Joss Whedon is on his way out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Avengers: Age of Ultron is released, the man is done. No more Iron Man. No more Thor. He’s not going to do Spider-Man, and he’s not going to do another superhero movie. He’s out.
Now that he no longer has to answer to the Marvel bosses, I think Whedon feels more free to speak his mind, which might explain why he spoke out about Edgar Wright and Ant-Man the other day.
Now, in an interview with Mental Floss, Whedon is sounding off about the resurrection of Agent Coulson, a decision that he wasn’t all that thrilled with.
A lot of people come back in The Winter Soldier. It’s a grand Marvel tradition. Bucky was supposed to die. And the Coulson thing was, I think, a little anomalous just because that really came from the television division, which is sort of considered to be its own subsection of the Marvel universe. As far as the fiction of the movies, Coulson is dead.
But I have to say, watching the first one with my kids—I had not watched the first one since it came out—and then watching it with my kids and watching Coulson die but [thinking], “Yeah, but I know that he kind of isn’t,” it did take some of the punch out of it for me. Of course, I spent a lot of time making sure he didn’t. And at the time it seemed inoffensive, as long as it wasn’t referenced in the second movie, which it isn’t.
There’s a thing where you can do that so many times and there’s nothing at stake. But it’s difficult because you’re living in franchise world—not just Marvel, but in most big films—where you can’t kill anyone, or anybody significant. And now I find myself with a huge crew of people and, although I’m not as bloodthirsty as some people like to pretend, I think it’s disingenuous to say we’re going to fight this great battle, but there’s not going to be any loss. So my feeling in these situations with Marvel is that if somebody has to be placed on the altar and sacrificed, I’ll let you guys decide if they stay there.
1): Is he foreshadowing the death of a character in Age of Ultron (DON’T SPOIL IT, INTERNATIONAL READERS) and 2) being bummed about the resurrection of Coulson seems a little odd since Whedon and his brother are behind Agents of SHIELD (Joss wrote and directed the pilot). I do get it, though: If too many people die and come back, you’re going to run into the Ryan Murphy problem, which is to say that death will become completely and utterly meaningless.
Also, it’s weird to think of Coulson being dead in the “fiction of the movies,” since so many Avengers characters have crossed over into the television show. I guess it didn’t even occur to me that Coulson hasn’t been in the Marvel films since Avengers. The downside is that when SHIELD is eventually cancelled because everyone realizes that the Marvel series on Netflix are so infinitely superior, we won’t get to see Clark Gregg anymore, and man, do I like him.
Source: Mental Floss