Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon has previously hinted about his battles with Marvel leading up to the release of this Phase Two sequel. While we don't know if he will ever direct an MCU movie again, he certainly doesn't have one planned, with Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo taking the helm for Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2. Joss Whedon recently spoke in detail about his struggles with Marvel on the Empire Film Podcast. If you haven't seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
In the early trailers, there was a scene where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was seen in a mysterious cave, and there was also a discarded shot with a mysterious woman disrobing in the same location. While these were eventually cut, Joss Whedon did have a brief scene in the cave with Thor and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), which was actually much bigger, but the director sacrificed it to keep the scene at Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) farmhouse.
"The dreams were not an executive favorite - the dreams, the farmhouse, these were things I fought to keep. With the cave, it really turned into: they pointed a gun at the farm's head and said, 'Give us the cave, or we'll take out the farm,' - in a civilized way. I respect these guys, they're artists, but that's when it got really, really unpleasant."
The shorter scene eventually wasn't received well by test audiences, and Disney wanted to cut the scene entirely, with Thor's presence in the cave only mentioned through dialogue, but his editors protested.
"I was so beaten down at that point that I was like, 'Sure, OK - what movie is this?' And the editors were like, 'No. You have to show the [events in the cave]. You can't just say it.' I do feel they threw out the baby with the pond water."
The director also spoke about the new, albeit, short-lived addition of Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver, who died after saving Hawkeye's life. Joss Whedon explained that he always intended on Quicksilver dying in the movie, but he did reveal that there will be more scenes on the DVD that show Quicksilver as a ladies man, or, as the director puts it, a "p***y hound."
"It's disingenuous to make, as I refer to it, a war movie and say there is no price. In this movie we're saying, 'prove to me that you guys are heroes.' And [Quicksilver] is the guy who is the least... the most arrogant, the most annoying - if you watch the DVD extras, an incredible p**sy hound - and Hawkeye genuinely hates him and that's the guy who saves him. I knew that it would be resonant and it would make everything work and matter more. I said [to Johnson], 'The only thing that would keep you alive is if the Disney executives say, 'Idiot, it's a franchise and we need all these people and you're not allowed to kill them.'"
However, the director added that they did shoot an alternate ending where Quicksilver actually lives, and he is seen with all of the New Avengers at the very end, alongside his sister Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), although it isn't known if that scene was mandated by Disney or not.
"We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit with his sister.And we did shoot him waking up from his, 'Ahh! I didn't really die from these 47 bullet wounds!' but the intent was always that we were going to earn this and then you have to stand by it."
In related news, Joss Whedon deactivated his Twitter account yesterday, and while no official reason was given, there is speculation that it may have been over numerous death threats the director received after Avengers: Age of Ultron's release. Of course, it's possible he could have just shut down his account now that his publicity responsibilities for Avengers: Age of Ultron are through. The director previously quit Twitter after promotional duties for his 2013 indie Much Ado About Nothing were complete, so it's certainly feasible that he has quit again for the same reason.