Joss Whedon’s Latest Controversy Doesn’t Erase the Way He Changed the MCU Forever
Who really gets proper credit for making the Marvel Cinematic Universe what it is today turned into a major argument on social media recently among fans. A new consensus says Joss Whedon was really the biggest blueprint builder for how the MCU looks at its current level.
Other fans still argue the case the MCU never hit the stellar level it is now until Kevin Feige came aboard. Nevertheless, those who argue for Whedon give some good points to the things being utilized now he mostly invented himself.
One thing to keep in mind about Whedon is he was given considerable creative power. This no longer became a luxury to the creatives involved because of Whedon.
How much creative power did Joss Whedon have at Marvel?
Go back eight years to when Whedon was hired to direct and write 2012’s The Avengers. At the time, Marvel was still looking for a regular group of writers and directors they could count on to take the newly formed Marvel Cinematic Universe into a new realm of storytelling.
Names like Jon Favreau were certainly worthy of their talents. Other names like writers Zak Penn, Justin Theroux, and director Joe Johnston, not quite as much.
These names did have talent, yet bringing Joss Whedon in more or less towered over what the others managed to accomplish. Whedon was red-hot in 2012 thanks to having a unique penchant for creating compelling TV content and movies. His knack was in managing to bring effective character development within huge ensembles, along with equally crackling dialogue.
Marvel figured he could take the MCU to new places it had not quite gone yet in Phase One. Hence, Whedon received the red carpet treatment when directing and writing The Avengers. Little did he know how miserable it would eventually be, according to EW.
What do fans say Whedon added to the MCU?
On Reddit, fans argue over whether Whedon should receive any credit after all of his recent filmmaking controversies. Along with more arrows being flung at him for allegedly having multiple affairs in his marriage, per Life and Style, his name might be a little sullied right now.
For the above Reddit users, some are giving him credit for inventing big (and little) things the MCU still utilizes in its unique movie style. One of those was his uncanny ability to take a massive, interconnected universe and create a comprehensible story out of it all in under three hours.
Yes, this was true cinematic juggling Whedon was known for throughout the industry. Said one Reddit user: “Whedon was a specialist in TV, meaning he is great at two things. Writing and directing large casts to make sure everyone has enough screen time, and making exciting season finales. The Avengers was essentially a season finale, and he wrote it so that it was simple enough for a non-fan to follow and packed with of the four main heroes for any fan of just one movie to be satisfied.”
As effective as this was, Marvel seemed to realize Whedon had a little too much power, bringing problems when Whedon started directing Age of Ultron.
Joss Whedon also led to more MCU creative balance
According to Indie Wire, the stories of Whedon being miserable on the set of Age of Ultron are now notoriously legendary. Somehow he lost his mojo after that point, leading to the continuing criticism of him screwing up Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2017, leading to a Snyder cut upcoming for HBO Max.
It seems the MCU decided to mix it up creatively when bringing in their later talents to replace Whedon. As some Reddit users note above, Kevin Feige, Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely, and the Russo Brothers are pretty much the equivalent of one Whedon.
Realizing this proves Whedon was a creative whirlwind Marvel apparently needed to temper, if setting their penchant for juggling hundreds of characters with aplomb.