Why Joss deserves “The Avengers”

Austin Grossman is not to be trusted too far because he was utterly unable to appreciate Firefly, but still. It’s the freakin’ Wall Street Journal endorsing him for Buffy:

The Avengers are one of the hardest teams to build a movie around. Maybe you can shoot a bright, comic, gadget-porn adventure film with Iron Man and get the feel right and make it work. Maybe (and it’s not proven) you can shoot a mythological-epic Thor film and make it work, and a Captain America movie, and an Ant-Man. But what happens when they all step into the same frame? What kind of film are you shooting then? How do you light it? Who’s going to believe in it? Who is going to make sense of that tonal conundrum, and forge those disparate alloys into a single unbreakable metal, Marvel-style?

The proposed answer is writer-director Joss Whedon. And although the history of auteur directors and beloved franchises knows both triumph (James Cameron’s “Aliens”) and debacle (Ang Lee’s “Hulk”) there are very good reasons why he should get the job.

Since, provably, no two people share the same Whedon, I will explain who mine is. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was an ensemble show with vampires, vampire slayers, and ultimately, demons, cyborgs, wizards, ghosts – an inclusive world. It was sprawling and messy and you can hear him working his style out as he goes; it also includes the most wrenching and emotionally bare work he has ever done, proof positive that you can write the human and the supernatural and that they’re the same thing.

[T]hereis a central truth about superhero films, that Whedon obviously gets. It’s not about banter or bigger explosions or CGI or moral clarity. Superheroes aren’t better or purer than other people, they are interesting because they’re f—ed up. Maybe it’s your body or your mind or your family situation- it’s probably all three. You get to a certain moment and your body starts doing amazing, terrifying things. To the point where your can fly or turn invisible or are unreasonably good at violent behavior. You’re not exactly normal; but it’s not exactly a normal world is it?

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