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Joss Whedon - "The Avengers" Movie - Nypost.com Interview
mercredi 19 septembre 2012, par Webmaster
SO what did writer-director/fanboy hero Joss Whedon do last fall, after he wrapped up the megahit Marvel’s “The Avengers” ?
He shot a black-and-white adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” with a few friends in his Santa Monica, Calif., backyard.
Before post-production began, “I had a week off [that] I had eked out of Marvel and with a couple of weekends I had a 12-day shoot,” says Whedon, who’ll be at the Toronto International Film Festival when “Much Ado” premieres Saturday.
In a big switch from “Avengers,” his $220 million superhero epic, the 48-year-old went the low-budget, modern-dress route for Shakespeare.
“I think it’s time to pull him out of obscurity,” he jokes about The Bard, then adds, seriously :
“For years, I’ve had Shakespeare readings at my house on Sundays with friends, and this kind of blossomed out of that. And really it’s a different team of superheroes — because they could remember all those words.”
Though he’s one of Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriters (“Toy Story,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), the native New Yorker promises that the prose in his “Much Ado” will be Shakespeare’s, albeit abridged. No interpolations of Whedon’s famous pop culture references ? “I’m happy to say there are none, or they’re from Shakespeare’s time.”
Drawing from what he calls “my stable of actors,” Whedon chose his pals Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker, who appeared together in his TV series “Angel,” to play the bickering lovers Benedick and Beatrice. Clark Gregg, fresh off “The Avengers,” was recruited as Leonato, governor of Messina.
Shooting in black-and-white was both an economic and aesthetic choice, Whedon says.
“It’s kind of a darker version of the story than [Kenneth] Branagh’s,” he says of the sunny and popular 1993 film version, whose all-star cast included Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves. “I refer to it as a noir comedy : There’s a lot of lying and deception and creepiness.”
“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of dozens of films seeking US distribution at this year’s festival.
“The festival circuit is a world I’m not familiar with,” Whedon says. “I hope you like it, but I won’t get mad at you if you don’t.”
“Avengers” star Samuel L. Jackson made headlines when he tweeted that a critic for the New York Times “needs a new job !” after giving a mixed notice for a film that went on to become the year’s top grosser.
“I went into a bubble when the film came out, but do know that Sam Jackson got pretty huffy,” Whedon says when asked about the incident.
“I don’t think a flame war is going to help anybody. People are allowed to not like the film, but I do get annoyed when somebody really hasn’t done their homework. A lot of reporting in the negative reviews . . . was more like they were reviewing the [superhero] genre than the movie itself.”
Was he surprised by the film’s enormous success ? “A little bit,” Whedon says. “We were trying to make something popular, but this went to a different place. It’s a far from perfect film, but it struck a chord.”
Whedon’s efforts, like his feature “Firefly,” tended to play to smaller cult audiences, but he says he didn’t change his approach for “The Avengers.”
“I’ve always been trying to make big summer movies, and sometimes they’ve turned out to be little films,” he says. “You’re always striving for the same moments.”
Right now, Whedon is “hanging out with my two kids and trying to relax. That didn’t work so I’m working again on an Internet thing called ‘Wastelanders.’ ”
He also recently signed a deal with Marvel to write and direct the inevitable sequel to “The Avengers,” due out in May 2015.
“We’re just at the beginning stage,” Whedon says, declining to offer any tidbits. “I don’t think we’ll be able to shoot it in 12 days.”
Read more : http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/whedon_bard_to_the_bone_YIbzfeFkUYOj8dMM1ePsUI#ixzz26whsmTdM
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