It’s a sweltering day in June last year. The air in Albuquerque still smells burnt from wildfires along the Arizona border. Inside the rusting hulk of an abandoned train depot on the edge of downtown, The Avengers has turned the empty space into a New York City battlescape.
Flames and smoke rise from heaps of rubble along a strip made to look like a Manhattan street. Smashed cars are wheeled around on forklifts, and guys in alien motion-capture suits strut in to rehearse an attack on Captain America. Scarlett Johansson has just finished a scene where wires swing her leather-clad form through the air, and Mark Ruffalo is in a far corner looking at digital effects for an upcoming scene with him as The Hulk.
Sitting alone in a folding chair amid the chaos is writer-director Joss Whedon, whose mind probably looks a lot like the scene around him: overheated, frenzied, and full of weird characters.
The Avengers premiered to raves this week, and opens nationwide on May 4. (Meanwhile, Cabin the Woods, the horror film he co-wrote, debuts today). Here’s what it was like to be present at creation on The Avengers set, when Whedon let EW poke around that brain of his… READ FULL STORY