails about that one. I will say only this: It is not the Kree or the Skrulls. … The Skrulls — they can shape change. That’s a whole thing. I’ve already got Loki. He’s got magic. Once you got magic along with your Iron Man and your Black Widow — it’s a real juggling act.”
2. The “director’s cut” of the movie is the one you’ll see in theaters …
Sorry, DVD fans, but Whedon said the chances of deleted scenes saved for a home video release are slim. “I believe very strongly in putting the director’s cut into the theaters,” Whedon told Total Film. “I believe that the director’s cut is the best movie for the studio and the best version of the movie for the audience. I’ve never really been in a situation where I had to pull the beating heart out of something that I did.”
3. … but it will NOT be as long as he had hoped.
Speaking with Collider, Whedon revealed that his initial cut of the film ran close to three hours. “It’s now down to 2 hours and 15 minutes, and I’m extremely proud of that, he explained. “I had always intended to go over two, under two and a half. There was no way a movie with this many great actors and this much epic scope was gonna clock in under two and not feel a little anemic, somebody wasn’t gonna get their moment if that happened. But at the same time, I get very angry that romantic comedies run over two hours long, it’s like ‘Guys, that’s not okay.’ More isn’t more. I don’t want anything in the movie that shouldn’t be.”
4. If given a chance, he’d like to direct the sequel.
As Movies.com reported earlier, Whedon would love to make a second Avengers, and he reiterated to SXSW press that he’d go smaller in scope. He also joked that the template he’d follow for a sequel would involve Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II. Because why not, right?
5. And finally, AMC wants to reintroduce you to the Avengers.
So the theater chain is sponsoring multiple screenings of the movies that led to The Avengers. Dubbed the “Ultimate Marvel Marathon,” the event will be held on May 3, showing the six Marvel movies that came before Whedon’s opus - Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor in 3D, Captain America in 3D, and finally, the midnight screening of The Avengers in 3D. Click here for more details.