It’s apparently official: Disney just announced that not only is Joss Whedon returning to The Avengers
for a second movie — he’s also developing a Marvel TV show that is set to air on ABC. (Probably in the fall of 2013, at the soonest.) The TV series for ABC Television is likely the one reported by Deadline.com, a series about superheroes and others set in the Marvel universe, but not specifically about the Avengers themselves. Considering the size of the Marvel pantheon of heroes, this probably won’t be very limiting.
Marvel Studios released the following statement: “Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”
Two months before The Avengers hit theaters, Whedon told the British magazine SFX that he thought a sequel to the film should be “smaller, more personal, more painful.” Right after The Avengers passed the $1 billion mark, he expressed his mixed feelings about returning to make another film. “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,” he said to Hero Complex. “But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.”
Some exerpts from an open letter to the fans written by Whedon shows his attitude about the Avengers, his role in its success and where things might go moving forward:
Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.
People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)
What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of… Because of y’all. Because you knew me when… So this is me, saying thank you. All of you…. this [is] our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!
RDA: I’ve seen a lot of a talk about “the Avengers” vs “the Dark Knight Rises”. How will you feel if you’re eclipsed by Nolan?
JW: I’m glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let’s look at the bigger picture, and I can’t say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We’re in the business of proving that superhero movies aren’t just eye-candy (they’re eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I’m proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan’s Kirk Douglas, I think they’re missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I’M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.