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After The Avengers’ $207 million opening weekend exceeded predictions and caught the industry off guard, it’s easy to assume that the filmmakers themselves stumbled upon success through some blind combination of hard work and serendipity. But Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, told THR that everything was carefully planned, as writer-director Joss Whedon integrated the mythology of multiple characters into one massive superhero movie.
“We all understand that there’s going to be sequels to each of our films, so the evolution of the character can be developed in those films,” Evans said recently. “This is the bridge before the next verse, so you have to take the first film as the establishment of the character and then we can go back to our own individual stories.”
Evans said that his understanding of the film’s ambitions – both artistic and commercial – helped him focus on what was important for this particular film after exploring Captain America’s origin story separately last year. “In my mind there wasn’t too much concern with what’s Cap’s arc in this movie,” he revealed. “He has his issues, has moments to give him authenticity. But this is the birth of a team, and in more realistic terms, the birth of a new franchise, so you kind of have to know your role.”
Forming a team was one of the film’s goals both on and off screen, and Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, said that he felt like it was the character’s differences, oddly enough, which helped them unify more easily. “I don’t know that any of them kind of blend in,” he said. “Whether it’s the green guy, or the guy in the iron suit, I think they are all sort of quite lonely characters …and then when they’re all together, as odd as it may appear, they kind of fit into some kind of team.
“But we were lucky to have our individual films to kind of work out who these characters were, because there wasn’t the time to have a single sort of journey and arc individually.”
Watch the video above for more details about the duo’s work in The Avengers, including how they handled the anachronistic humor that makes their adjustment to a modern setting so much fun. The Avengers opened Friday nationwide.
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Tribeca Film Festival