We got some truly glorious news yesterday when it was announced that Joss Whedon had signed a deal to write and direct The Avengers 2 for Marvel. As the brilliant creative force that drove The Avengers to critical acclaim and nearly $1.5 billion in worldwide box office, it was clear that Whedon would be crucial to the success of the inevitable follow-up. We can now rest much easier knowing that the sequel is in extremely capable hands.
When the deal was announced, not many details were known other than the fact that Whedon would also be developing a live-action Marvel TV series for ABC. The studio has now released some further information concerning Whedon’s Marvel involvement, revealing that the writer/director is firmly with the studio through 2015 and will not exclusively be working on The Avengers 2. Hit the jump for more.
When word of Whedon’s deal broke yesterday, I noted that this was great news not only for The Avengers 2 but also for all of Marvel’s “Phase Two” films. With Whedon at the studio, we could reasonably assume that he would have some creative input on the stories that would be building to his second go-around with the all-star lineup. Here are the official details of the deal straight from Disney/Marvel:
“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.”
So, as expected, the studio explicitly states that Whedon will “contribute creatively” to this next lineup of films. The filmmaker notably did a pass on the Captain America script before that film went in front of cameras, so him working on other Marvel pics isn’t unprecedented. We can all reasonably agree that the guy is a creative genius, so any input he has regarding any of Marvel’s other superhero films is welcomed with open arms.
Iron Man 3 is already well into production so it’s doubtful that Whedon had much of a hand in the development of that film, but they’ve got Shane Black in the director’s chair so I think that one’s pretty safe. Thor: The Dark World starts filming in a matter of weeks so Whedon may or may not have had the opportunity to give notes on that project, but the films that could benefit the most from this deal are Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s big gamble; the film includes a talking raccoon and a giant tree. This one’s going to be a tough sell any way you slice it, so hopefully Whedon can give some guidance as to how best to approach this otherworldly team of heroes. The pic already has a script by Nicole Perlman, and Chris McCoy was recently brought on to do a rewrite. We may also see Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man in theaters before The Avengers 2 depending on how Wright’s schedule shakes out (he’s filming The World’s End this fall), but one assumes that script by Wright and Joe Cornish is in tip-top shape.
All in all, Whedon sticking with Marvel through 2015 is very, very good news. He’ll be able to craft a hopefully worthy follow-up to The Avengers while also acting as a bit of a “Godfather” to the other films that Marvel has in development. As a bit of a refresher, check out a rundown of the release schedule announced thus far below. Though The Avengers 2 doesn’t yet have a firm release date, 2015 has been rumored for some time now and when taking into account the fact that Whedon’s deal runs out in June of 2015, it’s entirely possible that The Avengers 2 could hit theaters in May 2015.
- Iron Man 3 – May 3, 2013
- Thor: The Dark World – November 8, 2013
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4, 2014
- Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1, 2014