Joss Whedon is using 'Godfather Part II' as his inspiration for 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'.

The 50-year-old director is currently working on the much-anticipated Marvel movie and has revealed the 1974 crime thriller, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, has helped him with the creative process.

Whedon shared: ''I know I reference Godfather Part II a lot. 'Don't reference the greatest movie ever made because that's Icarus, you moron!'

''But at the same time it is a huge touchstone for me because you get everything you got from the first Godfather movie in a very different movie, in a movie that structurally couldn't be more different, and thematically and in intent and in mood, and yet nobody ever goes, 'It wasn't Godfathery enough.'''

Whedon explained that with 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' - which will feature the likes of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow - he knows exactly what he's trying to achieve.

He told Empire magazine: ''I need to give people an exciting ride about heroic people, and that's certainly part of why I signed on, but at the same time a richer, deeper, darker movie is not a bad thing.''