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. Whedon is a fantastic ensemble writer, and while his directing may not be conventional he does have a very unique eye and more importantly as a television director he has worked with other directors to give a similar uniform to each of his films. Bring it on Whedon!

  2. Unfortunately I have to agree with you.

    Still, he may surprise us.

    And we'll all go and see it anyway, look at how much the X-Men franchise bought in.

  3. “now that the main 4 are casted”

    Fury, IM, Cap and Thor?

  4. “Joss Whedon is also going to be polishing the script for The First Avenger: Captain America.”
    this is a good thing, beleive me when i say i have faith in whedon. but W/him touching up the Cap script, is for lack of a better word a good thing. this gives him a practice run so to speak. or at leas it'll prepare him for pen'in the Avenger scrript.
    i wish him the best of luck.

  5. I agree with Sam. Firefly (1st episode) and Serenity were pretty much exactly the same. They were like a B movie version of Star Wars with a small budget. At least that's what they felt like. His work all seems too familiar meaning it's the same thing over and over. Don't get me wrong, I like his ideas but they feel too much like B movies. Hopefully, with the budget Marvel gives him for The Avengers, he'll be able to knock it out of the park. And please, no dumb kiddy humor. I enjoy Iron Man's humor but that is done in good taste.

  6. I totally agree with you about Evans as Cap. Horrible actor…

  7. This movie will be successfull, no matter what, because it´s the Avengers.

  8. I think Matthew McConaughey would be a good choice for Henry Pym.
    But I don´t think that any mutants like Quicksilver (he was in the Wolverine movie) or Scarlet Witch will show up. They should focus on Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Fury. X-MEN 3 proved that a movie with more than 4 or 5 lead characters can suck pretty quick.

  9. I hate internet trolls.

  10. Being sensible about how you spend your budget isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  11. Good news – he's an excellent writer, and now the writing and the direction of The Avengers should be perfectly harmonious, as he'll write with his own direction in mind.

    I'm also pleased to hear that he's rewriting Captain America – that's the one Marvel Studios project that I'm a little worried about.

  12. The Hulk, not Nick Fury.

  13. Saying they will only spend 300k on the lead in Thor and Cap and have to sign a 9 picture deal iis cheap, not sensible. There is a difference. I'm not hating on Marvel though. In fact, I love there movies including the Incredible Hulk.

  14. Well can't you just use that quantum thingy and go back and change anything he does wrong, since it will be in your lifetime? :-)

  15. Is this Marvel's response to DC asking Nolan to have input into all the upcoming films? If it is, he is NOT the best choice. That would have been Favreau. He is the logical choice but Marvel didn't lock him down. Hmmm, I wonder why?? $$$$$$???

  16. Its just me, but i wish arron eckhart was playing cap. Or anyone older. I like Evans.. but, forget age the dude just doesnt feel mature enough. Hope im wrong, id love to be suprised. By avengers 3 (lol) im sure he'll be perfect for the part.. which is good!

    Remember Toby Macguire in SM 3; dude looked old, and his screaming college boy routine came off so f-ing annoying.

  17. Rich

    i've heard a couple different rumors about villains. One is Loki (from Thor) with a combination of other not as popular side villains. I then heard Loki gets control of Bruce Banner to unleash the Hulk on the Avengers. And the last one, which is less likely, is Electro from the Spiderman comics. I heard he causes a blackout which allows him to release a few villains from some SHIELD prison and the Avengers have to join together to stop the chaos.

  18. The only good villian or villians for this movie is either going down the Ultimates route and show the skrull or chitari or whatever; or bring in the villians that havent died in the each heroes' movie to form the Masters of Evil. With Hulk smashing of course.

  19. I think it's a good idea that he has control over the cohesiveness of the stories from here on out. I think we needed someone to be a “field leader” on the Avengers story. I like that idea. I can also imagine that he is also going to have last input over how things might go in the Thor movie too. When it comes to Thors transition to the Avengers.

    Well, him getting such heavy writing duties is a very dynamic and encouraging idea! Marvel has really impressed me so far in the way they are thinking outside of the box when it comes to these Super-Hero movies and the way they are putting together some of the greatest most talented people in Hollywood for their films! I never heard of a Director getting this kind of contract before (over seeing other peoples films on writing, and then having reigns over a classic franchise). If anyone else set such a precedent lemme know! I'd love to find out.

    In terms of his Directing- I feel he will have experienced aids surrounding him. I can imagine it wont all be dumped on his shoulders. There will be limitless talent around him. He's going to have tons of advisers. Reminds me of when Larry Bird took over the Pacers in the 90's, people wondered if Bird was up to the challenge having limited experience and taking over a franchise that is competing for a championship. The Pacers ended up being one of the best teams in the league. If you saw his bench though, Larry Bird had TONS of Assistant coaches. Probably more then any other team in basketball. So, they really helped him a lot. These assistants covered for the parts he was weak in. Basketball is not Movies. But you get what I mean.

  20. I am hoping— PRAYING— PREEAAAAAYYIINNNGGGGG– that there will be ONE scene where the HULK FIGHTS THE AVENGERS!! That is more than worth my money! I cannot imagine any Avengers fan NOT wishing for this!! This would be a dream come true!– I also think Loki might be an antagonist as he was in the first Avengers and he teams up with another villain. Maybe Ultron… Who knows.

  21. Merc

    I like the idea of the Skrull. The Ultimates universe is a cool way to go and gives them plenty of options when it comes to villains.

  22. The Masters of Evil might be interesting… Maybe have the Leader make his first appearance in the Avengers… The Abomination- vs the Hulk rematch.. Loki pulling all the strings- Trask corporation providing some firepower. I think it would be pretty interesting. Whatever is going to happen is already set in stone on the Avengers movie front.. lol — I can imagine it would be hard enough introducing one Super Hero team let alone a Villain team– waayyy too much for one film.

  23. This is a tough one, but they need to get it right to make this the best film possible!

  24. I think what might be something very interesting is having a surprise villain at the end of the movie… A villain that is behind or apart of all the heavy duty stuff going on.. Maybe they discover Red Skull is alive and well or something, I dont know just talking smack… lol

  25. Im going gaga over this news, but my concern is he will do a Wonder Woman and walkaway after a certain amount of time, because of studio demands and the difficulty of bringing together all these characters, when he hasn't had any input in their creation. But I'm also not sure why everyone is negging on his movie directorial skills. He did one movie, Serenity, which was pretty decent imo. Now if you are talking about his series directing, maybe you guys watched something different than me because I thought his Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse episodes were all pretty much excellent. Can you tell me what you specifically thought was repetitive?
    Other than that Joss has the skills to write comics well, and work with other creative types to bring it all together. He was a true showrunner.

  26. This decision is truly promising. Whedon makes sense… and the funny thing is that Whedon Haters are actually pointing out why he's good for the position…. “whedon writes like TV episodes”…. Ummm hello, 9 picture deals flying around….. that seems to me kinda like episodes… So who better???

    Ok his directing abilitys seem stable, Serenity was entertaining and as im implying he knows how to do episodes ala Buffy, Angel, ect. He has a stable of talent behind him (Fav) and Marvel isnt going to let him go in blind and just destroy this harmony of clockwork.

    Oh yeah, guys i hate to bust bubbles but the teams not just going to consist of Thor, Cap, Hulk and Ironman or just their supporting casts. Fury said in the first IM movie “what did you think you were the only superhero?” Implying he already had part of the team… so maybe he already has Antman and Wasp or Hawkeye or obviously Black Widow but maybe he has Ms. Marvel or Cap. Marvel or Quicksilver or Black Panther, WonderMan perhaps Falcon… you know funnily enough the Agent thats helping recruit looks like he could make a convincing Vision… any combination is possible and acceptable and each and every person could present a pretty threatening villian or villians… Now think of the wonderful things a super geek like whedon could do with that. Lets giv'em a chance, huh, guys?

  27. Personally I'm rooting for the underdog that Whedon's being painted to be all over the net. Yes I'll be the first to admit he only directed a handful of “Firefly” episodes. In fact he doesn't even have writing credit on many of them but with the budget and how Fox and Universal had treated him on “Firefly” & “Serenity” I think he did a good job of entertaining me. “Serenity” was a monetary failure at the box-office but it wasn't a critical failure. Look it up at many of the popular review sites Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDB 8 out of 10, AintItCool plenty of praise, Roger Ebert 3 out of 4 stars, which by the way is two more than he gave “Kick Ass!”

    Perhaps if “Serenity” could have been marketed as heavily as “Kick Ass” it would have done better at the box office, or if Fox hadn't interrupted half the “Firefly” episodes on its expected show nights with baseball, or played the episodes in order, or didn't have such a hard on over Whedon's politics of the stories, or gave it more than half a seasons chance. Does anything here look even remotely funny, strange, or out of place?

    Unfortunately I can't comment at all on Whedon's other video efforts. I never got into the actress that played Buffy and didn't even hear of “Dollhouse” until it was a single show from cancellation. I thought “Titan A.E. was entertaining and although “Alien Resurrection” wasn't the best sequel it is credited for reviving the franchise and had a few interesting ideas like the underwater Alien scenes and the reverse genetic engineering used to resurrect them as well. Dr. Horrible has been a success. So what the heck??

    If he needs guidance or assistance when it comes to the directing chores I believe he's humble enough to take the advice and assistance and run with it. By the way guys, the man is married and from what I've heard has been for some time now, so what if he does come across a little pro-feminist? Is their really anything wrong with that? I wish more writers and directors like Oshii and Shirow and Whedon were doing the heroine thing. Where are the Anne Collins es of today?