Joss Whedon Doesn’t Get Enough Credit for the MCU’s Success, According to Fans
Everyone associates Kevin Feige so strongly with the Marvel Cinematic Universe nowadays that any thought of Joss Whedon once being involved is dissolved from memory. Some fans of Whedon are starting to speak up for him and take everyone back to when he was involved in the franchise.
For those who don’t remember, Whedon wrote and directed the first two Avengers movies. Fans are starting to reanalyze his top-tier storytelling abilities in both of those films, even if ultimately being superseded by the Russo Brothers.
Taking time out to remember what made those first movies so successful is worth doing. It might make some think back to how Whedon could have made recent MCU films exponentially better than they already were.
Was Joss Whedon better at character development and dialogue?
A Reddit poster mentioned recently that Whedon always had a knack for better character development with the Avengers. While an arguable case, the best example was slowing down to explore Steve Rogers/Captain America’s state of mind after being resurrected out of the ice in the modern-day.
Many will remember he finally let go of the memory of Peggy Carter and realized he had no way to go back to her. Of course, little did he know he would years later. Developing the mental reinforcement of Steve Rogers was important, though, including him saving his old friend Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier).
The same goes for Tony Stark and how he learned to work with the Avengers for the purpose of a greater good. Prior to the first Avengers movie, he was a bit of a loner who thought he could do everything himself.
Little character developments like this helped a lot, not including giving them smart dialogue. Part of that came in the comedic banter Whedon was known for doing so well. Since then, understanding that as a major writing skill is easy to forget.
How well did Joss Whedon do comedic dialogue?
Go back and watch the first two Avengers movies in 2012 and 2013, and the hilarious dialogue interplay between characters was always better honed. The above Reddit thread starter noted how much Whedon made comedic banter more realistic than broad: “Humor in his movies feels very natural (not talking about JL); it felt like their characters would actually have that conversation; no joke was shoehorned…”
While comedy is always a matter of opinion, there is a lot of truth to Whedon making it more appropriate in certain situations. The later films from the Russos sometimes placed comedic one-liners at times when not really apropos, as in after specific characters died.
A good way to see how sharp Whedon is at this type of dialogue is to go back and watch his other movies and TV shows. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV to big-screen The Cabin in the Woods, listening to his dialogue reveals a lot about how sharp of an observer he is.
Even though his take on Ultron wasn’t the most popular for the second Avengers movie, nobody can fault his sense of comedic timing and character development. More so, he brought a little more patience to the Avengers to let them all have a moment in the spotlight.
One thing Joss Whedon is known for is making everyone in the cast matter
Whedon has always made sure every character in his movies and TV shows have their time to contribute to the story. He never has hired someone and made them stay silent or only have a few seconds of screen time.
His penchant for this allowed him to take the Avengers and give them memorable scenes. As the MCU films moved on without him, the characters started to increase, hence giving individual superheroes less time to have singular moments that stand out. Character development has also become more blurred as a result of juggling so much.
Should the MCU ever hire Whedon back to bring a better sense of storytelling to future phases? Whedon has said he needed to move on after experiencing a lot of corporate interference shooting Age of Ultron.
Kevin Feige and Whedon might not be far apart in telling stories with aplomb anyway. However, it would still be interesting to see how they match up on dialogue and character evolution in a make-believe writer superhero showdown.