Joss Whedon reveals new characters for Avengers 2 (and how Shakespeare saved his career)

Chris Jones

In a TV interview Joss Whedon has revealed two new characters lined up for the 'Avengers 2' project. At the same time in an interview with 'The New York Times' he has talked about how his forthcoming adaptation of 'Much Ado About Nothing' saved the prior movie in the Marvel series.

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Whedon was quizzed by Jimmy Fallon on his 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' show about the sequel to last year's blockbuster and, after confirming that he'd started work on the screenplay, he responded: "There are new characters. I've already said that we're going to have a brother-sister team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who were great mainstays of The Avengers when I was reading the comics as a kid."|



Expanding on why they were being included he continued "…their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was, everybody basically had punchy powers. 'I can hit,' 'I can also hit.' Hopefully it didn't get too boring. But coming into the second one, he's got super speed. She can weave spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There’s good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh."

Meanwhile in an interview with 'The New York Times' Whedon and his producer/wife Kai Cole have talked about how their interest in Shakespeare - which led to his low budget version of 'Much Ado…' - helped him regain perspective after he felt that the first 'Avengers' film was spiralling out of his control.

“There’s a moment in editing on any film,” he said, “where you go, ‘Oh, God, everything’s being taken away from me.’ And it’s very painful.”

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Whedon was due to have a romantic break with Cole following the main filming, but instead she encouraged him to return to the Bard, just as he had in the heyday of 'Buffy' and 'Angel'.

Whedon recalled that his wife told him: “You need to do this more than you need to travel. It will connect you with what you are, where you are and all of your friends.”

'Angel' star Amy Acker, who also stars in 'Much Ado' spoke about how Joss and the cast would have evening readings of Shakespeare to relax: “Everybody’s idea of a fun time was to go over to Joss’s house and he’d assign people parts of a Shakespeare play and you’d drink wine and sit outside.”

Whedon began re-reading  'Much Ado' during the filming of 'Avengers' and realised that it was his next project: “I went, ‘Oh, it’s been staring at me for years. This is a very dark, very complex deconstruction of a romantic comedy, and I’m so in.”

However the whole production had to be kept a secret from Hollywood, Kai Cole said: “If we had told anybody about what we were doing there would be a lot of people telling us: ‘It can’t work. It’s not going to happen. This is a crazy idea.’ ”

But the 12-day shooting of the film (in black and white) at Whedon's home proved to be exactly the tonic he needed to finish post-production of the superhero blockbuster.

“I came back from ‘Much Ado’ going, ‘That’s the point,’ ” he said. “ ‘The film is not called “Joss.” It’s called “The Avengers,” and when I’m done editing it, it will still be a film by me.’ ”

'Much Ado About Nothing' is released in the UK on June 14th.