Whedon Calls Godfather Part II His Model for Avengers: Age of Ultron

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It was revealed yesterday that Marvel's upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron would be filming a handful of scenes at the Bard Fortress in Northern Italy, but that's apparently not its only Italian connection. In an interview with Allocine (via CBM), writer/director Joss Whedon says he's using Francis Ford Coppola's epic The Godfather Part II as a model for the highly anticipated sequel.

"The events of Captain America (The Winter Soldier) will definitely affect the world of Avengers 2. But at the end of the day, I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can't assume everybody went to see Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what's happened, but not be slavish to it. I look at this movie, and the model I'm always trying to build from, my guiding star, is The Godfather: Part II, where a ton has happened in-between and it's a very different movie. But you don't need any information, it's there in the film about what's happened since, what's different, and why is this a different film, why is it a different kind of structure, and why is it darker. It's all there, you're in the vernacular of the first movie and you're just ready to pick up in this new place, and hopefully that's what will happen with my movie. Obviously I'm talking about one of the greatest films ever made, I hope that mine will be good, but that is my guiding star." 

Set to star Robert Downey Jr., Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader and Thomas Kretschmann (with many more names expected to be confirmed soon), production on the film is expected to begin this March. Avengers: Age of Ultron will hit theaters on May 1, 2015.