Whedon wants smaller Avengers sequel
Joss Whedon has been talking about his desire for the next Avengers film, and it's an interesting comment which really doesn't go far enough to tell if he's talking about the cast as well, but he's certainly talking about the scale of the action and the focus of the story and that's the important part.
It looks like, if he gets a chance at the sequel, he wants to tone down the scope of the film something which I'd agree with as the interest is in the team dynamic not just in more of the same.
The Avengers franchise isn't going to live very long if they are going to be facing world ending events with huge adversaries time and time again, it's just going to become more of the same and there's a more practical question of how the studio are going to deal with the huge salaries of all the stars involved as well as the escalating costs of effects. Pretty soon it's going to get stale and falter and I think that could be as close as the first sequel.
After all X-Men floundered when the star budgets became too high and the stories escalated to the point of the uprising and out and out attack of human versus X-Men versus X-Men, a point where the film would really have struggled to move on from without forgetting the massive step the human versus X-Men relationship had taken.
Oh yes you can argue that X-Men: The Last Stand (Filmstalker review) was bad because it had Brett Ratner directing, but you watch it again and don't get so caught up in the idea of the director and it's far from the terrible X-Men film that so many say it is.
Anyway, back to Avengers. The first film looks huge already and I wonder where it can go from here without a bigger Earth threatening event, larger bad guys, bigger stakes, more...it's the old Hollywood standard, "bigger and more".
What it does need to do is develop this dysfunctional team in some way, tone down the action side and build on what makes the Avengers interesting, not the ability to break and blow things up as ever action and superhero does that, but the team, the strange team, and a team that's still missing members.
"By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself...
...I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them flawed, what makes them fight - and ultimately, what makes them awesome...I go to these movies for those moments when the heroes define themselves, either through action or deliciously overwritten speeches."
That's an interesting comment there and he's almost suggesting that they didn't do it in The Avengers, that there were too many characters to explore and too little time for them to be explored, and it highlights something I've always had a concern about the team, they're just too super.
The problem for them will be they have to face something that will threaten to crush them and with Hulk, Thor and Captain America you're already looking at a formidable team that's nigh on indestructible, in their own film and standing solo their weaknesses come out but fighting together they won't be so easy to stop.
So you can see that the concentration has to be on the weaknesses and flaws in the team, and since they are all so different and grate and strike on each other that's not so hard, but the easy way out to show their weaknesses is "bigger and more" in terms of what they are facing and that means a bigger and more effects laden sequel.
The film-makers can't pick off a character or two and concentrate on them in a sequel as they have their own film franchises for that - Thor (Filmstalker review), Captain America, Iron Man (Filmstalker review), The Incredible Hulk (Filmstalker review) - so how can they do it? How can they tone down the Avengers story for a sequel that doesn't turn into a Transformers-fest of effects and action?
It looks like Whedon knows the direction to go, the problem is will he be invited back for the sequel?