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April 14, 2010

Geek Out!: Joss Whedon to direct 'Avengers'

Posted: 08:36 AM ET
Writer/director Joss Whedon
Writer/director Joss Whedon

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From scifi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Firefly" and "Dollhouse," not to mention one of the biggest geek icons in Hollywood, has been tapped to direct the "Avengers" movie, Variety reports. Commence dance of joy in 5, 4, 3...

But seriously, this is probably one of the smartest moves Marvel Studios has made in its short history - yes, even smarter than hiring Jon Favreau to direct "Iron Man."

"The Avengers," for the uninitiated, is Marvel Comics' supergroup of heroes, in this case consisting of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. In short, it is potentially the Marvel Comics superhero movie to end all Marvel Comics superhero movies.

Robert Downey, Jr. will, of course, play Iron Man, along with Chris Evans, recently signed to play Captain America in the movie of the same name. Chris Hemsworth will take on the role of Thor, after his own movie in 2011. (One big question mark is whether Ed Norton, who reportedly refused to promote 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" due to a dispute with producers, will return as the Hulk.)

One need look no further than the t-shirts that say "Joss Whedon is My Master Now" to see why this is a genius move by Marvel. The core fanbase will now be itching to see what Whedon does with "Avengers," especially after his well-received feature directorial debut for "Serenity" (box office receipts notwithstanding).

He can more or less do no wrong among his fanbase (myself included, though the early episodes of "Dollhouse," and a couple of seasons of "Buffy" and "Angel" left much to be desired).

What's left to determine? How closely will this movie adhere to some of Whedon's signatures: Will the Mighty Thor burst into song, a la "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?" Will one or more major characters get killed out of nowhere in the last third of the movie?

Exactly how much of Amy Acker or Alan Tudyk will be in it (the correct answer is "as much as possible")?

Alright, Whedonites (and Whedon detractors): What do you think of this announcement? Are you as psyched as I am... and a little worried, since Whedon was supposed to direct "Wonder Woman" once upon a time? Sound off in the comments below!

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greenteagod   April 14th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

At least firefly was good. I could do without the other two series.

Jennifer LaPaglia   April 14th, 2010 6:05 pm ET


Robert   April 14th, 2010 6:14 pm ET

OK, I just got my birthday present from marvel/Disney. I've actually got a reason to see the Avengers if Joss is directing.

As for the people that don't care for his work, good for you. I'm sure there is a lot of shows and movies taht you love taht others think are complete trash, just as you feel that way about Joss' work. Last I checked, we're not all reaquired to have the same interests or tastes. I'm quite happy to see new material from Joss. You're welcome to take your money and go watch whatever it is that you watch by someone other than Joss. See how that works?

Mike   April 14th, 2010 6:36 pm ET

When is Hollywood going to actually come up with something that is even remotely original?

Jaxitty   April 14th, 2010 6:42 pm ET

Seriously, the spoiler alert about his sing along blog, fillians character DOESN'T die, he is wounded physically and psychologically. the girlfriend of them both is killed. As for him doing the Avengers? I was never a DC fan, but as far as i'm concerned, everything he touches is gold.

ape_fury   April 14th, 2010 6:45 pm ET

DC comic directors dont switch to Marvel fare.

Kali   April 14th, 2010 6:56 pm ET

Hmm. Amy Acker as The Wasp. Yum...

Sorry, lost in thought there...

Zeke Blaze   April 14th, 2010 7:11 pm ET

I find the pre-mature cynicism here amusing. I think Whedon is awesome. He has a fairly solid track record with a few bumps (name a writer/director who doesn't), but nothing that causes any doubt about the upcoming film. I think this project could have certainly fallen into worse hands. Joss keeps it fast, funny, and relevant (relevant being the operative word here). When all is said and done, I think we will all have way more to whine about when we see the new Wonder Woman-but hey, Marvel is way cooler than DC anyways...
p.s.-We should start a lobby for a cameo from Dr. Horrible.

Fred   April 14th, 2010 7:32 pm ET

I am cautiously optimistic upon hearing this news. I am a fan of "Firefly" and "Serenity." Although I have not seen much of "Buffy," "Angel," and "Dollhouse," I look forward to catching up with them one day. I am wondering if we will see other members of the Avengers, including the Wasp (of whom I am fond), Ant-Man, the Scarlett Witch, and Vision. We shall see.

john   April 14th, 2010 8:20 pm ET

Whose playing Steed & Mrs.Peel?

joanne   April 14th, 2010 8:30 pm ET


Kyle   April 14th, 2010 9:48 pm ET

This will be horrible.

Serenity had a novel cuteness to it, but as a Sci-Fi action flick, it suffered from flimsy construction, bad writing, and it often had no real direction as it lumbered towards an anticlimactic fizzle.

Such travesties as Alien: Resurrection suffer from Whedon's limited writing abilities, and his television shows lack the muster to do well even on the Sci-Fi channel, now itself subjected to a deluge of material most science fiction fans regard as little more than severely underwhelming fanfic.

Avengers stands to make or break Whedon. Granted, he has a following of fans devoted to him regardless of what mindless drivel pours from his pen, but on the Vaudeville stage, the best is always saved for last. Whedon is tasked with providing the follow-up to some incredible comic book action movies which have drawn movie fans in, even when those same fans haven't the slightest clue what happened in the founding comics. As such, Whedon is going to have a very large audience when the Avengers hits the screens, most of whom are not fans, nor have even heard of, Buffy, Angel, or Firefly. They're going to expect a presentation at least on par with what has come before, and if his past performance is any judge of what will be, expect his Avengers film to be yet anther flaccid offering from an immature and undeveloped writer/director.

Zac   April 14th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

There HAD to be better options out there. This is the guy that essentially killed the 'Alien' franchise, plus his work on 'Buffy' I found to be overrated and really not all that creative. If he sticks to the traditions of the story all is not lost, but don't expect him to transform into Christopher Nolan 2.0.

Clyde   April 14th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

This depends on who writes the screenplay. If Whedon is at least able to co-write it, "The Avengers" could be dynamite. "Serenity" is one of the most repeatedly enjoyable and amazing science films since "The Matrix", because Whendon also wrote it. When you listen to his commentary, you are struck by his struggle to "show, not tell" the story. It was really brilliant in the economical way it laid out the entire backstory. I hope they let him write it, too. Whedon has also proved that he understands comic books. ("Fray", "Buffy Season Eight" etc.) He is well suited to do the screenpplay for "The Avengers".

Alex Winter   April 14th, 2010 10:29 pm ET

Astonishing Avengers!

Jim de Tejas   April 14th, 2010 10:36 pm ET

To those who think Buffy was over-rated, or Whedon isn't talented, please just spend the time to watch Buffy episodes 4:10 (Hush), 5:16 (The Body), and 6:7 (Once More, With Feeling), plus Firefly episodes 'Out of Gas' and 'Objects in Space' as well as the Hulu-posted 'Dr. Horrible'. You'll start to see why Whedon fans are Whedon fans. He's one of the most unique voices out there.

Joss Whedon to Direct Avengers « Rick's World   April 14th, 2010 11:29 pm ET

[...] Whedon to Direct Avengers – CNN SciTechBlog Joss [...]

MichaelChatt   April 14th, 2010 11:38 pm ET

Wicked cool news.

I really like his work. I even liked Dollhouse.

dragon   April 14th, 2010 11:58 pm ET

To quote Lynneth and Jennifer, Shiny!!!!

Trav   April 14th, 2010 11:58 pm ET

If this movie is more like the Ultimates and less like the old Avengers, it should be great! The movie definitely needs some edge to it to make it work. Please don't be too PG...or better yet, not PG at all!

Freddie   April 15th, 2010 12:12 am ET

@chris, it's about superheroes... of course its gonna be cheesy u moron. and Whedon is a God FYI! @Jim de Tajas you forgot about 'doppleganger', 'conversations with dead people' and 'gingerbread' okay no where near as emosh as 'the body' but they were genius eps. P.S – Sarah Michelle Gellar as Binary/Ms. Marvel. Don't answer yet, just think about it.

David   April 15th, 2010 1:41 am ET

What do I think of it? I think I just geek-gasmed. Seriously. Amy Ackar would make a great Wasp or Scarlet Witch, and Alan Tudyak could pull off Hank Pym, and Eliza Dushku would be PERFECT for Spider-Woman. Sadly, I don't think any of the Joss regulars are right for Ms. Marvel (my personal favorite of the team).

Aqua   April 15th, 2010 6:32 am ET

Much happy! Firefly/Serenity is SO much better than what's on usually. Plus, I'm been catching episodes of Buffy on the Logo channel, and I'd forgotten how good it was.

Giles, pondering buying a magic shop, "And the death rate probably keeps the rent down...."

McQuestion   April 15th, 2010 7:12 am ET

Just make Captain America like Nathan Fillion in Firefly, Thor like a combination of Jayne and Reverend Book, Hulk is Hulk and Iron Man is already established and Faverau will be on hand anyway for assistance with that, it sounds like a huge winner to me! Firefly style humor, action and dialog with Marvel's greatest heroes. Wonderful!

Only question is, what's Whedon gonna do without a strong woman to kick ass with? Maybe he'll have The Wondrous Wasp as the central ass kicker? Nahhhhhh, not even Whedon and his love of kick ass women would be that stupid.

the corndog   April 15th, 2010 7:35 am ET

please have ant-man, wasp, vision and scarlet witch!

Clay   April 15th, 2010 8:30 am ET

Seriously??? Everyone of the projects he worked on hasn't been impressive nor have they been memorable. He will turn this movie into a 1966 version of Batman the tv series. This is a very WRONG move for a MUCH anticipated movie. Oh well at least the individual movies were/will be good. Maybe Uwe Boll can direct the next one since his movies seem to do just as well. Sad...would have been nice to pull all of the super heroes together is a riving non-comedic movie.

halum   April 15th, 2010 8:40 am ET

I'll be in my bunk!

Kathy   April 15th, 2010 8:41 am ET

I think the movie will be great, really enjoy Whedon's work- Bring back Dollhouse please- there is so much that cn be done with the missing time.

Chuck St. John   April 15th, 2010 8:56 am ET

Joss will take the 120 Million it will take to do this movie, stash it in Switzerland and make two more Serenity sequels then 26 episodes of Firefly. Whedon's Firefly, perhaps the best thing ever on TV, is better than 90% of the gosa currently being thrown up on the little screen these days.

...wish I wasn't kidding about the Switzerland thing.

Tom D   April 15th, 2010 9:25 am ET

Just imagine...Robert Downey with Whedon's dialogue... awesome

Nick   April 15th, 2010 9:49 am ET

Whedon will ruin this movie, Buffy was trash and Angel was worse. Serenity got cancelled because it sucked like nothing before it, and the movie was like watching a bunch puppies being killed- it was horrible.

Ace   April 15th, 2010 11:16 am ET

No female superheroes? Now that the Wasp is dead, they can put her in the movie and kill her off (again). What about Ms. Marvel?

henry pym   April 15th, 2010 1:42 pm ET

I like Whedon just fine. I wasn't a Buffy fan but loved Firefly and Serenity. Dollhouse had some good stuff going for it and Dr. Horrible is excellent. But I think to really make people happy with Avengers he is going to have to have an intelligent adult oriented story line much like Nolan's Batmans and Iron Man. If they go with humor like the FF films, then it will turn into crap. Superhero films need to go serious or go home. This will all depend upon the script. The technology is there to make all the heros work well together but the story has to be there. Also, since we'll have already seen the introduction of much of the original Avengers when this comes out, it should have some logical carry over from those films. Thor is now on earth to live among us and fight evil. Hulk was last seen with Banner seeming to get some control over his Hulking, so he can be a part of the team too. And I'm assuming that at the end of the Captain America film, we'll see him frozen into the ice where he can be revived early in the Avengers movie. Iron Man is already established and we'll see Black Widow so Whedon could use her in the Avengers even though it isn't the classic line up. Here's hoping that they get it right.

Peter   April 15th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

I wasn't too thrilled with the buffy and angel series, but the same guy who directed "meet the feebles" was able to make a rocking "spiderman", so I'll take your word that it's going to be incredible!

Andrew   April 15th, 2010 9:56 pm ET

Actually, Whedon wrote the first 20 or so issues of The Astonishing X-Men, which are amoung the best comics I've ever read. He seems to understand the Marvel universe pretty well. This is great news.

gamEr   April 16th, 2010 8:45 am ET


Olivia Smith   June 13th, 2010 7:41 am ET

Firefly is one of the TV Series that was created by Joss Whedon. I love Firefly so much but it does not have Season 2.**`

Kuiper   July 8th, 2010 5:44 am ET

Seriously guys?

Joss Whedon was given zero control of that trainwreck we know as Alien Resurrection. He wasn't the director. He wrote the screenplay, but the film-makers cast it wrong, scored it wrong, designed the set wrong.

Mostly, they cast it wrong, with the obvious exception of Brad Dourif. Plus they directed it with the 'suck all life and meaning out of the characters' button turned all the way to eleven.

I don't think Whedon's script for AR was particularly special, BTW. But if a film is bad, blame the director!

Nathan is my boyfriend   July 13th, 2010 4:32 pm ET

Idk WHO or WHAT the Ant Man is but if he is played by my beloved Nathan Fillion I will be the first in line to PRE-Purchase the tix to this movie. Regardless of the scriptwriter/director or the rest of the cast & crew. I will sit thru ANYTHING to see Nathan on the Silver Screen! *Siiiiigh*

Chair Pads    October 12th, 2010 2:39 pm ET

joss whedon should have continued the Firefly series on TV, it was a nice sci-fi series*:;

Oxygen Monitor :   October 24th, 2010 10:17 am ET

geez, Firefly is the best sci-fi TV series. i just hope that Joss Whedon revives that;~,

Nikon Camera Bag   December 14th, 2010 12:54 pm ET

of all the sci-fi directors on cinemas, Joss Whedon is my all time favorite because he has great concept `'-

MARVELfan10648   July 14th, 2011 12:10 pm ET

joss whedon will direct the avengers movie!The end of the world is coming XD!!

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