If you’re a comic fan to any degree, then like me, you would have literally jumped out of your comfortable office chair, fists facing the heavens while you screamed with joy when Marvel announced Joss Whedon would be directing the new Avengers film.
As such, if your’e a comic fan, there’s a damn good chance you may also be a huge fan of Whedon’s work. Whether it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, or perhaps any of his writing contributions to The X-Men, you know this guy has built up some credibility with fans over the years.
Still, there’s a small part of my lizard brain that wants to put a damper on my excitement for The Avengers movie, especially with the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is playing Nick Fury. Yes, Jackson’s Fury is technically canon, considering that he gave permission to Greg Land to use his likeness in 2001 for his version of Fury in Ultimate Avengers. I don’t know about you, but I’m no Greg Land fan. I think the guy is a hack, with nary an artistic bone in his entire body (just look at his work).
I loved Iron Man, and even Iron Man 2 to a somewhat lesser degree. I never liked Fury’s cameo in the Iron Man movies. I always felt that the character was put in for the sake of putting him in. Not to mention, I wasn’t sold on Jackson playing the character (he’s pretty out of shape, and doesn’t really inspire confidence that he’s some grizzled guy running an elite task force).
In a recent interview with Yahoo, Matt McDaniel interviews Whedon, and he gives some insight into his directorial approach for The Avengers, including how he’s approaching Fury’s character. If this doesn’t restore your confidence in the movie, I don’t know what will:
Well, he is not going to be talking about his childhood, and you do want to keep a certain mystery. Also — and this is something that I was very pleased that Marvel actually mandated — they were very interested in keeping him, not just in the sort of a mystery of how the organization operates, but a real moral gray area where you really have to decide, “Is Nick Fury the most manipulative guy in the world? Is he a good guy? Is he completely Machiavellian or is it a bit of both?” And that was really fun to tweak. I felt that in the other movies, they had been cameos and he had been called upon to come in and be Sam Jackson and bluster a little bit. And I told Sam upfront that my big agenda was to see the weight on someone who is supposed to be in control of the most powerful beings on the planet. The weight on somebody who has to run the organization and the gravity of it. Not that we don’t have any fun with Nick, but he definitely — it’s, I feel like a much more textured performance and at times really moving.
I’m really hopeful, but I have a feeling we may get a good movie out of Marvel this time. Please Joss, don’t let us down.