Will Joss Whedon Return for The Avengers 2?
05.16.12 by Ryan
With The Avengers having already earned over a billion dollars at the box office, it seemed like a formality when Disney CEO Bob Iger formally announced that The Avengers 2 was in the works. Marvel President Kevin Feige followed that by telling Bloomberg that Marvel has five movies in development — three that have been announced as well as "two beyond that that we haven't announced yet, but we're working on."
With Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 already set for release in 2013, and Captain America 2 to follow in 2014, that would seem to be the three that Marvel has announced so far. Logic would dictate that Avengers 2 would be one of the unannounced projects, leading to the question: Will Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon return for the sequel? Whedon hasn't said one way or another in interviews, at times remarking that he "hasn't thought about [returning]" or mentioning the "extraordinary experience" he had with Marvel. Talking to The LA Times, Whedon admitted that he is "very torn" about a return.
You know, 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.
Marvel has typically used different directors for each movie, with only Jon Favreau returning to direct the first two Iron Man movies. Still, getting Favreau to return for Iron Man 2 ran afoul of paycheck negotiations and concerns over Marvel's aggressive release schedule, something the studio should try to avoid if they want to keep Whedon.
To that end, Marvel already has a May 16, 2014, release date scheduled for an unannounced project. It's doubtful that Whedon would agree to another Avengers if he had to make that date, as it would mean he would have two years to the day to complete and deliver the movie. Fans are surely hopeful that Marvel will find a way to bring Whedon back, even if it means a more realistic 2015 release.
With Whedon's involvement still in question, the other mystery is what Marvel plans to release in 2014. Most guesses (including ours) would lead to the long-developing Ant-Man, which co-writer and director Edgar Wright recently admitted could start shooting this year.