It’s one thing making sure all the superheroes are locked up for a franchise, but the writers and directors are important too, and Joss Whedon is absolutely a key creative force for The Avengers.
Everyone knew there was going to be a sequel, yet Whedon (originally) didn’t sound totally committed about coming back.
But it’s like David Fincher said as he was finishing up Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, you don’t ask a woman if she wants more kids right after she’s given birth. A movie’s a huge undertaking, and you can’t blame any filmmaker for wanting a nice, long rest after completing a film.
And as Whedon told the L.A. Times several months ago, "I’m very torn. It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it. But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool."
Now this didn’t feel like so much of a cliffhanger because there’s been no news of protracted negotiations, money demands, or anything like what we saw when Gary Ross finally decided to leave The Hunger Games. So as practically every news outlet has reported, including Collider, Cinema Blend, and Deadline, Joss Whedon is indeed back for the next installment of The Avengers, which is currently slated for 2015.
The news was dropped by none other than Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger, who told reporters via conference call that Whedon is coming back, writing and directing the sequel, but he’s also going to be developing a Marvel series for ABC. And again, it was Whedon’s enthusiasm for comics that made The Avengers such a thrill, and it just wouldn’t be the same without him, even though the entire cast is certain to be locked up for the next two films.
As Iger told the Wall Street Journal, The Avengers is "an important new franchise for us," and it’s also helped raise Disney’s third quarter profits by 24%. (The current box office total for the film is $1.46 billion world-wide.)
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Whedon’s deal with Marvel is exclusive with the company, and it runs until June 2015. The Avengers is part of his Marvel deal. No word yet on what the Marvel series is for ABC, but Guillermo Del Toro is still working on a Hulk series for the network.