Out this Friday, Joss Whedon: The Biography delves into the life of the filmmaker as told by author Amy Pascale, with a foreword by Nathan Fillion. In it, fans will get to peer into the making of Marvel's The Avengers. And one of the cooler things included is an email from star of the movie Tom Hiddleston, who plays the evil brother of Thor, Loki.
Joss, I am so excited I can hardly speak.
The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn't know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: "real menace"; "field of obeisance"; "discontented, nothing is enough"; "his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull"; "Puny god".
... Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason... It's high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the "real menace" and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It's grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I've ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.
I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandizement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence.... That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
... But really I'm just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don't do. It's epic.
Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It's more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn't be more pleased at your reaction, but I'll also tell you I'm still working on it ... Thank you again. I'm so glad you're pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.
Marvel's The Avengers is the third highest grossing movie of all time, and a sequel is coming next summer. Though Tom Hiddleston most likely won't be in it (that could change). The film has gone onto gross more than $1.5 billion worldwide, but success wasn't always imminent. Joss Whedon was tasked with rewriting a screenplay by The Incredible Hulk writer Zak Penn, with the initial draft being thrown completely out the window. After impressing Marvel with a 5-page treatment, he went to work on a new draft that went through several more iterations and collaborations with the cast.
The rest, as they say, is history.