Only Joss Whedon could look at a worldwide box office fall from $1.5 billion to $1.4 billion as a disappointment.
To be fair, the box office behind Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t what has had the director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator despondent since the film was released in 2015. Instead, it was the somewhat negative reactions from the people who matter the most to him: the fans.
Ever since, Whedon has not rushed to sit back in the director’s chair again, despite earning nearly $3 billion in box office from just two films. But there is one franchise that might bring him back, according to Complex. And it’s one a short time ago he said he’d never do: Star Wars.
“Ultron was a difficult experience for me because it wasn’t so much of a backlash – it did really well – but it didn’t strike the same nerve in this country. More importantly, it fell out of the conversation very quickly. People just thought, ‘Oh, look, did you see the prequel to (Captain America:) Civil War? Yes, it’s pretty good.’
“That broke me.”
The Avengers in 2012 shot Whedon from geek fame to one on an international scale. Before Avengers, his highest-grossing film was 2005’s Serenity based on the cult-favorite series he created, Firefly. That film, however, earned just $40.3 million worldwide.
But even at his height, Whedon really wanted nothing to do with Star Wars. He was a fan, sure enough. But finding himself in the director’s chair in a galaxy far, far away never appealed to him.
That is, until he saw the movie trailer for Lucasfilm’s upcoming Rogue One.
“It’s a fun thing to do, to put yourself in the service of something if you think you can add an interpretation. It’s no different than any other storytelling. There are some times when you get micro-managed to death, but with Marvel, they let me make two movies that were very much mine.
“So do I want to make (a) James Bond movie? Yeah. Anne Hathaway does Catwoman again? Sure, I’m in.
“Do I want to make a Star Wars movie? Yeah. I was like, ‘I don’t want to make a Star Wars movie. Like, (expletive) why?’ But I saw the trailer for Rogue One a while ago, and I was like, ‘I want to do that.’ To make a Star Wars movie and not be wed to the bigger picture.”
Although Rogue One already is done, and both Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are tied to the 2018 Han Solo anthology film, Lucasfilm has expressed huge interest in continuing to tell Star Wars stories outside of the main mythology. Who knows, maybe there could be room for someone like Joss Whedon.
In the meantime, Whedon has been working on a screenplay for a World War II-era slash horror film. After that, he’s been itching to return to television, and he could explore possibilities there.
For now, however, Whedon and the rest of the world will just have to watch Rogue One when it hits theaters on Dec. 15 in the United Kingdom, and Dec. 16 around the rest of the world.
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