Whedon Re-Writing Avengers & Captain America Scripts [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 3:42 am,

[Update: Now we hear that Whedon is also re-writing Captain America.]

According to our latest Screen Rant poll, a lot of you are okay with the notion of writer/director Joss Whedon (Serenity, Astonishing X-Men) directing Marvel’s Avengers movie, which is undoubtedly the biggest event in the history of comic book movies thusfar.

If you are one of those who had a slight nerdgasm upon hearing that Whedon would be helming The Avengers, I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t yet share your enthusiasm – and I’m not alone in that sentiment.

It’s not that I have anything against Joss Whedon – I liked Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it was on TV, liked Dollhouse, and even enjoyed his feature-length film, Serenity. I also liked Whedon’s inaugural run on Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men comic book; it was one of the more entertaining X-Men stories I’ve read in years.

However, those of us in the “Wary of Whedon” camp have generally expressed one shared opinion: Whedon is a much better writer than he is a director. The man has an accute sense of character – and more importantly, how to make an ensemble of characters function well together. It’s probably that very talent which led Marvel Studios to pick him for The Avengers directorial chair.

Just about every Whedon project I can think of has featured an ensemble – and, despite whatever criticisms I may have had of those projects, I have to admit that Whedon’s ensemble format has never prevented the individual characters from shining in their own lights – a spectacular feat of storytelling.

That’s why my first reaction to news of Whedon directing the Avengers movie was to say, “He should be writing it.” Well, as Variety reports, Whedon is doing exactly that.

Up until now screenwriter Zak Penn (X-Men 2 & 3, Incredible Hulk) has been wracking his brain over the Avengers script. Last year Penn expressed early on that Marvel’s interconnectivity approach – while it may be awesome for fans – is something of a Rubik’s Cube for a screenwriter. Getting all the moving parts of the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movie continuities working cohesively in an Avengers flick is surely no easy task. To pull it off you would need a grandmaster of ensemble storytelling at your disposal…enter Whedon.

avengers thor iron man captain america Whedon Re Writing Avengers & Captain America Scripts [Updated]

Whedon will likely be looking at the work Penn has been doing over the last year or so and polishing that into a tight story about how a diverse super group learns to play together. In this respect, I have newfound confidence about how The Avengers will turn out.

The only question left is: Can the guy who imagines The Avengers on paper bring it to fruition it in front of the camera? Our Screen Rant poll says “Yes,” but my gut remains unconvinced. Like many of you out there, I will need to actually see it to believe it.

Update: Our friends at IESB have pointed us to a Pajiba article which states that Joss Whedon is also going to be polishing the script for The First Avenger: Captain America.

The Captain America script was originally written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, co-writers of the Chronicles of Narnia films. Whedon is reportedly being brought on board to make sure the transition from The First Avengers‘ WWII origin story to Cap being revived in modern times for The Avengers movie is as cohesive as possible.

From the sound of it, Joss Whedon is now to the Marvel Movie Universe what Chris Nolan is to DC Movie Universe. Let the age-old Marvel vs. DC debate rage on!

For you “Wary of Whedon” types – does hearing that Joss will also be writing The Avengers script ease your worry? Or is directing the film a whole different beast in your eyes? For you pro-Whedon types – are you feeling even more jazzed now that you know Joss will be tackling BOTH of major duties required to bring The Avengers to the screen?

The Avengers is slated hit theaters on May 4, 2012.

The First Avenger: Captain America is slated for release on July 22, 2011.

Source: Variety

Update Source: Pajiba via IESB

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  1. Good…

  2. I like th idea he's writing, but at the same time it makes me anxious about him directing. I was all for it up till this. But if he's writing, then nothing is to stop him from having total control in directing. What if he's taking a very different path then is appropriate for fans? It could easily wreck this whole beautiful project..

  3. yeah i can see now that this movie will suck unless he goes a different direction then buffy and dollhouse. Both those shows just suck, mainly because of the terrible acting. I loved serenity, but for a avengers film he needs to loose the campy style of directing and the funny little inside jokes he slides in the scripts. Avengers is a big deal hope he treats it that way, enuff with the rewrites, i have read a few scripts in my time and usually a rewrite is bad. If the script isn't that good to begin with then scrap it and move on dont just change a few scenes here and there.

  4. Wheon is both a fanboy and a Marvel comic book writer so I trust in him to keep this thing on the right track. As for Directing, well he has directed episodes of his TV programes, so that is something, he's got some decent experience with this.

    I remain optimistic, as it is an Iron Man/ Thor/ Captain America Team up

  5. It sounded to me more like he is going to rewrite an existing Avengers script, not write a completely new one. So you might not have to worry.

  6. It sounded to me more like he is going to rewrite an existing Avengers script, not write a completely new one. So you might not have to worry.

  7. RDJ with Whedon writing/directing, sounds like a pretty lethal combination.

    I am on board with both, and doubly excited now to hear Whedon is doing the rewrite.

  8. @CplHicks, you hit it on the head soldier! Whedon will be heavily under the microscope with Marvel Studios checking his every move. With Favereau producing and possibly switching to co/exec-director chair and Kevin Feige producing,Robert Downey Jr will also be involved in the writing process and acting, all this gives me firm confidence that this movie will be epic.

  9. I'm kinda waiting who they pick for wasp and pym (if they even make it into the movie) or how the cast will turn out in general. I'm happy that he is writing since he is very very familiar with the marvel universe. serenity was fun and entertaining and this is actualy waht i want for avengers. abou the directing…. since Favreau and marvel are backing him up and watching his work closly i am not to worried.

  10. I think Mr. Outlaw hit it perfectly, I don't think it's a rewrite, I think it's more a polishing of what has already been written by Zak Penn. Whedon can right some good stories. Also, I think those of you who think he's going to take it over and ruin it are kinda going over board, I would imagine he's on a very tight leash from the heads at Marvel, even Jon.

  11. Pleased he's revising Penn's script, still wary about him being in the directing chair. My hope is that this becomes something of a directing internship for Whedon, where Favreau, perhaps even the directors of the other movies, and Marvel's oversight with Kevin would let this be a turning point directing-wise. That's as far as my optimism extends at the moment. If the ensemble, collaborative nature of The Avengers story itself is reflected in how the production is handled then I'm sure it'll be golden.

    In the meantime . . .

  12. I now have faith Avengers will turn out great. I've always been Iffy On Penn's ability to write with The Wheadon stepping in to help I have gotten excited. People need to stop comparing things Joss has done in the past to this though. His past work came from his ideas completely unique. If you didn't like the style of Buffy dont be dumb enough to think he will do the same with Avengers. Joss will not suddenly write in a teenage girl to kick everyones butt and he isn't gonna suddenly have captain america and thor making witty pop culture references. To my knowledge this will be the first time Joss is directing something that isn't his creation so except something very different from his past work. I can't wait to see this film now and with John F in as producer you know he will stay close to the project to make sure him and Joss share a vision. My only worry is Captain America I still think Evans is a terrible choice I don't think he has the serious chops to pull off Captain America if they turn Cap in to a wise cracker to fit with Evans style I just might puke. I also don't think his face fits well as cap his face inspires humor I don't mean that in a harsh way I just mean that he has a face that looks like he is about to crack a joke even when he isn't. Also there is no way that Evans is believable as being a team leader especially when you put him next to RDJ.

  13. heh reminds me of that old south park episode where spielberg and george lucas raped indiana jones.

    wow this is gonna really be a terrible film. like x-men 3. ah well. us marvel fans that actually read the comics for years can at least expect a reboot in 8-10 years. hopefully.

  14. Marvel's downfall started with the casting of Captain America. I like the pick of Chris Evans but the penny pinching done there (see who they signed to play the love interest) and the penny pinching done here with Whedon is nothing but bad news. Trying to save money is not a way to make a mega-blockbuster.

  15. I'm even happier now. This is awesome. I loved Serenity/Firefly (as well as Astonishing X-Men), so I don't see where he lacks as far as directing. This is all awesome.

  16. T Kofi Outlaw
    Watch Angel and firefly. Those 2 shows are much better than Buffy Dollhouse and Serenity.

  17. I agree Daniel. And I the M. Night can be a good example. His original movies lately have been crap, but from all the trailers, Last Airbender looks great, a movie that was not his original story.

  18. The Avengers movie is going to be great. GREAT!! Ugh, the anticipation just got ten times worse with this wonderful news.

  19. The Avengers movie is going to be great. GREAT!! Ugh, the anticipation just got ten times worse with this wonderful news.

  20. I'm still wary about Joss Whedon directing what potentially should be an EPIC block buster premier super hero film.

    “Serenity” never recouped it's production costs until the DVD release. That's telling you straight off that “The Avengers” needs to have a big name Director.

    Surely MARVEL can afford to hire a HIGHLY EXPERIENCED motion picture Director?

  21. I'm still wary about Joss Whedon directing what potentially should be an EPIC block buster premier super hero film.

    “Serenity” never recouped it's production costs until the DVD release. That's telling you straight off that “The Avengers” needs to have a big name Director.

    Surely MARVEL can afford to hire a HIGHLY EXPERIENCED motion picture Director?

  22. Wait…let me gues…
    The main protagonist will be a young women, probaly a minor…
    Everything he writes has the same narative drivel…Buffy, Firefly/Serenity, Astonishing X-Men…all of them, teenage girl leads or focus of story.
    This guy needs to get laid bad…but probaly never will so he puts his fantasy, dream girl in any movie project he writes/dircts.
    This will be an emo, non spectacle flick about some chick…awesome.

  23. It's funny because everyone was thinking the same thing about him being such a good writer for this and bam! Now he has control over the story and characters even more to bring his vision to the screen.

    I think this is a great risk for Marvel to take.

  24. well that's better…i like zak penn and all but a writer of movies he's….ok, whedon can do better its just directing actors is what he lacks..hopefully the actors will know their characters well enuff that he won't have to work so hard…also if norton is involved somehow will that cause an issue with the script he's redoing??there were problems with letterrier in that issue as i recall..let's hope everyone checks their egos at the door in order for this to work well..

  25. i hope they have those crazy wide shots like in the Ultimates..hopefully they get the same artists for the storyboards..thank god for Marvel artists

  26. now that the main 4 are casted, who will be the Villian??or will there be a mixture or tie-in with Cap's past ala Namor and The Red Skull with The Hulk thrown in as a distraction..Would that be too big of a movie??hmm..also will other characters be involved?? if so, casting for Pym, The Wasp, and Hawkeye should start soon..Also their are rumours that Olivia Munn may be the Scarlet Witch in a cameo-however does FOX own the rights to that character as well as Quicksilver??….who should be Pym??

  27. Hey long time no see! ^^

    Agree 100% on ur comment to Evans: I do not think he can be seen as a serious leader figure when u have a heavy actor like RDJ next to him. =/

  28. Oh good, it''l be just the same as everything else he has ever written. A few years ago I would have thought this was good news, but as I have grown up, I realised Whedon is hardly the greatest writer/director of all time, in fact his stuff is repetetive and predictable.

    Consider me severely unimpressed by this.