Anyone worried that Joss Whedon is going to have his artistic vision in any way compromised during the making of Avengers: Age of Ultron might just be about to rest a little easier. An upcoming biography of Whedon is reportedly set to reveal that his initial meeting with Marvel studio head Kevin Feige was dominated by some pretty brutal honesty - and a total rejection of the script for the first Avengers movie.
In fact, Amy Pascale, who wrote the biography, quotes Whedon's response to the initial draft as being about as far from happy as you can get without turning into a giant green rage monster. His reported response?
"You don't have anything...You need to pretend this draft never happened."
Which, when Joss Whedon says it, clearly gets taken pretty seriously.
But how could that sort of thing even happen in the first place? How bad could a script being pursued by a major film company really be?
Well, put it this way.
It was by Zak Penn. Who wrote X-Men: The Last Stand.
Who, in fairness, seems pretty much OK with having been unceremoniously dumped from the project:
"We could have collaborated more, but that was not his choice. He wanted to do it his way, and I respect that,"
Seeing as he still retained a story credit for one of the most successful movies of all time, that's possibly not all that surprising.
The big question then is this: what was so fundamentally wrong with the original script?
Well, rumors a few years back suggested that the plot would involve Loki leading a Skrull invasion, with Agent Coulson and Maria Hill turning out to be Skrulls in disguise.
In which case, maybe it wasn't just Whedon who got that whole situation shut down. It's entirely possible Feige was just waiting for an excuse...
Fortunately, [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) is on its way May 1, 2015, and looks awesome (and Coulson-Skrull free).