There are a lot of cameos in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I don’t want to get yelled at for spoilers, so I’m not enumerating them here, but if you peruse nerd sites you can easily find out which ones have already been spoiled, and now you can add two more to the list. While giving an interview to the Telegraph, Idris Elba let it drop that he and Tom Hiddleston have cameos in Age of Ultron. Dammit, Dris. That was one of the really good surprises in the movie. On the upside, though, rampant speculation as to what Loki and Heimdall are up to has been entirely wrong, so at least the why will still be surprising.
After an unprecedented six-month information seep that culminated in the leak of the first Age of Ultron trailer, Marvel is in the midst of a serious crackdown. Elba will be getting an irate phone call and a stern reminder to keep his trap shut. But he’s talent—there’s only so much you can do with talent. Tell them not to talk, slap their wrists when they do, but beyond that, with talent, there’s no real recourse. But life for the employees at Marvel Studios is Not Fun right now. I’ve been in military installations with less cumbersome security.
Elba dropped this information as he complained about how it’s “torture” to make a Marvel movie. In the Telegraph he talks about a bad experience on wirework for Thor: The Dark World, and how he did not enjoy it compared to the experience of portraying Nelson Mandela. This is entering Chris Evans “Superhero-ing Is Hard” territory.
Making a Marvel movie is f*cking hard—for everyone, LEAST OF ALL the actors. You had a bad day on the wires? Guess what? There are studio employees having a year of bad days, and they aren’t making “I spend my summers DJing in Ibiza” money for it. Marvel works at a breakneck pace and they do not have unlimited staff. As difficult as it is to make a movie, that’s how hard it is to make a movie for Marvel, from the top down. But the actors are done at six, maybe eight months top. And they don’t work those months consecutively.
But the staff at Marvel? The ones who pull all-nighters and give up weekends? It never ends for them. As soon as they hand off Captain America: The Winter Soldier they’re right to work on Guardians of the Galaxy, and then it’s on to Age of Ultron, without break. I don’t know any studio staff who works harder than the folks at Marvel. And it’s not just one department—it’s everyone. And lately, with the spate of leaks, the work is just that much more. Security crackdowns mean it’s just that little bit harder to get through your day, dealing with a litany of access and delivery protocols.
I didn’t countenance this complaining from Chris Evans, and I don’t countenance it from Idris Elba. Sorry you’re not enjoying your superhero experience, Dris, but I guaran-damn-tee you you’re getting the better end of the deal. You get six-figure paychecks for two days of work, and then it’s back to Ibiza. For the people responsible for getting the movie into theaters, it’s a year of grinding production schedules at normal people salaries, and working in an atmosphere of paranoia and suspicion that would make the CIA proud. So suck it up. You’re getting off easy.
For comparison, here’s Anthony Mackie being a really good sport about his bad day on wires for Marvel: