Comic book fans can be a protective lot, especially when it comes to their favorite properties and characters. It was no surprise, then, that some were upset when Joss Whedon announced a while back that the Avengers’ longtime robotic nemesis in the upcoming Age of Ultron would have no connection to Hank Pym – also known as Ant-Man – who was responsible for the villain’s creation in the comics. Instead, the movie version of Ultron will have his origins tied to Tony Stark.
In an on-set interview with Empire, Whedon opened up and explained why he chose to deviate from the source material for his second round in the director’s chair – starting with Ant-Man‘s original director, Edgar Wright:
Of all the heat I’ve ever taken, not having Hank Pym was one of the bigger things. But the fact of the matter was, Edgar had him first and by virtue of what Edgar was doing, there was no way for me to use him in this.
Wright, known for directing cult hits like Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim versus the World, had long petitioned to direct Ant-Man – his interest predated the release of the original Iron Man – before finally stepping down from the project in May before being replaced by Peyton Reed. Aside from professional courtesy, Whedon also said he thought “it was a bridge too far,” and that “Ultron needs to be the brainchild of the Avengers.”
[I]n the world of the Avengers and the MCU, Tony Stark is that guy. Banner has elements of that guy – we don’t really think of him as being as irresponsible as Tony Stark, but the motherfucker tested gamma radiation on himself, with really terrible, way-worse-than-Tony-Stark results…It didn’t make sense to introduce a third scientist, a third sciencetician, to do that. It was hard for me, because I grew up on the comics, to dump that, but at the end of the day, it’s a more interesting relationship between Tony and Ultron if Tony was once like, ‘You know what would be a really great idea?’ They’re doing what they always do – which is jump in headfirst, and then go, ‘Sorry, world!’ But you have to make it their responsibility without just making it their fault.
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits UK theaters April 23 and the United States on May 1. Ant-Man releases July 17.[via Empire]