Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Whedon to Direct Marvel's The Avengers

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 13, 2010 at 8:57AM

If Marvel closes with Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers, I applaud them for yet again taking a daring direction that most studio chiefs would not be willing to stake their jobs on.
2
Thompson on Hollywood

If Marvel closes with Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers, I applaud them for yet again taking a daring direction that most studio chiefs would not be willing to stake their jobs on.

Why? Whedon is a writer-director-creator with a massive imagination and loyal fanbase. But he has fared best away from group-think and commercial considerations. He's not a studio factory player (see Alien: Resurrection or Titan A.E). He doesn't think in conventional commercial mass-audience terms. (Nothing came of his stabs at Atlantis or Wonder Woman.) He's best at creating strong relatable characters in such TV series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, which flopped in movie form as Serenity, his one feature directing effort. Whedon's most commercial screen credit: he contributed to the script of the original Toy Story. I'm curious to see how his screenplay for The Cabin the Woods turns out for MGM.

Thompson on Hollywood

But clearly, if Marvel is willing to bank on Whedon for this massive ensemble of superheroes--from Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) to Captain America (Chris Evans), most already established inside the Marvel canon--they must be on the same page. Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk) has turned in a script UPDATE which Whedon is rewriting, natch.

While fan sites are applauding, The Playlist sounds a note of caution. HitFix's Gregory Ellwood (@hitfixgregory) tweets: Whedon has "written for Marvel Comics and knows the universe, very very well. Not as surprising as you might think." And Harry Knowles (@headgeek666) reminds: "How can any of use pretend to know what a fully financed Joss Whedon film is? I have never seen one."

UPDATE: Now Pajiba reports that Whedon will also do a rewrite on Captain America. Makes sense. With Marvel, it's all about keeping the universe consistent across all its media.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, In Production, Joss Whedon, Comics, Robert Downey, Jr. , Disney


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.