Joss Whedon, writer and director of both Avengers films and co-creater of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is over Marvel. In a recent Q&A at Oxford Union (sweet interview is above), the creator was pretty straight-forward about moving on.
“I’ve gone off the reservation for a while. It was five years that I was working on either Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. That was an enormous gift they gave me. They handed me several hundreds of millions of dollars and said, ‘Do what you do,’ which is very rare and I was very lucky. At the same time, it’s important for me not just to have my own thing and do something smaller, but also to create a new challenge for myself because I will start to repeat myself.”
But this comes after a year of noted issues between the director and studio, notably when he claimed to have made more money from his independently financed Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog than the first Avengers movie, which just happens to be the fourth highest-grossing movie ever (not adjusted for inflation). On a separate occasion, he remarked to The Wall Street Journal, “[Marvel heads] are in the business of hiring the guy who hasn’t had a big success, because they don’t have to pay that guy very much.“
This wasn’t anything new from Whedon, as, two years ago, he told Deadline, “Marvel can be very cheap, God knows. They can also be sensible and frugal.”