There’s another controversial Joss Whedon story going around. And this one involves a Marvel superhero’s junk.
Off the heels of the successful Disney+ series WandaVision, Paul Bettany, who plays The Vision, appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show. The 49-year-old British actor talked about his experiences within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This includes one unfortunate experience with defamed director Joss Whedon and Vision’s penis.
According to Bettany, Whedon had a moment of obsession with seeing and filming the Vision’s penis while making the 2015 movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. You see, that film saw the origin of the cyborg hero. The villain robot Ultron tried to create a perfect body for himself, but the Avengers’ interference led to that body getting its own sentience. That body became Vision. But in Whedon’s mind, that birthing was missing one important piece.
“Joss Whedon was manning the ship at that point,” Bettany explains to Conan O’Brien. “He was wondering, ‘Vision’s gonna be born, we’re gonna see him born, and I mean ostensibly naked. He has to have a penis, right? I mean, cause he’s naked and he’s being born,'” Bettany revealed of Whedon.”
He then added, “Everybody there, Louis D’Esposito, Kevin Feige, everybody was like, ‘I’m not sure that’s such a great idea for Vision for him, to sort of, rise up out of the crypt, as it were with a, you know, a penis.’ And he said, ‘I need, I need him to, I need to see his penis.'”
Bettany then shares that several artists were put to work in order to give Joss Whedon a visual for what the birthing, and penis, would look like.
“Artists were sent away to sort of do all of these renderings of Vision being born with a penis,” he elaborated. “They put them all up on this huge wall at Marvel Studios and they invited Joss in, and Joss stood in front of this huge wall and went, ‘Never have I been more sure that I don’t need to see Vision with a penis.'”
In the end, the penis shot was dropped. But, the cringe-worthy idea and story echo Joss Whedon’s other controversies of late. While controversy has surrounded Whedon since his times on Buffy in the early 2000s, Joss Whedon recently received mass criticism for how he handled Justice League in 2017. After director Zack Snyder had to leave the film for a family emergency, Joss Whedon took over. Then last year, actor Ray Fischer, who played Cyborg, alleged that Whedon was abusive to the cast and crew.
This gave room for several other stars and crew to come out against Whedon including Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Firefly writer Jose Molina, stuntwoman Sophia Crawford, and more. You can find more about the timeline of controversies and allegations against Joss Whedon here.