Starting in 2008 Marvel Comics began an ambitious project involving the way they were producing films. Long story short they began producing superhero films that would share a continuity, something that has surprisingly not be done very often (Daredevil and Electra notwithstanding. Bleh). Iron Man was first followed a few months later by The Incredible Hulk. Iron Man 2 continued the trend and it’s expected that Thor (Now in post-production) and Captain America: The First Avenger (About to start shooting), both due in 2011, will as well. Of course you knew that already if you saw IM2.
The goal is to have all of this lead up to an Avengers film that will feature the actors form the single movies reprising their roles (Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Samuel L. Jackson as
himself Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America and maybe Edward Norton as Bruce Banner if Marvel can convince him to take part again after that last debacle). That’s the main event; all the other movies that were released and are to be released are more or less prologues to the actual story. For years Marvel and DC Comics had wanted to make movies based on The Avengers and Justice League of America but have always stumbled and the projects have loomed in Development Hell for the longest time. Marvel finally just went with the simple answer: film a bunch of movies starring various Avengers and then make an Avengers movie based on that. This flick will make certain people extremely wealthy come 2012, and sadly it won’t be me.
The CEO of The Walt Disney Company circa Summer 2012
So with 2012 looming in the not too distant future Marvel has announced the director who will helm this project. After a lot of rumors flying around the winner is none other than geek icon Joss Whedon! Who is Joss Whedon, you ask? If you don’t know then congratulations; you are probably much cooler than I am. I hope you enjoy your fancy clothes, trendy dance clubs, and overpriced coffee drinks. Jerk. Anyway Whedon is probably best known as the creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise, which will either make you automatically like him or despise him. He’s also a lifelong dork who grew up a fan of comics and sci-fi and whatnot but now actually gets to work on films and television in a creative capacity. In short he’s not just “one of us”, he’s what all us nerds dream of becoming: in charge of the stuff we like to bitch about. I like Whedon because I hope to have his job one day, but I feel that I am more handsome than him and therefore more likely to succeed. Check him out:
Joss Whedon moments after getting a swirly from Michael Bay
See? He looks like I could probably steal his lunch money. Anyway he is extremely talented at making works that appeal to me, so in that regard you’d think that he’d be the perfect person to direct such an important nerd movie. Alas I don’t trust that this work out. Whedon has a history of wanting control over his work but who’s to say that Marvel (And Disney) will play ball with him. Recently Sam Raimi walked away from the Spider-Man film franchise after battling with Sony Pictures over what gets done and when, so we know that such breakdowns during the development process happen. Plus once upon a time Joss was flagged to direct and write a Wonder Woman movie, which would have been the greatest thing ever, but ultimately it fell through and my high hopes were shattered. That said Whedon seems to have a good working relationship with Marvel as he actually worked on a few books for them during the 2000s (More on that later). I could be wrong and Whedon may in fact lead us all to Nerd Nirvana once 2012 hits, but if he ends up backing out or gets fired I want to be recognized as having called it in advanced. I have already perfected my “I Told You So” speech and accompanied dance.
What can we expect from the movie should Joss make it to pre-production? Maybe some snappy dialogue but not necessarily the quirky “Buffy Speak” that a lot of his work uses since Dollhouse proved that he doesn’t need to rely on it. Also Whedon is a feminist and often focuses his work on strong female leads so it’s likely that, despite prequel movies building the big three (Cap, Iron Man, Thor) as the stars, it’s likely that a female Avenger will play just as big a role as the boys which will be cool. Black Widow is supposed to come back so perhaps she’ll fill that role, although there are a few logical picks from the books. I nominate the She-Hulk because the She-Hulk is awesome when’s she’s not being sexually exploited by artists…so like 40% of the time.
Why is the Savage She-Hulk giving me a "Come Hither" look?
Also, assuming he can swing things his way, its possible Joss will bring in some of his regular actors to round out the cast which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who he asks to play who. And of course the internet, being the beast that it is, is already spreading rumors about this very subject. Since they haven’t started casting (That I’m aware of) there’s no reason to take any of these rumors seriously, but my favorite one is Nathan Fillion as Incompetent Scientist
Supreme Hank Pym which would be…interesting. On the flip side he may cast Eliza Dushku in any number of roles, all of which would be terrible, terrible mistakes.
My sanity completely depends on her not being cast as The Wasp
Basically we’ll have to wait and see what will happen. Ultimately we know NOTHING about what’s going on with this film so there’s no point in making too many speculations. Let’s see how the Thor movie turns out before we lose our minds over this, okay?
For those of you who aren’t in the know I figured I’d talk a bit about some of Joss’ previous work. Come back within the next 48 Hours as I go through some of Joss Whedon’s old projects that earned him a large cult following.