That disturbance in the force you just felt was the sound of a million geeks calling out in joy, never to be silenced. Variety reports that Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced at the Disney Investors Conference Call that The Avengers director Joss Whedon has signed on for The Avengers 2, along with “a Marvel-themed TV show for ABC.”
“Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”
This is terrific news not just for fans, but for lovers of quality blockbuster cinema as well. In a year when he also turned the horror genre on its head with The Cabin in the Woods, Whedon’s take on The Avengers proved that not only did humour and character development have a place in superhero cinema, but that they were essential ingredients to their success as well. The fact that the film has earned a whopping $1.5 billion at the global box office, before it even hits DVD/Blu-ray shelves, doesn’t hurt either.
The Marvel-themed TV show for ABC has been circling for a while as well, and Whedon’s clear experience on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse makes him an ideal candidate to usher in a new era of character-based Marvel live-action television, both as a creative force and an integral piece of that wider cinematic universe as well. While we don’t know the focus of this show yet, it could potentially be something along the lines of the mooted Jessica Jones (aka Alias) series, which has a strong female lead and touches on all aspects of the Marvel Universe.
Whedon has already stated to British magazine SFX that he wants the next film to be “smaller. More personal, more painful”. We’ll have to be a little patient though as Iron Man 3 (scheduled for 25 April 2013), Thor: The Dark World (8 November 2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4 April 2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (1 August 2014) and possibly Ant-Man to come before then.
Can we just get Whedon to direct them all?