There was a special screening of The Avengers last night at The Director's Guild of America with a Q&A session with writer/director Joss Whedon and we... couldn't go. Jack Reacher wasn't going to review itself. But while we didn't seem to miss any life-changing news, the writer/director did drop a few intriguing hints about his thoughts on The Avengers 2, as well as trivia about the first Avengers movie, which dominated the summer and swiftly turned into one of the most successful motion pictures in history. First and foremost, do you have any idea how close we came to seeing The Wasp this summer?
"There was a little bit of time where we thought we might not actually get Scarlett [Johansson]," Whedon revealed (via Silas Lesnick at Coming Soon). "There was a very Waspy draft that I wrote. But it was way too Waspy. I was like, 'She's adorable! I'm just going to watch her!'"
Does this mean that The Wasp, a superhero named Janet Van Dyne who could both shrink and fly, could appear in the upcoming Avengers 2? Perhaps. Joss Whedon also claims that the ever-changing roster of the team was a major part of the comic books, and implying that it could become a factor in the movies as well.
"I used to read 'The Avengers' and part of the ethos of the team was that it changed their lineup every month," says Whedon. "Their 150th issue was just a bunch of faces. 'Who will be in the team now?!' We had the first issue as a poster in the offices. Now that I'm working on the sequel I said, 'Let's put the second issue up there! Let's change it up a little bit!' The second issue is 'Introducing… Giant-Man! And this character! They were already changing it up after one issue. That's what they always do."
Who could join the cast of The Avengers in The Avengers 2? Well, we already know that The Falcon will appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, played by The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie. And War Machine has already made his first appearance in Iron Man 2, played by Don Cheadle. James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled to introduce major new characters to the Marvel Studios canon in the near future, and it's possible that the studio could use The Avengers 2 as an introduction to Ant-Man, who is getting his own solo movie from director Edgar Wright on November 6, 2015, just six months after Joss Whedon's sequel premieres on May 1 that same year. Or would Joss Whedon introduce a new character to the Marvel Movieverse from the superhero team's expansive roster in the comics?
There are, by our count, at least 126 characters in the Marvel Universe who have have been either active or honorary members of The Avengers. That includes, mind you, characters that Marvel Studios does not actually have the rights to put in the sequel, like The Fantastic Four, multiple members of the X-Men, and a whole slew of esoteric heroes who seem unlikely to ever appear in a motion picture of their own, like Darkhawk, Thunderstrike and Gilgamesh the Forgotten One. But there are still plenty of characters who could potentially show up if Joss Whedon wills it so.
Which Avengers would you like to see show up in The Avengers 2? I'm a Squirrel Girl fan, myself...