Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks off principal photography in no time.
Even as he prepares for production on the sequel to the biggest comic book movie ever released, loquacious writer-director Joss Whedon is sharing some spoiler-free insight on how his second Avengers movie is influenced by The Godfather: Part II.
Oh, and there’s some new info on how a gorgeous Italian setting plays into Avengers: Age of Ultron.
With 2012’s The Avengers, Whedon and Marvel Studios somehow managed to satisfy pretty much everybody, pulling off a first of-its-kind franchise crossover, paying off five separate movies and setting up more shared adventures down the line. Just as the first movie marked the end of Phase One in the Marvel master plan, the second concludes Phase Two in theaters on May 1, 2015.
Before then, though, we’ve got two more interconnected Marvel Studios efforts, Captain America: The Winter Soldierand Guardians of the Galaxy. The former, arriving in April, appears to shake up the status quo in regards to S.H.I.E.L.D.
In an interview with Allocine (via Comic Book Movie) promoting the French release of Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon discussed the overlap, saying, “The events of Captain America [The Winter Soldier] will definitely affect the world of Avengers 2. But at the end of the day, I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can’t assume that everybody went to see Thor [The Dark World],Captain America, and Iron Man 3 in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what’s happened [in the previous movies], but not be slavish to it.”
“The model I’m always trying to build from, or my guiding star, is The Godfather: Part II where a ton has happened in-between and it’s a very different movie [from Part I], but you don’t need any information,” he continued. “It’s there in the film about what’s happened since, what’s different, and why is this a different film; why is it a different kind of structure, and why is it darker. It’s all there, you’re in the vernacular of the first movie and you’re just ready to pick up in this new place, and hopefully that’s what will happen with my movie. Obviously I’m talking about one of the greatest films ever made (The Godfather: Part II)… I hope mine will be good, but that is my guiding star.”
Not a bad guiding star to have, Mr. Whedon.
Now, moving on to more practical concerns for the production of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which we’ve long known will have more of an international scale than its predecessor. Late last week, Governor of Valle d’Aosta, Augusto Rollandin held a press conference to announce that Ford Bard in Northern Italy will host the Age of Ultron shoot.
Thanks to Italian site Bad Taste, we now know that Fort Bard isn’t the only spot getting Marvelized. The nearby municipalities of Aosta, Donnas, Pont-Saint-Martin, and Verrès will also see the Disney production taking over for a time, wrangling as many as five-hundred extras in the process.
The sequel brings back Avengers players Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson. They’re joined by franchise newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnsonand Elizabeth Olsen as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, along with Don Cheadle, bringing Iron Man series sidekick Rhodey into the ensemble.
James Spader, meanwhile, plays the villainous Ultron, while Thomas Kretschmann appears as secondary bad guy Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.