Joss Whedon Aboard for Avengers 2!

The best news I’ve had all week? Two words, one number:

Whedon. Avengers. 2.

It’s official now: Joss Whedon, writer/director of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, now the third top grossing film of all time, is all on board for it’s sequel, and that’s not all! A statement released by Marvel Studios this week revealed what’s in store.

“Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”

While it may never have seemed that there was any doubt that Joss Whedon would return for a second go-round, it must be taken into account that the commitment may create a sea change for the versatile writer/director, whose other ventures are what he built his name on. Because the deal with Marvel is exclusive, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator’s other projects (possibly including the follow-up to his web-series Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) may be put on the shelf for the next three years, although that remains to be seen. Either way, it looks like he’s going to have his hands full.

There are a few tasty tidbits to glean from the statement, as well as a feast of possibilities to speculate on.
To begin with, the mention of June 2015 implies a release date for the second Avengers film as the spring or summer of that year. Marvel have yet to confirm, but with character standalones Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World for release in 2013, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (as well as Guardians of the Galaxy) in 2014, a 2015 release for Avengers 2 makes sense.

The notion that he will ‘contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe’ means that his golden touch will probably make it’s mark on all of these upcoming films in one way or other. His input will be to create an overall cohesion, with possible writing and directing input as he had with the first Captain America film and the Easter Egg in Thor. Whedon’s sense of story and structure have been what made his television shows so powerful and enduring, and to lend that sensibility to a massive film franchise is just about as exciting as it gets.

Speaking of television, a particularly exciting nugget of information to come from the statement is the ABC live action series, and the possibilities are huge. The only properties that can probably be ruled out for subject matter are the ones that are already meant to be in development at ABC: The Incredible Hulk, Cloak and Dagger and AKA Jessica Jones. Whedon is unlikely to take on the role of show runner for the series but will probably have a heavy hand in shaping it, much in the way that JJ Abrams has done with several of his television projects including Lost and Fringe.

But Whedon back in television? It’s almost too much for my overstimulated fangirl heart to bear.

If I was brimming with excitement before, I’m threatening to combust with it now. It’s a fine, fine time to be a Marvel fan, a Whedon fan and a film fan. Can’t wait for 2015!