Joss Whedon To Direct The Avengers [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated April 13th, 2010 at 8:41 pm,

joss whedon the avengers director Joss Whedon To Direct The Avengers [Updated]

[NEW Update: Reports are now coming in that Whedon WILL direct The Avengers!]

Jon Favreau helms the Iron Man franchise; Kenneth Branagh is directing Thor; Joe Johnston is directing The First Avenger: Captain America and Louis Leterrier directed The Incredible Hulk. Who will direct the film that brings them all together, The Avengers?

Since Jon Favreau won the hearts of fans and critics with Iron Man, kickstarting Marvel Studios’ big entrance into the industry, it was long-speculated that he would take the gig helming the large-scale project, but he pulled himself out and will be producing instead while he focuses on the Iron Man franchise and other work. Out of the other directors already working with the studio, Louis Leterrier has revealed twice that he’s on the shortlist for the job as well but continues to point out that he thinks he’s at the bottom of the list and that it contains some very talented folks.

Now, according to IESB, geek icon Joss Whedon is topping the list of the contenders to direct The Avengers.

To be clear, this is not some sort of April Fool’s joke. The news is coming from a reliable source of IESB, the same source who help them break news of the trouble behind the scenes at Sony with Sam Raimi and Spider-Man 4 and the delay which others denied. That turned out to be entirely accurate and the project was canceled entirely shortly thereafter.

Getting back in topic, while Whedon has not worked on such a large-scale project before, he is more in-tune with the comics than most other director and is responsible for writing some of the best Marvel Comics runs in recent years, notably his work on Astonishing X-Men and Runaways.

Even though his latest stab at television in Dollhouse didn’t turn out well, Whedon is riding some very positive buzz at the moment from the geek world with the success of personal pet project, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which is buried in anticipation and excitement from fans awaiting a sequel which may come in the form of a feature film.

While I didn’t expect Joss Whedon’s name to come up in talks about The Avengers, I am quite fond of the idea. Joss Whedon knows comics and more importantly, he knows characters. I think if anyone can take such strong and unique characters and personalities, and throw them all together to work as a team and make all them standout and keep true to what they’re all about, it’s definitely Whedon. He wrote Toy Story, Titan AE and of course, brought us Firefly and its movie, Serenity.

For that same reason, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Whedon was also being looked at by 20th Century Fox as a replacement director for X-Men: First Class for Bryan Singer who had to pull out and will only produce due to previous contractual obligations to direct Jack the Giant Killer for Warner Bros.

[UPDATE: The LA Times Blog Hero Complex confirmed that Joss Whedon is on the short-list to direct The Avengers and that he has been in conversations with Marvel.]

[Re-Update: Now Deadline is backing IESB‘s original scoop, claiming that Whedon is in fact in final negotiations for The Avengers directorial duty.]

What do you think of Joss Whedon directing The Avengers?

[poll id="40"]

The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes

Source: IESB

Re-update Source: Deadline

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  1. This is fantastic news. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Whedon can do with such a massive projects. He's a talented filmmaker and I don't think he's ever been exposed to real mainstream moviegoers (most people wouldn't have even heard of him). The Avengers could make him a household name. Assuming he does a good job, he'll probably be back to direct The Avengers 2 and 3. The future is bright for comic-book-movie fans.

    To all the naysayers… come on, give him a chance. If he really was a bad choice, the poll at the top of the page wouldn't say what it does.

  2. Seriously? Bias aside, is that pretty much how his resume would read?

  3. funny how many people loves the guy but all his projects bomb — “where the hell were you when my shows were on the air?!”, he might ask..

  4. These are kind of apples and oranges when they come to the type of movie. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised, as I wouldn't have expected the guy who brought us Elf to introduce the movie world to Iron Man. That's not a vote for Whedon, though, so I'm still rather cautious.

  5. By all means, be cautious. Even Tim Burton, wizard he is, throws a dud from time to time that only hardcore fans care to see. I have my fingers crossed though. Whedon has pleasantly surprised me several times. Serenity, for example, actually entertained my extremely anti-sci-fi grandmother.

  6. People,people,people, mi gente, keep in mind that Whedon WILL be on a TIGHT leash with THE ALL MIGHTY JON FAVEREAU as producer and Kevin Feige co-producing. Favereau might even trade seats and exec-or co-direct. Whedon will be kept in check and all of his talents will be heightened and his weaknesses will be known and be put on the table to be examined and extracted so as not to be mingled into this film. I'm confident that Marvel Studios will help him make the right choices. This is Marvel Studios were talking about here not Fox or Sony, they'll know their own stuff and there won't be much room for visionary stuff. The table is already set, all he has to do is serve the food under their watchful eye.

  7. ok for all of you who are all “HELL NO ! whedon is gunna make it angsty, and mess up the avengers, & make iron man less iron man.”

    if i may refer you to the fine print in the artical Jon Favreau is to PRODUCE the flick. whitch means he'll be in W/whedon on Creative control of the characters.

    and FireFly was Awesome.

  8. Exactly, just Favereau alone being there gives me confidence in it. All this stuff we're talking about with Whedon's best work and failures, do you believe that the guys at Marvel aren't or have already examined these issues? Of course they have, but they see something about his work and style that they like that put him there. Marvel Studios is not going to sit back and watch Whedon put they're main baby in a train wreck. If he starts wanting to put stupid stuff in, he'll be shut down and put back on track, Kevin Feige and “The Marvel Creative Team”(really does exist) will keep Whedon in line. If Favereau sees something that sounds or make look retarded, he'll make an issue of it and it'll be handled,Robert Downey Jr. will be there for creative input also as well as acting. Don't believe Marvel will just sit back and watch Whedon destroy what they're working so hard for. They want to be able to say “WHEDON-IT” right! With “MARVEL STUDIOS” doing this movie not FOX,SONY or any other studio, I'm sure it'll be awesome otherwise I'd be pissed as hell.

  9. i was just thinking that, Eliza Dushku would be a almost perfect choice for the “Wasp” IMO and with Joss at the helm he could make a push for her in that role

  10. Luc Besson? The only movie of his I liked was “Leon” and that was in 1994. He really hasn't directed anything of substance since.

    Jan de Bont? The man is a cinematographer not a director. I like “Speed” and “Twister” as much as the next person, but he's only directed one movie in the last 10 years and that was “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life.”

    John Woo? So “The Avengers” will be a straight up action movie with little to no character interaction like “Mission Impossible II” or “Paycheck” or “Broken Arrow?”

    John McTiernan? Same regards as with John Woo. While “Die Hard” is a staple in my apartment around the holidays, none of his movies have real character interaction… the remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair” being a possible exception.

    As for F. Gary Gray, if you don't like the idea of Joss Whedon and his “extended TV episode” then aren't you worried that F. Gary Gray would only make an extended music video? That's what his resume is filled with.

    Wolfgang Petersen… I'll give him credit for “Air Force One” (although what did you really have to do with Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman). But I have two words for you: “Troy” and “Poseidon.”

    The best movie directed by Andrew Davis happened in 1993: “The Fugitive.” He hasn't directed a single movie that really involves CGI or a fantasy element. Whedon at least has major experience in making the fantasical be rooted in reality.

    The only two on your list worthy of slight consideration are Martin Campbell, Doug Liman, and Peter Jackson, although with Jackson – - I'd just like to see him take on a movie that doesn't involve anything fanatical or anything that requires CGI.

    I'm glad your giving Whedon the benefit of the doubt but I cannot figure out how any of these other directors made it onto your short list.

  11. Well said, if people think he's gonna stray with Jon and Kevin there among others, they are sadly mistaken.

  12. You guys should all know why Marvel is bringing in Whedon. It's because they can get him cheap. Hell, they even got Captain America cheap which is an absolute joke. For all you people saying Marvel is so far ahead of DC, how are you feeling now?

    • Well, mchops, now that Avengers is the third biggest movie ever with huge critical acclaim, the only question is: do you need milk or coffee with your humble pie?

  13. How exactly can this news be Awesome? someone tell me!

  14. @Jessie

    It was never a short list, just a bunch of names that came to mind as I was writing, only because I have enjoyed some of the action films those Directors have worked on. :-) That's all. There is nothing to figure out.

    F. Gary Gray has done some action films. The one I like best was “The Italian Job”. There are quite a number of notable film Directors who started in music videos. :-)

    It doesn't mean I'm favoring just those Directors. I would love to see the likes of James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Gore Verbinski, or Steven Spielberg tackle a MARVEL project but it's highly unlikely.

    I just like some of the intense grittiness and realism a Director who has worked in action films could bring to a super hero film.

  15. With back-ups such as Faverau, Johntson, Skaarsgard, and Leterrier, this guy might pull it off.

  16. I just watched Alien Resurrection again, which Whedon wrote, and I must say that it was not very interesting and there were a few real campy parts. One part had Wynona Ryder trying to pick up a cup with boxing gloves on – one of the dumbest things ever.

  17. Yeah it kind of gets you wondering about Call, how she seems to quickly sober up after pulling some incredible Sfaced stunt and gets thrown out of the room. I've seen IQs' drop pretty quick once Sface kicks in but never anyone sober up like that, which is a pretty beat me over the head moment, that Call is more than your average shipmate. Were we suppose to think clumsy but effective on her part??

    You can disparage Whedon for this nightmare movie but I distinctly remember the reviews when this movie came out and plenty in the critic business at the time praised it for “breathing new life into the Alien franchise.” This is why your only as good as your next one though, because all that you learned, and you learn more from failure than success, you have the opportunity to apply to that next effort. If you didn't learn ways to improve or outside forces continue to sabotage your efforts, which clearly Whedon's draft was in “A.R.”, then you have to wonder if you really belong doing what your doing. Your either overwhelmed by the competing forces or you don't have the foresight and strength to pull off the job.

    The biggest difference in this effort over much of the work Whedon has been involved with before is that he's on the same page as the producers and the originators of the property. I admit I'm anxious too it's natural but these people that hired him must have had good reasons to do so. Unlike us they talked to the man and have access. It's still not too late for a change on duties if something starts going off course…

  18. I got it. So, she was looking for a reason to get thrown out of the room. He
    could have come up with something better than putting on boxing gloves to
    spill the drink.

    I can understand how she becomes sober so quickly because she was an
    artificial person so she was never drunk and I guess they were giving us a
    hint. There are just different ways they can go about these things and his
    creativity seems odd (even though he's not usually lacking in that area).

  19. He wrote Alien Resurrection….? WTH!!!! Remember Ang Lee's Brokeback Hulk?

  20. Ask yourself how and what in the neither he*l did they do in that room to get to the point they were at when the camera focused on the scene? I know it's irritating but it leaves something open to your own imagination. Did the guys figure they would take some frustration out on a punching bag and they ended up in the mess drinking afterward? You saw they had a recreation facility on board and the gloves do imply martial self defense skills. Did Call perhaps bring them? Was she the one that had just been working out? Did someone else– Aw heil use your imagination buddy. They loaded that scene that way for a number of reasons I'm pretty sure.

    You see Call visit Ripley next, it kind of makes sense that she would possibly have went through some martial routines in preparation for the worst, having to kill Ripley. That's Whedon he doesn't talk down to you he believes his audience is smart enough to get it, he doesn't “Beat You” over the head with it.. Get it? I imagine Call had some strength advantage over a normal human too, but then Ripley wasn't normal was she? :)

    Women are much less suspicious of having intent on committing violence, don't you think?

  21. Whedon knows he's not making an art house movie! Don't let the stupid picture above fool you. I've met plenty of people that I've underestimated and some that underestimated me and got surprised.

    Cautious optimism is in order, I think. He starts looking like a failure they'll reign him in or pull him. I think though he will rise to the challenge he has a lot to prove and wants his audience to be pleased.

  22. I like Marvel and DC…And for the past few years both have been eating crap. I'm tired of Hollyood blowing millions flaking up my favorite characters, while the “lowly” comic book industry has great writers continuing to put out great graphic novels and stories. Duh!!! They need to recruit some of these guys……….

  23. Joss Whedon is a GOD but even he can’t deliver a film that will ever live up to fan expectations.

    This will inevitably flop and Whedon will make a fine scapegoat to haters.


    • I would like your advice on the stock market, so that I can do exactly the opposite of what you predict.

  24. So glad this movie turned so good. Josh Whedon made the difference making the cast so enjoyable.

  25. Nope, terrible choice. And who are these Avengers anyway? The movie will flop, Disney will drop marvel, and they’ll sell everything to DC.