WARNING: Big old major spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron lie within; if you’re one of the five people in the world who hasn’t seen it yet, consider yourself warned.
One of the biggest shockers of Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron was the (admittedly pretty obvious) bait-and-switch he pulled with who was going to die – the whole movie he’s trying to get you to think it’s Hawkeye, and at the last second he pulls the rug out from under your and Quicksilver is riddled with bullets. Speaking to Empire, however, Whedon reveals that he hedged his bets a bit and filmed an ending with the speedster alive and well.
In this movie, we’re saying, ‘Prove to me that you guys are heroes.’ And he’s the guy that does it. The most arrogant, the most annoying one. If you want the DVD extras, [you’ll see that] he’s the biggest pussy hound. Hawkeye genuinely hates this guy, and that’s the guy who saves him. I knew it would be resonant, and make everything else work better and matter more. The city in the air, that’s just an explosion – Wanda’s grief, that’s extraordinary. When the Vision comes to save her… that’s the part that matters to me. I said to Aaron, ‘The only way you’ll stay alive is if the Disney executives say, ‘Hey idiot, this is a franchise, and we need all these people and you’re not allowed to kill them off!’‘ We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit, with his sister. We also shot him, waking up, saying, ‘Ah, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds!’ Actually, we shot something else with that, but… maybe I’ll let you know about that later. But the intent was to earn this, and then you have to stand by it.
According to Whedon, knocking off a character in Age of Ultron was important – “it felt very disingenuous for me, especially the second time around, to make what I refer to as ‘a war movie’ and say that there is no price and everybody walks away,” he said. He also discussed how he used his reputation as a bloodthirsty George R. R. Martin type to play on audiences’ expectation.
But I knew right away that this was what I wanted to do. I know I’ve got this reputation, and some people were going to say, ‘There he goes, again with the killing!’ But I play on that reputation with Hawkeye. And you can’t control the publicity. I wanted them to announce Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s nine picture deal, and for them not to announce Jeremy was going to be in the next movie, and all that good stuff.
Of course, Whedon killed off fan-favorite Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers, only for him to be resurrected the following fall to star in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so in theory anything is possible – maybe Quicksilver will rise again, if the head honchos at Disney decide the character is marketable enough.[via Empire]