Joss Whedon Told Kevin Feige To Throw Out Original Avengers Script
Posted by Joseph Lee on 07.22.2014
They started from scratch...
Business Insider reports that when Joss Whedon saw the original Avengers script by Zak Penn, he had Marvel and Disney get rid of it. This is according to Amy Pascale's Joss Whedon: The Biography, which arrives on August 1. Whedon was hired at a late date on the project. It was during an interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige that he made his comments about the script.
He said: "I don't think you have anything. You need to pretend this draft never happened."
He later told GQ: "There was a script. There just wasn't a script I was going to film a word of."
Whedon then went home and wrote a five-page plan for the film. That's also when he came up with the tagline: "Some Assembly Required", a take on the "Avengers Assemble" catchphrase from the comics. Marvel quickly hired him to write and direct. They said that he could only include the Avengers and Loki, with a battle between the heroes in the middle of the film and an "epic battle" at the end. They also wanted him to have it done by May 2012.
Clark Gregg said: "[The script] was funny and still tongue-in-cheek and really got the tone, the Tony Stark tone of the Marvel universe, and still furthered and explored each one of those characters and those relationships. I found out later from other people involved that had the same reaction-like, oh, wow. Oh, wow. Everybody gets to play. Everybody gets to play, and it's going to be better than anything we reasonably hoped for."
The film ended up getting a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $1.5 billion worldwide, the third highest-grossing film of all time.
Meanwhile, Penn wasn't that upset about his script being ignored. Whedon did share a story credit with Penn but was the sole credit on the screenplay. Penn told GQ: "We could have collaborated more, but that was not his choice. He wanted to do it his way, and I respect that. I mean, it's not like on the "Hulk," where I got replaced by the lead actor. That was an unusual one. This was more normal."