Joss Whedon says Avengers 2 is inspired by the Godfather trilogy

How do you follow up one of the biggest, most successful films of all time? If you’re Joss Whedon, you begin by taking notes from a classic.

Speaking to AlloCiné , Whedon explained that he used Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster saga to give him pointers in how to handle the transition between his first film and its sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron .

He said: "The model I'm always trying to build from, or 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."

The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on 1 May 2015.