“By not trying to go bigger. By being smaller. More personal, more painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself.”
This is the comment Joss Whedon made all the way back in April when he was asked about The Avengers 2, which he has now been confirmed to write and direct. Since then, fans everywhere have been rabidly speculating about what the plot and villain of the sequel will be – and it seems the two main options are Ultron and Thanos. As an aspiring screenwriter/director, I myself have been trying to piece together my own plot and I have been in a continuous battle between the two villains, who are both fantastic choices. But, who should be the villain? And what should it be about?
Without a doubt, Ultron is the Avengers’ greatest villain, and he ticks all the boxes set up by Whedon in the above quote. He can definitely provide a bigger threat than Loki and the Chitauri, by placing Earth on lockdown, taking control of all technology, ordering the Iron Man suits to attack the planet, put his “father” Hank Pym (Ant-Man) through the ringer and could potentially destroy the Avengers as a group and create a sense of distrust between them all. When people think of Thanos, they think of huge cosmic space battles, death, destruction, all-round epicness, you get the point. But after careful consideration, taking in Kevin Fiege’s quotes and common sense, I can safely say the villain of The Avengers 2 will NOT be Ultron.
Why? Well, when has Fiege ever mentioned Ultron? People make the assumption that because the Pym’s are getting a movie and will probably join the roster in the sequel, that damn robot will follow. But he has continuously mentioned Thanos and “going cosmic”, and so far the only cosmic movies we’ve got from the MCU are Thor and The Avengers, and the upcoming Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy. I honestly think it would be a completely change of pace from building up Thanos and the cosmic universe, to then switching to a robot on Earth and I think it would be for the worse.
While I was thinking about the content for this editorial, a central theme from The Avengers came to mind. “Phase II” is the codename used by SHIELD for a project which is using the Tesseract to make weapons, in order to prepare for galactic threats (after Thor visited Earth and they realised they were not alone). During the huge argument between the team in the film, Thor says “your work with the Tesseract is a signal to all the realms that the Earth is ready for a higher form of war.” And at the end, when speaking to the World Security Council, Nick Fury practically confirms Thor’s statement, saying this was the point of the Avengers Initiative.
“I don’t think you understand what you’ve done. Letting the Avengers on this world. They’re dangerous.”
“They surely are, and the whole world knows it. Every world knows it.”
“Was that the point of all this? A statement?”
The events of The Avengers show people like Annihilus, Thanos, Galactus, the Kree, the Skrulls and more that Earth can now play in the big leagues, and they can compete in cosmic battles, with the Avengers as their representatives. I strongly believe that the sequel will delve even further into the cosmic universe, basing the story on Secret Invasion, with the Skrulls working for Thanos, wanting to destroy the Avengers and leave Earth defenseless. That would certainly fit with Whedon’s ideas.
The Skrulls can reveal that they have been on Earth for years, and there are plenty of ways they can break up the Avengers. Be disguised as a main character (either a team member or a SHIELD official), kill off an Avenger (Black Widow?), create a sense of distrust (more arguments!), the possibilites are endless.
Well there you have it. What I think should happen in The Avengers 2, and what I’m certain will actually happen, Skrulls or not. It would have a very similar tone and theme to The Empire Strikes Back, probably one of the greatest sequels of all time. The Avengers would actually lose, setting up their triumphant return in The Avengers 3, or an Infinity Gauntlet movie.
What do you hope to see in The Avengers 2? Sound off below!