Okay so OBVIOUSLY you already know this news because it broke on Tuesday and it made the rounds very quickly and by this morning you were tired of the news, you had already heard the news and processed the news and wanted new news, but at the same time I wanted to comment on this for obvious reasons: Joss Whedon has signed up to write and direct another “Avengers” movie. And there’s more!
Joss (only his friends, family and obsessive fans can call him Joss) is also going to help develop a live-action Marvel television series. This show, which various Marvel/Disney folks have mentioned before, would be set in the same universe as the movies yet would face some obvious limitations (i.e. smaller budgets, no Hemsworth/Downey/etc.). Taken on its own, a show set in this world could be an iffy proposition. Whedon’s involvement makes it much more interesting, even if it makes it much more likely that the show will get canceled pretty quickly and develop a rabid cult following.
He’s also going to “contribute creatively” to the next wave of Marvel movies, which means the “Captain America” sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and, of course, another “Avengers” movie. Marvel has Whedon locked up (in terms of film and television) through June 2015. This seems like additional confirmation that “The Avengers 2” (or whatever they wind up calling it) is coming sometime in May 2015, with the extra month giving Whedon time to do press for the movie and, presumably, the TV show.
But the big news here is the “Avengers” sequel. Whedon seemed a bit uncertain about making a sequel a few months ago, before “The Avengers” became the third-biggest movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation). I would imagine that Marvel, which has been infamously stingy with their talent (letting directors walk after one movie in search of someone cheaper, signing the actors to multi-movie deals for relatively frugal contracts), finally ponied up to keep a director in the fold. (This is good practice for when they have to offer Robert Downey Jr. big money to stick around after his current deal is finished.)
The reason this is so exciting is that almost everything that made “The Avengers” great worked out that way because it was a Joss Whedon movie. He was a good director and a phenomenal screenwriter on that film. His ability to successfully bring together the major players and focus on each of them, fusing the linked-but-disparate characters from the earlier Marvel movies with nimble and almost imperceptible skill, paired wonderfully with his celebrated dialogue. (Remember how funny “The Avengers” was? Quite funny.) So this is good news. Even if you already knew it.