By Cameron Carlson | Thompson on Hollywood July 23, 2010 at 3:17AM
Joss Whedon has confirmed that he is directing The Avengers. The beloved sci-fi writer-director revealed this nugget of info--which everyone already knew--at a Comic-Con EW interview with colleague J. J. Abrams. The two men joked about their nerd tendencies before Whedon said, "That is not an official thing because I think Marvel couldn't afford a press release. So can I just make that an official thing? I'm directing The Avengers." He also claimed, "It's just a gig."
Whedon boasts a devoted fan base (ever argued about Serenity with a Whedonian?), and resists compromise--which has lead to early cancellations of such TV series as the aforementioned Firefly and his more recent Dollhouse. Whedon confessed that he is an ardent fan of The Avengers comic-book and will do his best to bring the comics together with all the established film universes in one consistent movie.
According to Box Office Mojo's early estimates, Inception has cleared the $100 million mark. Last week puts the movie at an expected $100.1 million. It also makes opening weekend stories anticipating a "sleeper hit" seem bizarre. Nolan directing an innovative sci-fi spy thriller with DiCaprio was never going to be a "sleeper." Inception, along with Despicable Me ($133 million), confirm that Hollywood can still produce original material and make money.
Warner Bros. has confirmed the development of a film adaptation of Dan Dare, a 1950's British comic book. Sam Worthington will play Dare, the leader of the Interplanet Space Fleet, and what Variety calls "the British equivalent of Buck Rogers." Colin Frewin will executive produce the picture after acquiring rights from Dan Dare Inc. Clash of the Titans producer, Basil Iwanyk is producing the space adventure with Thunder Road. Let's hope he puts together a higher quality production this time.
[Joss Whedon photo courtesy of AP Images Denis Poroy. Sam Worthington photo courtesy of Buzzine.com]