Joss Whedon says he’s done putting his “fairy dust” on the Marvel movies, but it’s not because of a falling out, it’s because he just wouldn’t be able to get anything else done if he stayed. During a Q&A at Oxford University last month, Whedon revealed that he was no longer consulting on Marvel movies despite earlier reports that that’s exactly what he’d do through Marvel’s upcoming Phase 3 set of films.
“I was their sort of consigliere for a while … and I sort of had my finger in all of the films in the second phase,” Whedon said. “Then I had to concentrate on only Ultron, and know that when it was done I was just going to stop.
“So I made a completely clean break, not because we had a falling out, but because I can’t. If I were still there saying, ‘Eh, here are my thoughts on this film,’ I’d be there every day. I wouldn’t do anything else. Because there are a lot of films, and it’s very fun. It’s very seductive when you can just put a little fairy dust on things, just improve them slightly, and they actually listen to you. I was a script doctor for a long time, and the part where they listen to you is very rare. So it was important for me for my own self to say, ‘No, we can still be friends, but… [shrugs]”
The director has been very upfront about how taxing it was to make the second Avengers film, telling Vulture, “This was the hardest work I’ve ever done, and at some point, when it’s that hard, you just feel like you’ve lost.” He addressed some of that overload during the Q&A as well.
“It was five years that I was working on either an Avenger or SHIELD [film], with just a smattering of Ado in the middle. [A reference to his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.] It was an enormous gift they gave me. They handed me several hundreds of millions of dollars, and said, ‘Do what you do,’ which is very rare. I was very lucky, but at the same time it’s important to me not just to have my own thing and do something smaller, but also to create a new challenge for myself because I will start to repeat myself. …
“I need to increase my vocabulary because I’m now at a place where enough people know what I do and I’ve done it enough that I could just sort of vaguely do that and that is how you become old and obsolete. So as an artist — because I’m super an artist [sarcasm] — I need to sort of make it harder for myself.
You can watch the full Q&A below if you also want to hear his thoughts on movies vs. TV, female characters in the Marvel universe, and much more. Skip to about 8:30 to hear his thoughts on leaving Marvel.
Joss Whedon Says He's Totally Done with the Marvel Movies