It’s no secret that Age of Ultron nearly broke Joss Whedon. Between his open conflicts with Marvel and the loss of Edgar Wright from Ant-Man (which was awesome enough without him, so just imagine how much cooler it would have been if he had directed it), it seems like directors and the Marvel Creative Committee haven’t been getting along very well lately. Of course, these complaints can only be said outside of the movie. It’s not like Mr. Whedon vented his frustrations in the movie itself. Unless that’s exactly what he did...
Let me explain:
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON IS SECRETLY ABOUT JOSS WHEDON AND THE MARVEL CREATIVE COMMITTEE
To understand this theory, we have to start at the very beginning, with this guy:
Tony Stark. Not only did Tony Stark make Ultron, Iron Man was also the movie that famously kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, with it, the Marvel Creative Committee.
In the movie, Tony Stark makes Ultron in order to prevent any disasters before they happen. Similarly, it is the job of the Marvel Creative Committee to prevent any continuity errors before they happen. Sure, they could retcon issues in the future, but that would take a lot of time and, ultimately, some would get missed. Much like the Marvel Creative Committee, Ultron works by mentally controlling a series of smaller, inferior robots to achieve its ends. Metaphorically, the Marvel Creative committee has made a profit through using a large amount of decent movies (cause honestly, who even remembers anything of Thor 2 besides Loki?) to set up larger movies (in this case, The Avengers). And it works!
Still seem like a stretch? Well, we’re just getting started.
[Spoiler alert, duh]
Ultron’s plan takes us through the Eastern European nation of Sokovia to New York to Africa to Seoul and back to Sokovia again. Notice anything about those places?
- With the exception of New York and Seoul, they all take place in poorer seeming nations
- They get wrecked - again, with the exception of New York
While this may seem like a coincidence or an attempt to avoid making New York the place of EVERY terrible attack, why didn’t Whedon choose more recognizable sites with more marketable locations?
Simple. They weren’t as adversely affected by Marvel merchandising. With so many superhero movies, Marvel has even more toys to sell. These toys flood into every nation, stripping away the nation's money. but of course none of these nations get their money back. It all goes into the pockets of Mr. Mickey Mouse. In addition, the influx of such a strong amount of popular culture is a sign of the increasing cultural overload Disney is having. Instead of creative ideas flowing from Eastern European, African, and Asian nations, they are being saturated with American media, and their own cultural efforts are being hurt in the process. On that note:
WHAT ABOUT THE TWINS?
What about these two? At first they team-up with Ultron, angry at Tony Stark for almost killing them, but then, once they realize what Ultron really wants (the destruction of the Earth, obviously), they choose instead to fight him.
Similarly, a lot of creative ideas were lost once Iron Man burst onto the scene. Now, if you aren't a superhero movie, your chances of succeeding as a big blockbuster are really harmed. That is, unless you worked for the Marvel Creative Committee, which often uses new, upstart directors. That’s right, Pietro and Wanda are metaphors for the directors working for Marvel. Specifically, they represent Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright, the two directors smart enough to recognize how the controlling nature of the Marvel Creative Committee threatened to create a precedent that would harm the autonomy and creative freedom of directors. At least, that’s what the twins mostly represent.
Well, that’s because Ultron also represents Joss Whedon himself.
ULTRION, VISION, AND MR. WHEDON
Vision was created by Ultron to serve as his most perfect self, and quickly turns on its creator. But wait, the Marvel Creative Committee hasn’t gotten stronger. If anything, it’s gotten weaker.
That’s because, metaphorically, Vision represents two different things:
First, he represents the new and naive directors Marvel picks up for their movies. Well meaning and full of life, but easily manipulable. When he finally destroys Ultron with the help of the Avengers, it’s a representation of the neutering of the Marvel Creative Committee by fan and director pressure.
More interestingly, though, he represents that naive and idealistic director in the now jaded Joss Whedon.
Whedon has gone on record saying that he sees a lot of himself in Ultron, and why wouldn’t he? After two Avengers movies and being forced to make compromise after compromise, it’s fair that Whedon sees himself being an integral part of the Marvel Creative Committee machine.
However, in Vision we see Whedon’s other side. In Vision we see his creative spark, his insistence that he can and should do his own projects. In Vision, we see the Joss Whedon who has just started directing and believes he can take on the world.
But, at the same time, he wasn't.
And when Vision finally takes down Ultron, we see Mr. Whedon finally deciding to reject his role in the Marvel machine and embrace that inner spark.
Age of Ultron may have broken Joss Whedon, but it has created a future that - both in the cinematic and real world - I am really excited to see.