Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Say It Ain't So: From Dickinson to Pinocchio?

The "News & Notes" section of the latest Entertainment Weekly (May 1, 2015) features "Six Secrets from the Set of Avengers" with the subtitle "What do Emily Dickinson, Gollum, and old-school romance have to do with Avengers: Age of Ultron? More than you think." A page later, we get the following bit of trivia:
Swapping Poets for Puppets

[James] Spader was sold on [Joss] Whedon's script when Ultron referenced the so-called Moth of Amherst. "It was an eight-foot robot, and in one of the scenes he was quoting Emily Dickinson," Spader says. "I got more and more excited." Whedon confirms that Ultron did have an unhealthy obsession with Dickinson's poem "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," but it was ultimately replaced with the Pinocchio song "I've Got No Strings." "You know, creative [advertising] was very angry when that got cut," Whedon jokes. "They were like, 'What's the in for Marvel fans?! Can we get some [T.S.] Eliot in there? "A pair of ragged claws" or something?'"
Too bad: Spader, Whedon, and Marvel just lost a P&PC analysis of the movie, and the office interns are thinking about staging a letter-writing campaign.

In other news, President Barack Obama recently became "the first president to recite a haiku at a state dinner" when he "included a poem about spring, friendship, and harmony" at the recent dinner for the prime minister of Japan. Read about it here.