Study Guide

Avengers: Age of Ultron Screenwriter

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A Stellar Resume

Joss Whedon—even before the first Avengers ever thought about assembling, he brought some serious writing chops to this project. Not only is he the son and grandson of television writers, this is the guy behind such fun smashes as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both the film and television show), Titan A.E. and Toy Story (co-writer), and the criminally under-watched sci-fi show Firefly. He also wrote the first run of the comic book line for Astonishing X-Men. So, yeah, we'd say he's qualified to pen an Avengers script or two.

Whedon Strikes Back (Not Out)

And pen he did. After taking over for Zak Penn and putting together the first Avengers script, Whedon returned to write and direct the sequel all on his onesies. You would think that the pressure of matching the success of the first Avengers blockbuster and building a narrative bridge to the Infinity War storylines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three, all while juggling screen time for six protagonists (arguably seven if you counting Nick Fury), three new heroes, and a compelling super-villain would be too much for a mere mortal. But Whedon manages to pull it off. And what's most impressive is that, like ol' Blue Eyes himself (that's Frank Sinatra for you youngin's out there), he did it his way.

You see, Whedon threw fans a curveball with Age of Ultron, who were expecting to see the iconic Marvel villain Thanos—the main antagonist in the Infinity War storyline—in the sequel. (Check out "Fandoms" for more on their reaction.) Instead, Whedon pushed Thanos off into Phase Three, opting for a darker tale, told on a more intimate scale. This change-up was no accident, though. Whedon was deliberately following in the footsteps of great sequels like The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather, Part II. (Source)

The result is a movie that delivers all the booms and bangs we've come to expect of a superhero blockbuster, but which also puts us more inside the minds of these caped crusaders—their fears, obsessions, loves, and regrets. In that way, Whedon's hit a true home run with this script, giving us a story that's fun to look at, thought-provoking, and truly emotional at its core. The guy's an all-star.

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