“I just remember, I would get nervous about it and excited about it and doubtful of it,” Downey said. “And then by the time, um, you know, I already had a history with Sam, and I was really wanting to capitalize on that. And by the time, uh, Chris and Chris had launched their individual franchises with, uh, success and charisma. And by the time we had Mark, I was like, wow, you know what, this is really gonna happen.”
Whedon said successful comics adaptations have to find a space between slavishly imitating the comic on the one hand, and going too far from what made the story successful originally on the other.
“It's capturing the essence of the comic and being true to what's wonderful about it, while remembering that it's a movie and not a comic,” Whedon said at a recent news conference about the film. “I think ‘Spider-Man,' the first one particularly, really captured, you know, they figured out the formula of ‘oh, tell the story that they told in the comic.' It was compelling, that's why it's iconic, but at the same time they did certain things that only a movie can do and, um, were in the vein of the comic.”
Downey said Whedon was able to give each character in the film his own moment to shine, while creating an overall movie that is even greater than the sum of its parts.
“This is essentially a comic book movie, but you kind of buy into the reality of it,” Downey said. “So I think everyone has their moments, and I think Joss did a good job of finding everyone's frequency.”
Feige agreed that Whedon's work on the film kept it from getting overwhelmed with spectacle and special effects.
“My biggest interest in the Avengers is the interaction between these people,” Feige said. “And looking at Joss's body of work and the scripts that he's written and his TV shows, the characters never ever get lost. In fact, those are the ones — those are the moments that shine.”