Joss Whedon has earned the right to do what he wants.
His latest film, "Much Ado About Nothing," is not quite "The Avengers." The modern-day retelling of the Shakespeare classic was shot in just 12 days at Whedon's home in Santa Monica, California. It's a black-and-white film, and it exists simply because Whedon wanted it to.
Marlow Stern of The Daily Beast interviewed the red-hot director in New York. He discussed being raised on the BBC, his love of "Much Ado," and the need for more female protagonists – including, of course, superheroes.
When asked about the possibility of doing "Avengers 2" without Robert Downey Jr., who is not being officially signed on, Whedon said it's not possibility at all, actually.
"He is Iron Man," Whedon said. "He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making 'Avengers 2' without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don't think it's in my interest, Marvel's interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine."
Whedon also has an affinity for heroines in movies. And a disdain for the general lack therof. Why does he thinks that is?
"Toymakers will tell you they won't sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping ‘The Hunger Games’ will lead to a paradigm shift," Whedon said. "It's frustrating to me that I don't see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched 'The Avengers' and was like, 'My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,' and I thought, Yeah, of course they were."
So what's next for Whedon?
"I miss the blank page. I'd love to do a ballet, but I'm still thinking about how to stage it. And back to the female-hero thing, I’m not going to let nobody do it. It doesn't have to be me, but it could be."