Joss Whedon Says He's Done Making Marvel Movies

"Age of Ultron" was his last stand.
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Joss Whedon, who was tapped to direct the first two "Avengers" movies after creating a number of critically acclaimed TV shows, is bidding farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The "Buffy" auteur revealed in a conversation at the Oxford Union that last year's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was his final contribution to the most successful franchise in the history of film.

Whedon explained that once he signed on to direct "The Avengers," he assumed a key creative role in the direction of the whole franchise. He gave input on all the Marvel movies, not just "The Avengers." But when he started working in earnest on "Age of Ultron," he didn't have time to help out with the other movies -- and taking a step back from that work made him realize that it was time to stop it altogether.

"I made a completely clean break -- not because we had a falling out -- just because I was like, 'I can't ... ' If I was still there going, 'Well, here are my thoughts on this film,' I'd be there every day," he said. "I wouldn't do anything else, because there are a lot of films, and it is a lot of fun."

Whedon said that he's been using his newfound free time to pursue projects closer to his heart.

“I’ve been working on some little personal projects that I cannot describe, but I can tell you that they’re really hard, and I’m totally failing,” he said. “And it feels great.”

Whedon is still credited as the creator of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC. Though he has only written and directed the series' pilot episode, he said in 2013 that he reads and gives notes on every script. It sounds, though, like that work might be ending along with the rest.

That doesn't mean that Whedon has no interest in TV. When asked if there was any chance that he would ever revive "Firefly," (which was canceled after one season), on an online streaming network, he said he's tempted since he still loves the show, but he's also trepidatious. Whedon said that many TV revivals remind him of the eerie reanimated corpse in the old horror story "The Monkey's Paw."

"Even if they're great, there's something that is gone. Something that is not there," he said. "The soul is not shining through their eyes -- and it would be the worst thing I could do to 'Firefly.' If I wasn't 100 percent sure that I could pull it off, then I have no business trying. So I'm tentative."

Hey Joss, if you do end up trying to make a new "Firefly" -- and the original was so awesome that it might be worth the risk -- maybe just avoid having James Spader play an artificial intelligence? Or having Aaron Taylor-Johnson speak in a vaguely Eastern European accent? That didn't work out so well the last time.

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