The stakes were as high as ever in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and director Joss Whedon has opened up to explain the filmâs final-act shocker.
Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Age of Ultron!
The latest Avengers film introduced a few new heroes into the mix, but one of them didnât survive the epic faceoff with Ultron and his unstoppable horde of robot warriors. Aaron Taylor-Johnsonâs Quicksilver/Piotr Maximoff gets a heroâs sendoff after sacrificing himself to save Hawkeye (who, himself, was trying to save a kid from a hail of gunfire), opening the door for his sister Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to officially join the teamâs updated roster.
Whedon is famous for killing our darlings, and he opened up during a fantastic podcast with Empire to explain exactly why Quicksilver had to die â and that there was a chance he couldâve actually survived. According to Whedon, they needed to prove the war had stakes, and the only way to do that is to have a real casualty. Admittedly, the last time he tried that they ended up bringing Coulson back for TV, but we see his point.
The even crazier part? Fearing Marvel brass could potentially overturn his decision, Whedon actually shot an alternate version where Quicksilver miraculously survives the 20+ bullet holes and joins Scarlet Witch, Vision and the rest of the gang in that final training shot with Cap. Check out the choice excerpt below:
"Itâs disingenuous to make, as I refer to it, a war movie and say there is no price. In this movie weâre saying, 'prove to me that you guys are heroes.' And [Quicksilver] is the guy who is the leastâ¦ the most arrogant, the most annoying â if you watch the DVD extras, an incredible pussy hound â and Hawkeye genuinely hates him and thatâs the guy who saves him. I knew that it would be resonant and it would make everything work and matter moreâ¦
I said, 'The only thing that would keep you alive is if the Disney executives say, 'Idiot, itâs a franchise and we need all these people and youâre not allowed to kill them.' â¦ We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit with his sister. And we did shoot him waking up from his, 'Ahh! I didnât really die from these 47 bullet wounds!' but the intent was always that we were going to earn this and then you have to stand by it."
The full podcast is well worth checking out, and touches on everything from Whedonâs battle with Marvel brass to keep in certain scenes (namely the farmhouse visit and dreams) to why they didnât cram Captain Marvel and Spider-Man into the mix (the upcoming standalone film, and the protracted Sony/Marvel deal, repectively).
What did you think of Quicksilverâs death? Would you have liked to see him stick around for a sequel?
(Via The Playlist)