After being rumoured a little while ago, Deadline New York and later Variety confirmed that Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator Joss Whedon is in final negotiations to helm Marvel Studio’s 2012 superhero mash-up The Avengers.
The movie will star Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury. Whedon isn’t new to superheroes, by any means – his run on Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men garnered massive critical acclaim, while his work on teen hero book Runaways is also well respected.
For fans, this is nothing but a good move on the part of Marvel. Whedon has an almost unparalleled following for a Hollywood creator and this is bound to be his biggest project yet, by far. Personally, my concerns that too many stars would be competing for screen time in The Avengers completely subsided, when I heard of Whedon’s involvement. While I believe he’s a great storyteller, it’s his brand of snappy dialogue, as well as an ability to generate energy between cast members as a director, that make him such a great choice for the movie.
Whedon’s first and only feature film directorial gig was 2005’s Serenity, a reasonable success among critics, ecstatically received by fans but limited in its box office take. Still, success was later found in its release on DVD, thanks to the enduring viral popularity of Firefly.
The writer/director is responsible for some of the most memorable episodes of genre TV ever aired, including Buffy’s musical episode, ‘Once More With Feeling’, as well as the episode ‘Hush’, which had the cast acting in complete silence for much of the show’s running time. Beyond this kind of production ingenuity, however, Whedon has the capacity to create convincing emotional resonance (see Buffy’s ‘The Body’) as well as impressive, escalating action scenes (see Angel’s ‘Conviction’). Frankly, his body of work is the reason I found my way to SciFiNow, so you can see why the prospect of him directing Hollywood’s talented heavy-hitters with a big budget has a lot of appeal.
The Avengers will be released on 24 May, 2012.