That sound you’re hearing? Choirs of fanboys singing.
This might be the greatest news to ever come out of geekdom. Joss Whedon, one of the most celebrated and respected (and geeky) wordsmiths of our time, is going to be directing Marvel Studios’ big-budget superhero mashup, The Avengers. As you probably know, The Avengers is combining the stars of Marvel’s various superhero pics — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Nick Fury — into star-studded blockbuster film. Whedon landing this gig is on the same level as JJ Abrams being handed the keys to the Enterprise, and everybody knows how amazing that turned out.
Whedon is best known as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and writer of Astonishing X-Men, though he also served as a bigshot Hollywood script doctor before hitting it big with his own properties, doing uncredited rewrites on films like Speed, and helping to give voices to Woody and Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story. His singular talent for writing original, clever dialogue has helped give his work its distinct flair, and he’ll be doing a rewrite on the existing Avengers script. As a director, he handled many episodes of his own TV shows, as well as the big screen filmSerenity. Anyone who saw Whedon’s directorial efforts on his TV shows knows that he has a profound talent for using the camera as another communication tool, as well as a strong eye for wicked cool action sequences.
Just imagine hearing Whedon’s dialogue coming out of the mouths of Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)! Also joining the cast will be Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Edward Norton reprising his role as the Incredible Hulk. It almost seems too good to be true that Marvel would entrust its most important property and biggest stars to someone like Joss Whedon; he has infinite amounts of geek cred, but no established box office bankability.
But you can take this to the bank: Whedon doesn’t know how to tell a bad story, so assuming there’s not too much studio interference or bloated actor egos on the set, The Avengers is going to be something special when it arrives summer 2012.