When you direct and rewrite one of the biggest films of all time, and are often considered the architect of said feature for pulling off the various and disparate movie threads that lead to that complex feat, everyone wants to know what you're going to do for an encore.
So in some respects, it's understandable why so many people are desperate to know whether Joss Whedon will direct the sequel to "The Avengers," now the third highest grossing film of all time ($612.3 million domestically and $1.46 billion worldwide). Asked at Comic-Con today, during a 10-year anniversary panel for his now-defunct space western TV show, "Firefly," whether the filmmaker would helm the next "Avengers" film, Whedon remained non-committal. “I have not come to a decision on directing 'Avengers 2' yet,” he said. “I am having too much fun with this (Firefly reunion) now.”
But given the particulars, it makes complete sense why Whedon might be acting as a hold out as of right now. There's no script for "The Avengers 2," and no release date. Presumably the film could arrive in 2015, but maybe it would land in 2016. That leaves a long-term commitment up front for Whedon that could clash down the road if another original project the filmmaker wants to helm isn't 100% on schedule.
Perhaps more importantly, the road map to "The Avengers" might not be completely set yet. Yes, all "The Avengers," minus The Hulk, have films in place: "Iron Man" at the top of the summer 2013, "Thor 2" in the fall of 2013, and "Captain America 2" arriving in the spring of 2014. But then there's the thing about Marvel's plans beyond that, which aren't set in stone yet -- at least not as far as the public's concerned. Coming August 2014 is a Marvel "mystery" film that is likely "Guardians Of The Galaxy." What potentially makes things complicated is that the rumored villain for that film is supposed to be Thanos, who was teased at the end of "The Avengers." Would that film have to tie into "Avengers 2," and, if so, how? Chances are, many questions still remain, and in many ways, those questions affect the outcome of the "Avengers" sequel. There's also the thing about another Avenger, Ant-Man. Would one of his adventures have to come first?
Then again, maybe we're just overthinking it. After all, Whedon did previously voice his concerns about working on material he hadn't invented himself. “You know, I’m very torn,” he said earlier in the year when asked whether he would like to direct "Avengers 2." “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.”