When Sophia alerted the rest of us DTSFT girls to this article, it reminded me that not everyone was happy with ‘Avengers Assemble’, and some internet critics even had suggestions as to how it could have been improved. Well, while I’m sure that Joss Whedon has spent hours on the internet taking notes from all of those amateur critics and scolding himself for not meeting everyone’s expectations, I think it’s safe to say that he’s going to find this one much more valuable than all the rest. Why? Because I’m not going to tell him where he went wrong with the first Avengers films, oh no – I’m going to tell him where to go RIGHT in the next one.
7. Big musical numbers
Knowing Whedon and his penchant for musicals – Buffy (Once More With Feeling) and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog are the two that come to mind for me – it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a route that he took, even though I know he won’t because it wouldn’t make any goddamn sense – not even Whedon could make that work without recycling old material.
If there’s one thing Les Miserables has taught everyone in the last few weeks, it’s that you haven’t really felt anything in a scene until Anne Hathaway has sung into the camera with a shaved head and snotty face, tendons strained to breaking point and those big eyes filled with ACTING TEARS. But Hathaway belongs to DC now, after her brilliant turn as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, so we’ll just have to make do with musical… er, talent… to be found in the current cast.
From that little video, it looks like RDJ, Evans and Renner could handle the challenge, with Johansson treading water alongside them. Ruffalo and Gregg don’t seem like they want to do any singing, and Jackson knows his singing is only ever going to be funny. But Hiddleston… just… every clip of that man singing makes me cringe so hard, I swear I’ve got sciatica now. I’m surprised that the video above doesn’t feature any solos from Cobie Smulders, who is actually a pretty good singer. But hey, if the current cast isn’t up to it, I’m sure Whedon will find people to bring on board to help out. Which brings me to the next point…
6. Cameos from all of Whedon’s pals
Yeah, why not? Let’s get Neil Patrick Harris involved, because he’s not everywhere right now, is he? Oh I’m kidding. Only slightly.
It’s not wholly incorrect for me to refer to the guest appearances and frequent collaborations of Whedon’s many friends and co-workers as incestuous; I get it, they’re all friends and they like to make wink-to-camera cameos in one another’s projects, but sometimes I feel like we’re being forced to watch a massive orgy on-screen. And that’s only okay some of the time.
5. A really miserable, sinister story
These days, it seems like a superhero film needs to be seriously dark for it to be a success. The Avengers managed to avoid falling into this trap – the poster was colourful, the film had some clear comedy moments, and the bad guy is like something out of a pantomime. (Oh no he isn’t…)
Just look at the poster for Man of Steel – it’s essentially the same as the posters for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and now superhero films seem to all be going for the ‘Dark Knight’ vibe. Luckily for those of us with a low tolerance for on-screen violence, Avengers managed to amp up the action without having to include the kind of brutal fight scenes and implied violence from the recent Batman films. We were just presented with a story of a bunch of good guys getting together to defeat the bad guy. Sometimes a story as simple as that can work really well. But I think it’s time that Whedon succumbs to the trend and makes the sequel something much darker…
Tony Stark, following the events of Iron Man 3 (which I’m going to assume involves him having a moment of self-doubt and pondering the nature of being a superhero) decides to hang up the suit, while Captain America is no longer a super soldier; having been thrust into the 21st century and forced straight into an intergalactic battle, Steve Rogers is suffering from severe post dramatic stress disorder, haunted by visions of Peggy Carter (so that Hayley Atwell can be in the film, for my homegirl Sophia) and struggling to come to terms with his new life. Hawkeye and Black Widow have been getting’ reeeeeal busy since everything happened in New York, working on building a family like a good spider would do. I’m talking at least 15 kids in about 4 years – don’t ask how they manage it, it just happened. Bruce Banner is doing well too, working as a yoga instructor in downtown New York as a way to maintain his cool and calm demeanour, and Thor is off doing some random shit in Asgard.
But then, something happens to bring them all back together… Hawkeye and three of his 15 children are taken hostage by Flying Tiger (to be played by the CGI tiger from Life of Pi, who in turn will be played by Andy Serkis). The worst part of it is that all the kids are allergic to cats, making every moment in the company of Flying Tiger a complete and utter living hell. Black Widow pleads with her Avenger buddies to reassemble and save her boyfriend (yeah, kids out of wedlock, controversial, right?) and beloved children. They all rush to her aid; in a moment of weakness while trapped in a vault, Tony Stark and Black Widow get down to business, forgetting that Captain America is in the room with them and not realising that Hawkeye is able to watch them via a camera in the vault. Devastated, Hawkeye gives himself up to Flying Tiger, asking his captor to kill him, which he does without even letting Jeremy Renner – I mean Hawkeye finish his sentence. Wracked with guilt, Stark vows to help Black Widow raise the children, not realising she has 12 more at home, and in a big showy display of strength and choreographed fighting, the Avengers start to overpower Flying Tiger and his army of kittens. But halfway through, Captain America has a panic attack and starts picturing Black Widow’s children as kittens, punching and throwing them as he would the kitten soldiers. Black Widow watches in horror as all her children are massacred by her friend, and deciding that she cannot live with the grief, she throws herself from a tall building and dies instantly. Stark rushes to her aid only to find that she’s not there, and is about to look for her when Banner (now the Hulk) calls out for his help. Along with Thor, they defeat Flying Tiger and his army by smashing lots of fire hydrants with Thor’s hammer, flooding the streets and killing not only the kittens but several thousand innocent by-standers too. They realise that Captain America is missing throughout this, and go to look for him. They find him, cuddled up to the sprawled, naked and broken body of Black Widow with a bullet through his own head. Credits roll.
I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen.
Because these days, everything seems to have zombies – as if it makes it better.
3. An English villain
Tom Hiddleston’s turn as Loki was admittedly fantastic, and I must say that it was a bold move for a Hollywood action movie to feature a somewhat effeminate, intellectual British man as the villain.
Let’s have more of that, guys. Real original!
2. Found footage
The only thing that was missing from the first Avengers film was this very under-used filming technique. In fact, the sequel could really just be found footage from somebody during the attacks on the city from the first film. Hell, I’m pretty sure that the sequel could even be a crossover with another ‘attack on New York’ film…
It would be both imaginative and totally understandable.
1. Joseph Gordon Levitt
Maybe he could turn up at the end as, like, the new Hawkeye. Ooh, or the new Coulson. Oooh! Wait! He could just turn up in a waistcoat and play the ukelele with Zooey Deschanel at the end while people burst into a ‘spontaneous’ dance routine. Hey, HEY OR – OR – OR he could be, like, Captain America’s grandson, or oh my god he could be Bucky or JUST GET HIM INTO THE FILM SOMEHOW BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO BE EVERYWHERE.