Folks, it has been a long, awesome SXSW. So color me flabbergasted when suddenly I'm deluged with news that Joss Whedon made a major announcement about the identity of the villains in The Avengers in his panel on Saturday. I had previously given a cursory overview of this in my wrapup because I really didn't think it was news.  But yet here we are, and every day someone tells me "I heard Joss Whedon said it was ( _____ ) in The Avengers!"  Let's clarify.

I was in the room at the time, and Whedon was clearly joking when someone asked him about whether the villains were Skrulls or not, he replied, “It’s the Vulcans. . .I don’t know a lot about the Marvel Universe, and I thought there were Vulcans. I know we’re going to get a lot of emails about that one.”

Some people have hypothesized that because of their Vulcan-like appearance, Whedon might have been teasing that Atlanteans were the villains. I want to put in a pin in that balloon based on other things I heard in that panel, and basically tell people to cool their jets.

First, let's look at what Whedon said there: 1) He doesn't know the universe all that well. 2) "We're going to get a lot of emails"... I think that second statement he's playing on the fact that he knows he's mixing sacred genres. It would be like talking about the Enterprise landing on the Death Star, or Superman visiting Kashyyyk.

Furthermore, Whedon added the following: (from EW)

“I will say only this: It is not the Kree or the Skrulls.”

Oh, really? “Those two aliens are Marvel mainstays and have enormous backstories,” Whedon explained. “They have a big life of their own that just could not be contained in a film where I already had seven movie stars.” I asked Whedon why everyone was being so coy about who these aliens really are — was it because they knew they weren’t including either of these high-profile Marvel aliens, or is there some other revelation they’re concealing? Whedon ably dodged the question with another, perhaps less surprising revelation: “What’s probably happening is that I just said something that Marvel didn’t want me to. It’s weird to be fired so late!”

Whedon elaborated that after reading so much speculation that the identity of the aliens had to be the Skrulls or the Kree, he didn’t want anyone to go into the film and be disappointed. “The Skrulls — they can shape change. That’s a whole thing,” he said. “I’ve already got Loki. He’s got magic. Once you got magic along with your Iron Man and your Black Widow — it’s a real juggling act.”

So, would Whedon really dismiss Kree and Skrulls as having too much history to shoehorn into a movie like Avengers, but then the real villains were Atlanteans, who have, arguably, just as big of a history and influence on the 616 universe? And, uhhhhh, Namor? Could you include Atlanteans and NOT include Namor? And how, then, does that become any less complicated than what would have happened with Skrulls and Kree?

Bottom line? Whedon has re-emphasized the villain is Loki. The mooks in his army? Who cares who they are?!?! The movie is THE AVENGERS. Not The Skrulls, not The Kree, not The Kree-Skrull War, not The Atlanteans. . . I don't care if they team up to fight adult illiteracy-- it's going to be awesome. And the speculation is pointless. Let's say you're right-- and it is the Atlanteans.

And so," target="_blank"> good for you. You figured it out. Is your self-satisfaction going to add to your enjoyment of the movie? It won't for me. And if you've built up your expectations so high that it's going to be Atlanteans or The Watcher is going to show up, or Cobie Smulders is really Super Skrull. . . whatever your pet theory, if you're wrong, you're going to be disappointed. So don't try.

Just wait patiently like the rest of us. You've got just about 2 months to wait. Enjoy John Carter and The Hunger Games in the meantime. And let's cool it on the speculation.

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Tags: The Avengers , Marvel , Movies