Director Joss Whedon is preparing to direct his first cinematic sequel, The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, and, as such, has the nature of sequels on his mind; and as the Godfather of the entire Marvel cinematic universe, massive movie franchises.
He is also a Star Wars fan. Really, Whedon is a self-professed Star Wars enthusiast. We want to make that clear, as his recent comments on The Empire Strikes Back could potentially be interpreted as a dismissal of the film's merits, but they're not. They are a reflection of the director's take on a filmmaker's responsibility to their audience - namely to create a complete story with a fully fleshed out beginning, middle and end; rather than a cliffhanger that functions as a set-up for the next installment.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director had the following to say about Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:
"Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending. Which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea. Well, it's not an ending. It's a Come Back Next Week, or in three years. And that upsets me. I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn't end I'll go to a French movie. That's a betrayal of trust to me. A movie has to be complete within itself, it can't just build off the first one or play variations."
Again, we stress that Whedon is a Star Wars buff, one only needs to watch Firefly to glean his affection for the franchise. The writer/director also feels that aside from the former's ending, Empire and The Godfather II are two shining examples of sequels done right.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator was also asked about his take on the modern version of the vampire, not so much slaying, but often times loving, teen girl.
"A small part of you is like: 'Well, you know, I did that first. I liked that band before they were popular,'" Whedon reflected. "The thing about Buffy for me is - on a show-by-show basis - are there female characters who are being empowered, who are driving the narrative? The Twilight thing and a lot of these franchise attempts coming out, everything rests on what this girl will do, but she's completely passive, or not really knowing what the hell is going on. And that's incredibly frustrating to me because a lot of what's taking on the oeuvre of Buffy, is actually a reaction against it. Everything is there - except for the Buffy. A lot of things aimed at the younger kids is just Choosing Boyfriends: The Movie."
What do you think? Should a film be complete unto itself? Or is it okay for it to, at least to some degree, set up the sequel? Or in Empire's case, the final film in a, then, trilogy? A trilogy which was playing on the tropes of serialized science fiction, at that.
Source : ign[dot]com