Joss Whedon Brutally Rejected the Original Avengers Script

Firanai

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Now seriously seeing the disastrous record of movies of Zak Penn, (lets not kid ourselves they were horrible) who though it would be a good idea to hire him?. I'm honestly curious, does he have some powerful connections or something like that?.
 

faefrost

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Firanai said:
Now seriously seeing the disastrous record of movies of Zak Penn, (lets not kid ourselves they were horrible) who though it would be a good idea to hire him?. I'm honestly curious, does he have some powerful connections or something like that?.
He's cheap, he' savailable. Like most Hollywood writers any ego has long since been beaten out, and here's the really really sad thing, those utterly awful Zak Penn movies you mention? Last Stand? Hulk? Elektra? Yeah while not over the top runaway hits, they all made money. In Hollywoodland quality is measured by money returns, not actual you know, being good or anything.
 

the December King

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I thought Zak was funny in "The Incident At Loch Ness".

I'm not sure if he had a hand in writing it, though... one sec... yes, he did! A brilliant mocking of modern hollywood filming, and a found-footage horror movie to boot. Directed it as well, which is a bit more surprising to me.

I think I chatted with him once on IMDB...
 

Covarr

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faefrost said:
Last Stand? Hulk? Elektra? Yeah while not over the top runaway hits, they all made money. In Hollywoodland quality is measured by money returns, not actual you know, being good or anything.
They all made short term money. X-Men: The Last Stand was really damaging to the X-Men franchise, has struggled in DVD and Blu-Ray sales. Elektra was even more poisonous to the Daredevil franchise than Daredevil was, and has done even worse in DVD and Blu-Ray sales.

A smart studio isn't just looking for enough money now to fund their next film. They're looking for something with long-term sales potential well after its theatrical run. And that doesn't just come with making an entry in a popular franchise; that comes with making a good movie.

P.S. Thanks
 

hermes

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Xsjadoblayde said:
Alex Co said:
He was referring to Ed Norton who "wrote" the Hulk film he starred in. Apparently, this was a big issue and one of the reasons why he was replaced.
Ah, cheers. I didn't realise Ed Norton did much writing for his work. That might explain the inexplicable respect i have for him. Penn should probably find a different creative outlet if his sole attempts are getting him in these awkward situations. Some IMDBing shall be done, later!
Word on the street is, he didn't do much writing to begin with, but has the star power to force his way into various stages of production. His contract specifies minimum time of screen time and he even has final cut in many of the movies he is in.

In other words, he changed the script so he could appear some more on the movie and, because of that, he got "screenplay polisher" credit and the hatred of many people involved which, on the other hand, barred his chances of being in The Avengers...
 

hermes

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faefrost said:
Firanai said:
Now seriously seeing the disastrous record of movies of Zak Penn, (lets not kid ourselves they were horrible) who though it would be a good idea to hire him?. I'm honestly curious, does he have some powerful connections or something like that?.
He's cheap, he' savailable. Like most Hollywood writers any ego has long since been beaten out, and here's the really really sad thing, those utterly awful Zak Penn movies you mention? Last Stand? Hulk? Elektra? Yeah while not over the top runaway hits, they all made money. In Hollywoodland quality is measured by money returns, not actual you know, being good or anything.
Don't forget: he is reliable, obedient and fast.

In Hollywood land, writers are rated by how professional and on time they are at work. Many times, they are sent to ongoing productions to "polish" a screenplay of a movie while its still being shoot. Those that can juggle the many egos involved and deliver something workable in time are highly regarded by producers, regardless of quality.

Those that take too long or try to confront those egos don't get more jobs, no matter how great the screenplay they delivered was...
 

vid87

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2 things I remember hearing about script-wise that weren't mentioned:

1) I'm pretty sure there was also a stipulation for including the Helicarrier, which meant A) Loki is suddenly fake-captured in his convoluted plan to break up the team even though he's ultimately what brings them together, and B) Having sweet trailer-friendly military stuff that does nothing except get compromised/fall out of the sky.

2) I definitely know there was an interview just after an Avengers screening in Hollywood where Joss mentions his first draft was going to have Wasp - in fact, he confesses he wrote way too much for her and made it sound like she was practically going to be the main character. Granted, she's one of the founding members of the team, but still - introducing a brand-new (to the film series) character and having her suddenly be the most important one in the movie would've been jarring at the very least.
 

softclocks

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Yeah, thank god Whedon came along with his extremely generic and overly punny Avengers script.

Also, to me the Hulk seemed a lot better than X3 and Elektra, the first being a disappointment and the second one of the worst movies I've ever seen. While none of the three are great flicks, they're not equally garbage.
 

Kapol

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Is The Incredibly Hulk a movie, or was that just a typo? Cause I'm honestly not sure either way.
 

Guilen-

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Script by the guy who did The Last Stand was beyond terrible? Why am I so not surprised?
 

Extragorey

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Alex Co said:
Penn refers here to Ed Norton, whose attempts to assert a high degree of control over The Incredibly Hulk reportedly contributed to Marvel's decision to replace him with Mark Ruffalo.
Haha, that typo makes it sound like a movie about wrestlers more than anything. ;)

Good on you Joss Whedon, do it your way and it's bound to succeed.
 

TheDefenestrator

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God, I wish Whedon would have said the same thing about Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. What an embarrassingly bad show. They're one David Hasselhoff-as-Nick-Fury away from being a Saturday morning cartoon for pre-teens.

As said above, guys like Zak Penn and David S. Goyer are two of the worst writers in Hollywood but they have resumes and they've made money. That's all the matters. Which is why I have to give Marvel credit for largely going after hungry writers and directors like Whedon and James Gunn rather than Penn and Goyer who just regurgitate crap for the paycheck.
 

Scarim Coral

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Ok I now want to read the abandom script to see how bad it was! Surely it can't be as bad as that failed Superman and Batman script?
 

Hero in a half shell

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I actually liked the Last Stand, and I loved X-Men Origins Wolverine.

Oh Lord! Is there something wrong with me?!?
 

Rawbeard

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So Zak Penn can't write his way out of a paper bag, get's replaced by whoever is walking by at the moment, doesn't even care and still gets hired. This ain't right.
 

Ratty

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Covarr said:
faefrost said:
Last Stand? Hulk? Elektra? Yeah while not over the top runaway hits, they all made money. In Hollywoodland quality is measured by money returns, not actual you know, being good or anything.
They all made short term money. X-Men: The Last Stand was really damaging to the X-Men franchise, has struggled in DVD and Blu-Ray sales. Elektra was even more poisonous to the Daredevil franchise than Daredevil was, and has done even worse in DVD and Blu-Ray sales.

A smart studio isn't just looking for enough money now to fund their next film. They're looking for something with long-term sales potential well after its theatrical run. And that doesn't just come with making an entry in a popular franchise; that comes with making a good movie.

P.S. Thanks
Last I heard the vast majority of a Hollywood movie's money is still made in the theatrical release though. Even if a movie is a later hit on DVD/Blu Ray, like Judge Dredd, it's no sure bet that it'll get a sequel or even make back its budget. Part of the reason big dumb action movies are supplanting comedy and drama in Hollywood is that those films, untethered by culture-specific mores, play better overseas in developing countries like China and India where people still go out to the movies. There's a lot more competition in the home entertainment environment which America, and presumably other first world countries, increasingly prefer.

captcha: "be my friend?" uhhh, ok captcha.
 

Lieju

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Ratty said:
Last I heard the vast majority of a Hollywood movie's money is still made in the theatrical release though. Even if a movie is a later hit on DVD/Blu Ray, like Judge Dredd, it's no sure bet that it'll get a sequel or even make back its budget.
Isn't there also the fact that Hollywood (and movie studios in general) just prefers to know immediately how 'successfull' something was?

It's far more difficult to sell the idea of 'But I'm sure this will make money back years from now' to investors.
 

Sheo_Dagana

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I'm sure Whedon will do just as well with the sequel - his style of writing and directing fits the characters as they have been portrayed in their solo films. Smugness, sarcasm, a little bit of brooding, and and just the right level of humor that can turn serious on a dime. The ensemble comic book hero thing seems to be the man's sweet spot.