In the early days of the Marvel movie universe, Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson was the glue tying all of the films together. It all culminated with 'The Avengers,' where his links to each team member helped drive the story and connect each hero together. However, with the Marvel movies now sustaining themselves, he's become a luxury, not a requirement: everyone's favorite government official will not be in 'The Avengers 2,' now titled 'Age of Ultron.'
Originally popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, the term "MacGuffin" refers to an object, person or location that drives the plot of story, with characters generally struggling to obtain said object, person or location before the opposition
Other than the fact that they're both expensive, large-scale superhero movies, they couldn't be more different. Joss Whedon's 'The Avengers' represents the Marvel Studios' modus operandi in every way: it's scrappy, witty, silly and charming; coasting on cool and making it look easy. Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel' is cut from the same cloth as Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' films: it's moody, cerebral, intense and big on dramatics, demanding that you take every frame very, very seriously.
In short, one is The Beatles and the other is a symphony. They're both terrific in their own special ways, and putting them side-by-side seems kind of silly. Comparing two films with such divergent styles and intent just seems a little unfair. But ...
With the Upfronts over, fall feeling further and further away, and Comic-Con 2013 on the immediate horizon, we're not certain how ABC will handle promotion of Marvel's Joss Whedon-directed 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Whedon himself has proven to be plenty forthcoming with tidbits on the TV series, but how will ABC approach more casual fans of Marvel's Cinematic Universe?
With the superhero movie genre experiencing its own renaissance, there've been attempts to give more superheroines time to shine. The CW's long-troubled Wonder Woman series, 'Amazon,' might still possibly find its footing, while fans have been shouting praise for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. Why is it taking so long for a solid female-driven superhero flick to happen? 'Avengers' and 'Avengers 2' director Joss Whedon has the answer, and it pisses him off.
One of the stickier problems with the Marvel movie universe is that the rights to various characters are split up amongst many separate studios, meaning that the X-Men could never meet up with Spider-Man like they could in the comics. However, that hasn't stopped fans from daydreaming about these characters crossing paths someday. Now, with even Hugh Jackman chatting about the possibility of 'The Wolverine' meeting up with 'The Avengers' those dreams may now feel the slightest bit more real.
All the focus on 'The Avengers 2' has recently fallen on one of the film's new additions, Quicksilver, as Fox has unexpectedly cast their own version in the new 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' (You can read all about that bit of drama here.) That said, we've lost sight a bit on what the Marvel sequel is ultimately about -- the new villain -- but director Joss Whedon has a lot to say about him.
The current discussion around 'The Avengers 2' has shifted from the stars demanding higher pay to something equally inside baseball: the rights to the characters of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. In the pages of the comics, they're mutants and Avengers, which has led to a pretty sticky situation. Fox, who has the X-Men rights, plans to use Quicksilver for the upcoming 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' Marvel and writer/director Joss Whedon plan to use him for 'Avengers 2.' This conflict remained hidden when Whedon went on Late Night to chat about the characters with Jimmy Fallon.