I should probably start with a disclaimer about how this post is going to have lots of photos (you can thank me later) and be really long and fangirly (<--is that a word?) and I'm probably most definitely going to be gushing.
(Oh, no! There's going to be gushing?)
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Press Junket at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.
And I just had the distinct pleasure of typing that last statement and can hardly believe it actually refers to my real life, but that's not important right now.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the newest Avengers film - Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be coming out in theaters on Friday, May 1st.
I promise to write a review on Friday to give you my thoughts on the film (Warning: there will probably be gushing), but today I just want to share what it was like to attend the press junket and interview the amazing cast.
The interviews were held in the Walt Disney Studios Main Theater, which is an automatic set-up to expect something magical.
And just in case we were a little confused about who we were interviewing, the names of the participating talent were prominently displayed in front of each seat and its corresponding microphone.
Right here is where the pinch-me-is-this-really-happening moments began.
This is the list that we got before the event.
· Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man”)
· Chris Evans (“Captain America”)
· Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”)
· Scarlett Johansson (“Black Widow”)
· Mark Ruffalo (“The Hulk”)
· Jeremy Renner (“Hawkeye”)
· Cobie Smulders (“Maria Hill”)
· Elizabeth Olsen (“Scarlett Witch”)
· Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Quicksilver”)
· James Spader (“Ultron”)
· Paul Bettany (“Vision”)
· Joss Whedon (Director)
· Kevin Feige (Producer)
And suddenly, there they were in the flesh. I know. Pinch me, please. Although I have to confess that I was a little disappointed because I really, really wanted the moderator to say, "Avengers, assemble." It would've been fantastic, right? I know.
The fun began as soon as they all sat down.
First of all, I was kind of blown away by all that star power. And I just started clicking away with my camera hoping to capture what it was like to be in the same room with all that talent.
Wait. I was in the same room with all that talent. *sigh*
I was half listening to their answers to the very thoughtful questions being asked.
Because I was also appreciating how much fun they all seemed to be having together. And again, that I was there in the same room with all that awesome. (Did you pinch me yet?)
I did, of course, have moments of great and intense focus. (See what I did there?)
But the distractions were many.
Which was a related question asked of filmmaker Joss Whedon, the director.
QUESTION - Can you talk about, what were the biggest challenges that you faced putting together the story and then shooting the film? What were the things that surprised you on your journey?
JOSS WHEDON - There’s like 47 of these people. I really didn’t think that through, and I regret very much doing this at all. You know, it’s just making sure that everybody’s, you know, got their moment, that everybody’s got their through-line, that it’s connected to the movie. I have all these people. I love all these people. They’re extraordinary. But making sure that they’re not just all being served, but all within the same narrative structure, that they’re in the same movie, that it’s all connected to the main theme. At some point during the editing process, I could not have told you who they were, who I was, what movie I was making, I got so lost in it. But I think it all came together, and you know, it’s just about making these guys look good, which takes a long time.
Without giving too much away, I'd say he did an amazing job with each story arc and keeping them all connected to the same theme. Again, more on the film itself coming soon. I was still just trying to track what was being said and I couldn't decide where to direct my focus.
KEVIN FEIGE (Producer - on what the experience has been like for him as the man with the grand plan to make all the films and bring these characters to life) - It’s crushingly overwhelming expectations, particularly on this movie. But it’s incredible, and it’s incredible, to look down the line and the table keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s the greatest ensemble ever assembled in cinematic history, and it is amazing to be a part of it.
I have to agree with Mr. Feige. Just look at this group.
We had already asked a few questions and were about halfway through the interviews when Robert Downey Jr. (much to my everlasting delight) jumped in with this:
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. - I must be mellowing with age, but I want to say this very clearly. The next time I’m not asked the first question, [LAUGHTER] I’ll f___ing walk out. I read Joss’s script, I said, I think this is great. Now, ask Kevin, didn’t I say that? I said that.
KEVIN FEIGE - You did say that.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. - Thank you. I said: "I think this is great."
Kevin said, “You never say that. You can’t mean that.”
I said, “Yeah, I think it’s great. Let’s go shoot it.”
I thought it was a Swiss watch to begin with and Joss really created some great new situations for Tony to be in, so rather than dig in my heels and try to rewrite every scene, to make them even better, if possible, I showed up and it turned out great.
He was very obviously the ringleader of this merry band and pretty proud of what they had accomplished together. I loved that they all collapsed in laughter as he joked about it all with a straight face.
Those of us in attendance just felt accidentally cool to be in such awesome company and privy to this delicious banter.
I think you get a great taste for that same camaraderie in this (my favorite!) scene from the movie.
I am afraid that if I keep writing I will definitely let loose with the spoilers. Let me just say this: if you're a Marvel fan, this film is super satisfying. (<--no pun intended.) Again, I promise I will tell you all about it on Friday.
Was that fangirly enough? Also, is "fangirly" a word? That hasn't been determined yet.
Le sumba. You know?
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 1st, 2015.