04 Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Avengers Assemble 1
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With all the original Avengers returning plus the additions of Vision, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, director/writer Joss Whedon says, “The whole cast is a powerhouse. It’s strength to strength and that’s exciting. It means that I can write things that are taken a little further and not worry about whether the actor can pull it off or not. They’re all very, very human in the Marvel comics and that’s what was so important to me as a kid and so important to pop culture in general.”

“One of the reasons we loved the idea of dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. was that The Avengers didn’t have a giant government organization to support them anymore, so they’re really on their own,” informs executive producer Jeremy Latcham. “Tony Stark, as you might guess, is financing them, but at one point he even says, ‘Captain America’s the leader.’ And while they’re not together all the time, they do get together and now have an official headquarters as Tony has transformed Stark Tower from the first film into the new Avengers Tower.”

Robert Downey Jr. expands on the new digs for his fellow Avengers. “I don’t know of anyone in the history of any Super Hero franchise who seems never to run out of money,” laughs Robert Downey Jr. “Tony’s footing the bill and he can swing it obviously. Pepper has taken over the business largely so everything’s going to be a little more stable than when daddy was just writing checks.”

The actor continues, “Tony wants to localize and nurture this necessary counterbalancing faction that is The Avengers. He feels by having them all together it allows him to still be a bit of the engineer and the mechanic who just wants to help them all do things a little bit better. It’s like buying a football team and then wanting to redo their uniforms and give them better equipment and make them stronger, faster and safer on the field.”

For Robert Downey Jr., the dynamics between The Avengers in the story was one of his favorite things about reprising the world’s most famous Super Hero. “What I loved about this script was the further development of the complexities of the relationship between all The Avengers,” explains the actor. “I loved that Thor has a beef with me and then eventually has to give in and say I’m right. It’s interesting and the way it all wraps up to me is super exciting, but strangely my favorite part about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is what is brought into potential by the story in this film.”

“Tony Stark in this movie has a lot of pressure on him,” explains executive producer Jeremy Latcham. “He’s literally carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. The movie opens up and he gets this vision put in his head by Wanda of all The Avengers dead on an alien landscape somewhere. Earth is in the distance and we see these giant leviathans just flying towards it and we see Tony Stark. He’s the only one alive and we see just this horror on his face. You realize his anxiety and this angst that he’s carrying with him that shades every single decision that he makes throughout the film. He was the one who went through that portal 200 feet above Avengers Tower and saw what’s out there. He knows they are woefully unequipped and that if it comes back we will all die, and so what’s he to do?”

Another change for The Avengers is that Captain America is now running point for the team. “There are really only two relationships in Tony’s life that he’s been willing to assume a lower status, one’s with Pepper obviously and the other’s with Captain America,” says Robert Downey Jr. “Tony believes whoever does the job best should probably do that job and while Tony brings a lot to the table, Captain America has the most experience. I think it’s also nice to feel that there’s someone, who under their tutelage, you become better at what you have to do and no one’s more battle-seasoned than Captain America.”

“I think he’s certainly giving the orders, but it’s not the sort of hierarchy where he gives commands and people have to do it,” explains Chris Evans. “It’s truly in the sense of when battle breaks out and we need structure, Captain America has no problem organizing a team approach. In terms of how they behave when we’re not fighting a foe, there still is a loose chain of command and no one is technically in charge, but Cap certainly does lean towards the side of hierarchy and structure, which is why he feels most comfortable on the battlefield.”

Evans continues, “As far in his personal life, Steve Rogers is still trying to figure out where he belongs. He’s always been a soldier and felt comfortable in that format. He enjoys structure and having orders and a plan. Without that dynamic he does feel a bit aimless, but he is still searching for whether or not he can have a life outside of being Captain America. He’s been of service for so long, so trying to figure out what he would do without his uniform and S.H.I.E.L.D is a bit of a puzzle.”

“Steve Rogers is a very solid guy,” says Joss Whedon. “His struggle is more internal about who he and what his values are. It’s more about him realizing who he is in terms of the world, because it’s always been the idea that he is only a soldier. That fed into conversations I’d had with Chris about Steve Rogers, realizing that he doesn’t have an end game where he settles down and has a normal life. He’ll always be fighting; it’s a little sad but kind of beautiful.”

“The character doesn’t often have the best action of the group because he’s Captain America, but audiences really respond to the way he grounds the film and he continually ranks as one of the fan favorites,” explains Kevin Feige. “That’s because he’s a good man and he’s always trying to do the right thing. The fact that there’s a character like him that people embrace and don’t bemoan his out-datedness in any way is really amazing. This is due to the fact that the filmmakers have embraced it and in huge part because Chris Evans, who is an incredibly gregarious, affable guy, has embraced it as almost a responsibility.”

For Evans, playing the character has been very enjoyable. “It’s been very rewarding in so many ways,” says Evans. “One my favorite perks of this job is seeing a little kid’s face light up when you meet them. It’s cool to play a role in their childhood because I know I had certain movies that I grew up with that I loved, so if you get to be a part of that for someone else’s memory that’s a real treat.”

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