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 would love that. I'm not really into comics much but I know enough to know it's always best when you have a comic geek directing a comic movie. That just makes sense. Whedon is also very brilliant and creative.

  2. Whedon has had his successes and his failures. I think the question is, has he grown enough as a director to do this job? I haven't heard from anyone here that can possibly know that. I have my questions too, lets not forget though this isn't being done by Sony or Fox but Marvel! I trust they will make the right decision. If it fails then they are to blame, not Whedon or someone else. If you think Whedon can do it or not well, you're only as good as your next one. So while I like some of Whedon's work I'm going to wait and see what Marvel does. Besides I thought he had a scheduling conflict between a Fox job and doing “Avengers” did that just evaporate?

  3. I've always felt Joss Whedon to be a better television writer / director.

    I did however really enjoy his tenure on Astonishing X-Men as well.

    He could serve as an on set consultant and MARVEL hire a much more experienced director. Louis Leterrier IMO would be a better choice.

  4. I agree with what Rob wrote in terms of characters. Joss Whedon is one who could keep each character in character. Regardless if you like his past work in television or film, you can't deny that the man has an amazing insight to the characters and is capable of keeping them in character regardless of the situation.

    Now the only real example of this in his directing comes from two episodes of the Amercian version of “The Office.” This is what he's directed and not written – - and we'll see what he does with his episode of “Glee.” I think he's capable of staying true to already established characters.

    My biggest fear for “The Avengers” is that Robert Downey, Jr and Edward Norton can easily over-shadow their counterparts of Chris Hemsworth and Chis Evans. But Whedon has a chance to portray each of their strengths. I'd like to see him get a shot at doing that.

  5. I like most of Whedon's work, would love to see what he has up his sleeve for The Avengers.

  6. Epic

  7. I don't know much about Whedon but he sounds like a visionary and thats exactly what a humongous movie like this needs. His directing experience of huge movies is understandable and I no doubt think he will get much assistance in the technical aspects of such huge responsibilities. If he's the kind of person that can really polish and sculpt the characters really well then he should be the man for the job! I mean, I have seen some movies ~cough cough~ (Clash of Titans) – where the stage was set for some amazing work, an amazing movie, there were truly breathtaking characters, but then the characters weren't deep at all, and the story didn't make much sense in some respects. There are ways a director can make an imprint and throw the right colors on the canvas so to speak, and if he is the one that has already proven to be able to not just tell stories but portray them in a coherent way- then go for it! I think the special effects will fall into place, and the actors are amazing and all the other elements will be top notch! The budget- all of it will make his job easier in this gargantuan epic! Congrats MARVEL!

  8. I think he could be a very good pick, and you know if hes involved Eliza Dushku will be thrown in somewhere along the way so this ll probably be good for her too.

  9. The most challenging job whoever ends up manning “The Avengers” will face is handling such a large cast of important characters (not to mention “love me” actors)
    Joss has proven time and time again that he can control scenes/stories with large amounts of characters in a believable, engaging, fun and serious way… I think he is a perfect fit

    This is a far better idea than Leterriers (correct me if im wrong) of them all (IM, hulk, Thor, Cap directors) sharing the project, that would turn out to be a mess

    I hope Joss gets it

    (I must admit I MAY ne slightly biased as I am a joss nut I loved Buffy Angel and firefly and they remain among my top 5 shows of all time, and i also loved his run on xmen)

  10. They are in final negotiations now for the deal. Whedon is the director!

  11. Nice

  12. Alien 4? you mean alien resurrection right? cause that would be the appropriate title.

  13. If Whedon directs the Avengers movie, it will EFFIN ROCK!!!

  14. Maybe I need to see more of his other movies, but my opinion hasn't really changed on this. I'm still of the opinion he seems to be an absolutely solid choice to rewrite Penn's initial draft, but I'm still very much on the fence otherwise when it comes to directing.

  15. 2 words

    HELL YEAH ! ! ! ! !

  16. All I know is that I want this movie to be epic and have it's own feel but a real sense of dire urgency in it. Cloverfield and Distrcit 9 had the most impact on me in revolutionary film style. They made you almost feel involved or like what would you do if you were there. Cloverfield took the “Blair Witch Project” style and put on a grand scale, while “District 9″ made you feel like “these are real people,not actors(although the acting was fantastic) going through a real serious situation of how it could actually be with an ET experience.This Avengers movie has to hit home like those movies but be BETTER and make it feel personal but HUGE!

  17. shouldn't he be working on serenity 2 LOL

  18. am i missing something here guys but how many of you like blowing Whedon?? Seriously?? The guy is a great writer and can balance many a story as he proved with his issues of X-men and The runaways, as well as screenplays for tv and film. but he is nowhere decent as a film director..I'm sorry for those who have been putting him on some pedestal but really guys he's done ONE film.Period. And it BOMBED..Do you know why?? No one saw the TV SHOW…He may have a big fanbase but STAR TREK has a bigger one and its not from the films- its called SYNDICATION. When your show goes on syndication, it gets picked up by ALOT of LOCAL TV STATIONS. Sorry, but Firefly failed when it came to that,had that had happened the years before the film came out, buzz might've been better but no it BOMBED and Whedon had to bite it..His last two attempts at TV again has failed as well..Now don't get me wrong, I said he was nowhere decent as a director but that doesn't mean that he can't possibly become a GREAT DIRECTOR in the future, its just that directing film is a continuous improving art form as well as a technical one and if you can't provide actors and staff into realizing what is at stake on a serious level especially with the baby that is THE AVENGERS than you might as just call it another c-movie costume ball. I would give it to Matthew Vaughn or someone else who has a few more years history with playing with the movie toys then Joss Whedon..The movie has to be BIG and I MEAN BIG and not some garbage SyFy Tv movie of the week crap…Maybe a team up of sorts?? 2 Directors?? Would that work??But if Whedon gets the gig, well I will be more than happy for him however I will have my fingers crossed ever so tightly til their numb..

    • Good thing you weren’t in charge of this production!

  19. Oh great. Avengers – Buffy style.

  20. well, at least we get a decent Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America film. Hopefully, after Avengers bombs at the box office, Marvel will get a better director for a sequel/reboot.

  21. ok so let's see… Whedon

    -wrote a screenplay for Wonder Woman that got rejected by the studio.
    -wrote a screenplay for X-Men that got rejected by Bryan Singer.
    -his last feature movie (serenity) bombed at the box office
    -his last two tv shows got canceled after only 2 seasons. (firefly only had one)
    -wrote only 24 issues of Astonishing X-Men and 6 issues of Runaways for Marvel.
    -His biggest successes were a children's movie (Toy Story) and a tv series about a teenage girl hunting vampires with lots of drama.

    .. yeah he's PERFECT for directing an Avengers movie.

  22. Wow, could this be the worst choice ever? I'm sorry but people are so far up Whedon's arse they can count his teeth, has anyone actually watched an episode of Buffy lately???
    All that super smart dialogue is now the worst cheesey rubbish, the plots terrible. hardly aged well.

    Dont even get me started on the crapfest that was Dollhouse.

    Angel was great, but that might have had something to do with the fact that Whedon was barely involved beyond season 1. Firefly was good, Serentiy was decent but never escaped the trappings of looking and feeling like a tv show.

    I always thought of the guy as a bit of a hack writer, not that that matters as he is only directing The Avengers, but he is hardly a tested director with a solid list of directing credits.

    Really bad idea, goodbye franchise.

  23. If it had been X Men he was directing I might have been able to get behind the choice, because his Astonishing X Men run wasnt bad at all, even though it just played out like a season of Buffy.

  24. I really can't understand why MARVEL won't hire a seasoned veteran professional film maker.

    Surely they can now afford to pay for an experienced high caliber action director.

    I don't mind some of Joss Whedon's work but it's more easily digestible and suited to TV rather than a dramatic action packed cinematic experience I'm expecting from a movie like “The Avengers”.

    For me it's easily the most anticipated of all the super hero films and I would hate to see it as an extended TV episode. It really needs to be an epic of grand proportions, evoke a sense of adventure but also make a poignant statement.

    I'm not sure that Joss Whedon can actually pull it off, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't know. I'm certainly in two minds about this decision.

    Just some Directors MARVEL should have considered:

    Luc Besson
    Martin Campbell
    Jan de Bont
    John Woo
    Doug Liman
    John McTiernan
    Peter Jackson
    F. Gary Gray
    Wolfgang Petersen
    Andrew Davis

  25. I love that those who are commenting are generally those who hate the idea. On the other hand, I like the idea. He's got a flair to his work that I love. Plus, while it's a bit of a gamble, there must be SOME reason they're talking to him. They clearly feel he'll do the job right. They haven't exactly gambled much yet, have they?

  26. At least you're willing to give him a benefit of the doubt. I can appreciate your opinion a little more for it.

  27. Just be happy they aren't giving it to Boll. He could WRECK it. Whedon will just get it a little dusty.

  28. For me what sealed the deal was Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's a comedy, sure, but it has plenty going for it and was made on a dime. Just imagine what he'll be able to do here with a massive budget and a whole slew of creative people backing him.

  29. I dont think the guy has got the chops to pull a big movie like this off, hasn't exactly got a great track record has he? this could be a big mistake on Marvels behalf with this choice. There must be someone better out there for the job for christ's sake!

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