Joss Whedon To Assemble Avengers Again

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

With a growing worldwide box office take  of nearly $1.5 billion, the odds were better than even money that writer-director Joss Whedon would return to helm the sequel to The Avengers. But to run the upcoming Avengers-themed TV series? That’s just icing on the cake. (Note: we discuss parts of the end of the film, so spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet.)

“It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it. But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.” – Joss Whedon

The news of Whedon’s return ended speculation he was torn on whether or not to return.  Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the news as part of Disney’s quarterly investors conference call and highlighted that Whedon will also write the sequel, which has already been hinted to involve (SPOILER ALERT!) Thanos, a being obsessed with nihilism and death; Thanos was shown at the end of the end crests of The Avengers. (Editor’s note: There’s also speculation Thanos could show up in 2014 in Guardians of the Galaxy, another Marvel Studios film in development.)

Thanos, seen in the first end-movie clip in The Avengers (click for larger)

Other than that, not much else is known, although Whedon does say he has a bunch of cool ideas. What is know. Is that Disney is looking at a 2015 Summer release, which means that Whedon would return to the S.H.I.E.L.D. stronghold after he wraps William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, starring Nathan Fillion, and Into Your Eyes, both of which are due out later this year.

But Whedon is also planning to bring back together Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris, and Felicia Day for a sequel to the cult web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Whedon hopes to film the web series later this summer.

“We are hard on it. Its been a really tough year — couple of years — partially, I’m happy to say, because of work,” Whedon told Wired. “But We do have a number of songs written, and a whole outline.”

In addition to being a prolific hyphenate (writer-producer-director), Whedon is also an accomplished musician, having written the score to not only Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, but also the critically acclaimed episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Once More, With Feeling.” He also penned the theme music to Firefly.

After Horrible, Whedon would theoretically be free to begin development on their 1 hour Marvel action drama for ABC.   But which series is Whedon attached to? ABC CEO Robert Iger is on record as saying three Marvel Studios TV Shows are in development:

“[With Marvel] we’ve taken back distribution, or bought back distribution from [Viacom Inc.’s] Paramount, for some critical franchises. Notably, “Iron Man 3″ will be distributed by us, and “Avengers.” We’re developing three live-action series for ABC and ABC Family. – Bob Iger

Frankly, I can’t see Whedon doing a family drama on ABC Family.  And Guillermo del Toro is developing The Hulk for a return to television. That leaves a generic sounding series which takes place either in the Marvel verse, or wrapped around the Avengers, but not including our main heroes.  This seems to make more sense.  Could it be about S.H.I.E.L.D.  as they recover artifacts?  A grittier hero series which takes place in the Avengers timeline has already been hinted.

And with Disney buying out Paramount from the Iron Man franchise, how long before we see Stark Expo at Tomorrowland and Tony Stark flying around before fireworks?

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.