Joss Whedon To Direct The Avengers [Updated]

Published 4 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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86 Comments

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  1. I can see the next headline;

    Disney And Fox At WAR Over Whedon

    We are at war over Whedon's wheat, it's official.

    Who will make hay…

  2. I would actually kind of like it. Any objections, look at his Astonishing X-Men, simply and utterly beautiful

  3. I've been sold on Whedon since Serenity. I hope this happens. Not to mention he's a great writer.

  4. As long as it doesn't look like a TV show, it's fine by me… but everything I've seen of Whedon's strikes me as solid on story but severely lacking in the quality required of a film intended to appeal to more than just undiscerning fanboys.

  5. Great choice. I hope they actually pick him…but they probably won't.

  6. OH HELL NO! I sincerely hope this is a joke. I never liked any of Joss Whedon's works. Well with the exception of Alien 4 which i thought was decent. Not great but decent.

    And i have to respectfully disagree with some things here:

    “..he is more in-tune with the comics than any other director”
    The only comic-to-movie experience he ever had was an unused draft of the original X-Men movie he wrote over a decade ago. There are plenty of directors/writers with more experience not to mention more talent. Here are a few of them:

    -Mark Miller : wrote Wanted, Kick-Ass and is best friends with Matthew Vaughn. Why not hire the two and make Avengers? Makes sense since he's the one who created and wrote The Ultimates.
    -Joseph Michael Straczynski (or JMS for short) : wrote an unused script for “Fantastic Four 2″, wrote and produced “Jeremiah” which was originally a comic series in europe. The man has 20 years of comic writing experience. He's even known for researching thoroughly anything he adapts to writing. Hell the man even understands science fiction. He wrote several sci-fi novels before being a screen writer.
    -What about Zack Snyder? Brian Singer? (superman returns may not have been successful, but his strong point is when he writes for an ensemble cast, like in his X-men films) Robert Rodriguez? (did Sin City, will be directing Red Sonja)

    “..is responsible for writing some of the best Marvel Comics series’ in recent years, notably his runs on Astonishing X-Men and Runaways”
    Let's face it, the only reason his comics did well is because of his fanbase. He actually only wrote 6 issues of Runaways and 24 issues of Astonishing X-Men. Everything else is either Buffy or Firefly.

    JMS wrote 5 years of amazing spider-man issues, wrote the best story arc during the civil war event at marvel, wrote and created several independently owned successful series like Midnight Nation or Rising Stars, wrote the Fantastic Four series, brought back Thor,… Well i could go on but you get the point.

    So, no. I think Joss is a terrible choice. The script to X3 was partially based on one of his Astonishing stories; the mutant cure. And i just happen to hate X3 story-wise, the way the characters were written and the film itself.

    For the sake of all the avengers and marvel fans everywhere, i seriously hope Joss stays away from the Avengers movie project.

  7. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh…….

    DOUCHE!

  8. yeah, give him the teen X-Men — keep him away from the Avengers

  9. Aaaah….need attention much…?
    Whedon is a man child who is fixated on teenage girls and whiny teenage drama…
    I liked the Serenity flick except for Buffy clone #45…whats with him and skinny girls who are killing machines?

    Keep ManChild as far away from The Avengers….I heard they need a director for the TeleTubbie movie, go put some “teenage angst” in that and leave the real story telling to people who do not have issues dating back to highschool.

  10. If you thought that Alien Resurrection was decent, I have to conclude that your taste in films is very strange, and not shared by many. Whedon's original vision for the film would have been great, but the director completely misinterpreted the tone, horribly redesigned the hybrid and changed the ending completely. Whedon had hardly anything to do with that crappy film.

    Some of his other work, however, is quite excellent. If he can pull off the same tone in The Avengers as he did in Serenity, I'm all for it. So yeah, I think I agree with Rob.

  11. How many movies/TV shows has J Michael Straczynski directed?

    Snyder is pals with WB and Singer with Fox, not to mention their already busy schedules.

    Millar, no, but Vaughn maybe. They did replace him on Thor though so I don't know how that bodes for Avengers.

  12. And I don't get how it's possible you liked Alien 4 but not Serenity.

    Did you know Whedon also wrote Toy Story and Titan AE? You didn't mention those…

  13. I don't know, I'm not entirely sure about whether this will pan out. I could see him being brought on to tweak and rework Zak Penn's script, but not direct. There's usually a touchy history of success with people who are writers first who become directors. David Goyer is a decent writer when it comes to comic book movies, but he's not too savvy of a director. Nothing from Whedon's recent work screams “The Avengers!” to me. I could be wrong.

  14. I have to agree. While I think Whedon is a good choice, Kane brings up some good concerns. I liked Firefly. I loved Serenity, but it felt like a two hour episode with TV quality production. It may be the style he was going for but he could have spruced it up a little more. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a damn great movie.

    I think by the time (if) he gets to direct the Avengers, he will have IM, IM2 and Thor to take notes from. I'm not too optimistic about Joe Johnston's style towards Captain America. CA will probably be beginning post-production by the time the Avengers starts filming anyway.

  15. Serenity and Aliens 4 are really the only work Im familiar with…but Im excited. I think hes a good choice and will do the comics proud. And whats wrong with being a man child??? lol. come on son. Most fan boys are overgrown comic geeks.

  16. Personally, I think The Avengers is too big of a project for Joss. Don't get me wrong, I loved Firefly, Serenity, and Dollhouse. But to direct he would have to combine the best in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and the soon to be made Thor and Captain America. I just don't think he has the skills that other directors do yet.

    However I do think he would be a perfect choice for writer.

  17. I hope he wants and gets the job. I'm a big fan of all his work.

  18. Hey, who you callin' overgrown??!! :-)

  19. JMS directed “Sleeping in Light”, the last episode of “Babylon 5″, and the “Babylon 5 Lost Tales” direct-to-DVD. He also did the final edits on all of “Babylon 5″. But he thinks of himself as a writer; I'm not at all sure he'd be interested in directing anything he didn't write.

  20. first thought was get Louis Leterrier, but whedon could be better since he didn't direct a previous movie with these characters. and yeah, he's a good writer too.

  21. I'd prefer he write it. A director can only do so much, y'know? Not to mention, his direction works better for television. I love his directing abilities, but it's not very film-friendly. Not for a big superhero movie. But who knows, he could surprise us!

  22. I do like him as a writer, but I also think he would do well handling an ensemble cast film like Avengers. I am a fan of Whedon, and have liked most everything he has done.

    I could see him doing really well with this. I hope he gets it. If not this, X-Men First Class would be fine as well, but I would rather him do Avengers. H

  23. I hope he writes and directs it.

  24. Those examples exactly represent my point in how he will absolutely not direct or even be considered for The Avengers.

    He's a writer and Avengers already has a script as you pointed out.

  25. Script has already been written by Zak Penn.

  26. It's only a first draft, plenty of time for re-writes. The first Iron Man script went through the hands of four writers, If I remember correctly.

  27. You guys need to remember that serenity was a movie made from a failed TV show. its not like there was a lot of money floating around for it. i agree with the article entirely, the only thing is, Joss Whedon doesn't seem to play well with the corporate types.

  28. Whats wrong with being a manchild?
    You realy want me to answer that?
    And yes, this includes fat, living in basement, never had sex, keep toys and comic in packaging….fanboys.
    This guy is obsessed with teenage girls, everything he does….young chicks.
    We have to thank him for all the emo, teen angst crap that is filling every genre…you want that in The Avengers?

    Give me a grownup, I have no issues about my highschool years, Director….
    Not some little kid in a grown mans body.

  29. If Joss does it, I'll see it. I don't care what it is – it could be a documentary on growth patterns of the Redwoods – I'll see it twice, most likely.

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