Lately, it seems like superhero movies have become characterized by a sameness best described by Matt Zoller Seitz as "things crashing into other things." In light of the critical mass of such films (including, for example, four movies featuring Iron Man in the span of five years), there has been a discussion as to whether the current state of violent stagnation is the fate of the genre or possibly evidence that it has yet to fully develop. Considering the critical success that was "Marvel's The Avengers" and its upcoming sequel, "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron," HuffPost Entertainment asked director Joss Whedon how he felt about the matter.
"People have made it very clear that they are fed up with movies where entire cities are destroyed, and then we celebrate," Whedon said, recognizing that of all of those things crashing into other things is an attempt to harness somewhat newly found visual effects.
"Now, I watched 'The Dark Knight' and I thought of that as riffing on the genre," he said. "That was a superhero movie as 'The Godfather.' And I was like, 'But I just still want to see a superhero movie!' We had just gotten the technology to make it awesome, and I wasn't ready to be post-modern about it yet."
There is an inherent clash that characterizes the genre, and Whedon is tapped into that discordance more so than the use of CGI. "You're in a constant state of being pulled both ways at all times," he said, "You're trying to make a populist film with fascist iconography that is just bigger, and better, and longer, and trying to break that down and find a weakness and humanity."
Ultimately, what Whedon finds important in his work (and what we will see in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" which he wrote and is currently filming in the U.K.) is that emphasis on humanity.
"People come in with a certain amount of emotional baggage," he said, "So, whether we're in our larvae stage or our decadent stage, I can't really say, but I try to make my superhero movies as if there's either never been one or there's only ever been them. I work with the idea that it's just a natural way for people to be, so that you still make a movie about people."