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Joss Whedon To Direct The Avengers 349

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the summon-eliza-dushku dept.
olyar noted that Joss Whedon has been tapped to direct The Avengers. This should make a lot of nerds very excited, and begin rampant speculation on Buffy/Firefly/Horrible universe actor cameos. Hope the script doesn't suck.
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Joss Whedon To Direct The Avengers

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  • by cthulu_mt (1124113) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:33AM (#31844120)
    I just pooped myself a little. It is awkward at work.
  • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:35AM (#31844132)

    ...Mrs Peel. 'nuf said.

  • Cameos (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that Buffy or Firefly cameos would be horrible.

    • Re:Cameos (Score:4, Funny)

      by bFusion (1433853) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:40AM (#31844172) Homepage

      DOCTOR horrible?

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:37AM (#31844146)

    I personally don't think this movie will ever get made. The first clue that this is not a serious project is the fact that the studio is talking about Robert Downey, Jr. playing Iron Man. There is no way that a) Downey is going to agree to doing an ensemble picture as a bit player after headlining 2+ Iron Man movies, or b) That the studio is going to spring for the big money it would take to hire him, just for an ensemble role in a risky new franchise.

    As far as Whedon goes, he's one of these guys that studios often bring in to write/rewrite scripts just to test the waters on early projects. His name generates some buzz, and the studio may or may not get an interesting script out of him. He also works cheap (an important consideration these days in an era of "tentpole" movies with exploding FX budgets, and multitudes of comic book franchises in the works). Though geeks think of him as an A-lister, Hollywood doesn't. If you look at the guy's financial track record, you'll see he's very small-time by Hollywood standards and has had WAY more failures than successes. At the risk of committing geek blashemy, I personally he's overrated, though he did do excellent work with the characters and dialogue in "Alien Resurrection" and "Firefly" (essentially the same set of characters, but well played with depth and wit on both counts).

    I suspect the studio is just looking for a little PR. The "Robert Downey is going to play Iron Man in the Avengers" thing is probably just to get some PR for "Iron Man 2." They know that's not going to happen. Hiring Joss Whedon may be a good way to get some geek buzz, but it doesn't indicate in any way that the studio is serious about actually making this movie. Until the real money starts to flow (i.e. when they actually start filming with the A-list talent), it's just another "Superman Lives"/"Green Lantern"/"Captain America" project that could spend decades in limbo and go through many directors/writers before it actually amounts to anything (if ever).

    • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#31844188)
      I've always had similar opinions of Whedon - how often has he had series (Firefly, Dollhouse) that should have gone straight to SciFi for 3-5-7 seasons and instead floundered on networks for 1-2? He's had his run with Buffy/Angel to be sure, but needs to make sure of his venues better.

      That being said, I applaud this pick. Whedon tends to actually care about Geek-genre characters.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He paced Dollhouse too slow in the beginning, but if you think he did anything wrong with Firefly, you just weren't paying attention. That was FOX's mistake in handling it badly.

        So to answer your question: once. He had one show that should have gone straight to SciFi. Another that was handled badly by FOX, and two that were quite successful. Not bad in my book.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The Dollhouse pilot actually covered most of the events in Season 1. Fox rejected that in favor of the inane "imprint of the week" formula.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by wvmarle (1070040)

            Buffy started off with a "monster of the week" formula as well, the first season at least, I don't remember exactly how long they kept that up but many many episodes had a "monster of the week". Similar concept. Worked out very well for that show.

            • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:34AM (#31844752)

              It was generally monster of the week with 5 minutes each episode dedicated to monster of the season. Monster of the season got 2 to 4 dedicated episodes, usually one at the beginning, two at the end and one in the middle where it demonstrates that Buffy is to weak to defeat him/her/it. But with the power of (heart/friendship/hot lesbian witches) they defeat the big bad after all.

              Even so, it was entertaining.

            • by Sancho (17056) *

              A big difference is that there were still constants. With Buffy, the constants were the good guys--her friends and family. With Dollhouse, the constants were a two-dimensional FBI agent whose motives we don't really know and an evil corporation who seems more neutral than evil. You might count the chlid-like dolls as constants, but they weren't compelling when they weren't imprinted, and the imprints went away every episode.

              There was no one to identify with whatsoever. No one to really care about in a m

          • So that's why that show is so retarded...
          • by Spad (470073)

            It's a common "trick" for new shows so that people who start watching 3 or 4 episodes in to the first season don't feel like they've already missed huge chunks of vital plot development and stop watching.

            Unfortunately, as with all these things, networks tend to want to apply them to all shows regardless of suitability.

        • by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:12AM (#31844522)

          I disagree. I do not blame Fox for the early demise of Firefly. I blame Joss or whoever decided to pitch it to one of the big networks. The show would have failed on ABC, NBC, FOX, etc. While the geek crowd rants and raves about it, it lacked the ability to interest the population at large for any length of time. Had Firefly started on a pay-to-view channel or Sci-Fi it would have ran much longer.

          • by Chardish (529780) <chardish@gmaiAUDENl.com minus poet> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:20AM (#31844610) Homepage

            And killing off Arrested Development, Futurama, and back-when-it-was-funny-Family-Guy aren't further proofs of Fox's incompetence as a network? Cancelling Firefly may be their biggest sin, but it's far from their only one.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by squiggleslash (241428)

              Just because some cancellations were due to Fox's incompetence doesn't mean all of them are.

              Fox did enough wrong with Firefly to obscure the real problems with the show, which was that it was a space-opera-cum-western with pro-Confederacy overtones with little appeal outside of a small cadre of "science fiction nerds who like that kind of thing."

              Fox didn't commission Firefly because they were enthusiastic about the concept, but because they needed to kill the absurdly expensive and rapidly tanking Dark

              • by Shakrai (717556)

                Fox did enough wrong with Firefly to obscure the real problems with the show, which was that it was a space-opera-cum-western with pro-Confederacy overtones with little appeal outside of a small cadre of "science fiction nerds who like that kind of thing."

                Pro-Confederacy overtones? Did you watch the same show that I did? I know it was based on the experiences of Confederate veterans but the underlying theme seemed to be one of individualism and mistrust of Government. That could just as easily have applied to any number of independence movements in human history.

                with little appeal outside of a small cadre of "science fiction nerds who like that kind of thing."

                Hard to argue with that. I love Firefly but if you look at the Nielsen ratings there was no way it was going to survive on network television. More's the pity.

          • by tweak13 (1171627) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:29AM (#31844694)
            I have introduced many people to firefly over the years, and everyone I've shown it to has liked it.

            Every. Single. One.

            Hell, even my parents liked it so much that they showed it to their friends, many of whom went on to buy the DVDs. If that show has appeal from college students to boomers, I'd say it would have been pretty damn successful had anybody actually been able to watch it when it was on FOX.
            • by Talderas (1212466)

              Thank you for your anecdotal evidence.

              However a LOT of shows perform much better in DVD sales than they do while aired and that's simply a fact of the method by which you watch it. Some shows just do better when you can watch multiple episodes at once rather than waiting a week between. Firefly is no exception to this.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Culture20 (968837)

                However a LOT of shows perform much better in DVD sales than they do while aired and that's simply a fact of the method by which you watch it. Some shows just do better when you can watch multiple episodes at once rather than waiting a week between. Firefly is no exception to this.

                Or in proper order. Or at the time you expected them to be on without ads notifying about a time/day change. Fox decided to kill the show long before the first episode (which wasn't the first episode) aired.

        • by Creepy (93888)

          Well I don't think it helped that Fox airs all of his shows on Friday night, which is generally considered the "death" night for shows. The only reason I saw Dollhouse at all was because of a DVR, and that show was underwhelming - a nice idea, but poorly named (IMO, "dollhouse" is a turn off for boys) and executed. I didn't see Firefly in its initial run (caught it on scifi later) or Buffy at all due to the Friday time slot.

      • by Altus (1034)

        Im not sure that is a good example.

        SciFi these days tends to have better series than Fox.

        Still I think Whedon is a bit over rated and I worry about what he might do with Avengers. His dialog is often good but his plots are all over the place. I'm not sure what he will be like if he is just directing.

        Whatever, I'm going to end up seeing the movie anyway.

      • I don't think he is responsible for Firefly's failure. Whoever killed Firefly, should rot in hell or an equivalent place.
        Dollhouse isn't that great, i don't mourn it.

        • by Spad (470073)

          Actually, I think that Dollhouse *was* great (outside of the first 3 episodes), mostly because it was only two seasons long; short, sharp, to the point, wrapped everything up and didn't drag on past its time.

        • by Shakrai (717556)

          Whoever killed Firefly, should rot in hell or an equivalent place.

          The Nielsen ratings killed Firefly. You think Fox would have canceled it if it was popular and making them money? Not bloody likely.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:56AM (#31844362) Homepage
      Bingo. Hollywood Chatterati like to think they've got the inside scoop, but the real decisions are made by a cabal of dead-eyed accountants and lawyers who regard comic books, movies, and their own consumers [*] with - at best - a detached contempt.

      They don't get excited, or swayed by passion, they just decide how much money they're going to make from the rubes, and add up the 'value' of their 'talent' until it meets the required number.

      Whedon's last movie was 5 years ago, and bombed [imdb.com]. His TV work since then has been small beer. Nobody wants to make a movie that 'only' grosses twenty five or even fifty million; I don't see this panning out any time soon.

      [*] Plus their 'creative partners', from which I draw my knowledge of their charming ways.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:56AM (#31845034)

        Whedon's last movie was 5 years ago, and bombed [imdb.com].

        Not sure where you got your info from... According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] "It received generally positive reviews and opened at number two, taking in $10.1 million its first weekend, spending two weeks in the top ten, and totaling a domestic box office gross of $25.5 million and a foreign box office gross of $13.3 million. However, it did not make back its budget until its release on DVD. Serenity won film of the year awards from Film 2005[2] and FilmFocus. It also won IGN Film's Best Sci-Fi, Best Story and Best Trailer awards and was runner up for the Overall Best Movie. It also won the Nebula Award for Best Script for 2005, the 7th annual 'User Tomato Awards' for best Sci-Fi movie of 2005 at Rotten Tomatoes, the 2006 viewers choice Spacey Award for favorite movie, the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form and the 2006 Prometheus Special Award."

        Although it did not make back its budget immediately, it did after DVD release, plus winning all those awards...I would not call that a movie that "bombed"

    • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:10AM (#31844502)

      There is no way that a) Downey is going to agree to doing an ensemble picture as a bit player after headlining 2+ Iron Man movies, or b) That the studio is going to spring for the big money it would take to hire him, just for an ensemble role in a risky new franchise.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0942385/ [imdb.com]

      Hmmmmm. Maybe you don't know what you're talking about, in the least. I suspect he's more than willing to do an ensemble piece.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      here is no way that a) Downey is going to agree to doing an ensemble picture as a bit player after headlining 2+ Iron Man movies, or b) That the studio is going to spring for the big money it would take to hire him, just for an ensemble role in a risky new franchise.

      Don't be too sure about that.

      We don't know what kind of deal he has going with the studios. Nor do we know what his intentions are. I've seen big name actors take bit parts due to: favors, desire to work, or wanting to work with someone that they've always wanted to work with.

      Eddie Murphy did Bowfinger because he is a fan of Steve Martin. Tom Cruise worked for scale on Rainman to work with Hoffman. Sean Bean shows up in weird places with different sized parts all the time. And Downey did do a cameo in Hulk

    • I dunno, I like a lot of the Jos Whedon characters and shows. Firefly was one of my favorites, as was BtVS and Angel. I enjoy the dialogue more than anything, and certainly don't equate revenues with "success". I rarely feel any empathy towards any characters, but the characters in Firefly and BtVS resonated with me.

      Oh crud.

      Actually I just watched for Bad Willow and Bad Fred and Saffron. And Eve. Oh Eve.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      There is no way that a) Downey is going to agree to doing an ensemble picture as a bit player after headlining 2+ Iron Man movies, or b) That the studio is going to spring for the big money it would take to hire him, just for an ensemble role in a risky new franchise.

      No way? a) Iron Man is the Leader of the Avengers. Downey gets to boss around the other stars, and stare down Jackson, who will only have one eye to stare with. b) Maybe it's part of his contract that he'll play Iron Man in three movies, like McGuire got stuck for Six Spiderman movies.

    • by spookymonster (238226) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:33AM (#31844746)

      Except the studio has already factored in RDj's inevitable self-destruction after Iron Man 2. By the time The Avenger's starts shooting, they'll have him down to a box of crackers and a prepaid Starbucks card.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Interesting approach. Just hire a heroin dealer to offer him free samples at his next premiere. Won't be long before he's having to slum it again in the indie world.
    • by sjanich (431789) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:40AM (#31844820)

      It is my understanding that as they have signed actors to do the standalone movies (e.g. Iron Man, Captain America, etc...) that the contracts included 2 Avengers movies.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      If the characters and writing in Firefly were as bad as they were in Resurrection, I'm glad that I never bothered with that show. Seriously, Resurrection was a Saturday night D&D game brought to the big screen, complete with hilariously crippled dwarf, sociopathic and poorly portrayed 'heroes', and Sigourney Weaver playing the DM's oversexed Mary Sue.
    • Say what? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Spunkemeyer (805072)
      Haven't you ever seen the footage shown after the credits of the Iron Man movie? It introduces Nick Fury to Tony Stark! I have no doubt Robert Downey Jr. was under contract for it when he signed up for Iron Man... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o2lJ19qML0 [youtube.com]
    • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @11:29AM (#31845462) Homepage

      You don't seem to be aware that Downey's contract already requires him to be in the Avengers [wired.com].

      That still doesn't make me optimistic about this movie getting made by him. Your comments about Whedon getting played by the movie executives seem quite familiar, given how he was assigned to Wonder Woman [mtv.com], got all worked up over it [rottentomatoes.com], and here we are five years later with no sign of a movie.

  • Read: his agent's secretary has pencilled in a possible lunch with the studio's deputy assistant producer's cousin's personal shopper.

    Pants: unmoistened. Wait for the Tweet before the nerdgasm.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:54AM (#31844332) Homepage

    ...but am I the only nerd that can't stand Firefly?

    • by Troy Baer (1395) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:59AM (#31844392) Homepage
      Yes, yes you are. Go and sin no more.
    • by Spad (470073)

      I doubt it, just like I'm not the only one who can't stand BSG.

      We nerdy types are not a homogenous mass of identical drones, we just have a common set of interests.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        We nerdy types are not a homogenous mass of identical drones, we just have a common set of interests.

        Unit 470073 has become removed from the collective. Schedule for immediate reintroduction or termination.

    • by DikSeaCup (767041)
      Well, I loved Firefly, but I really don't see the appeal of Buffy. Just didn't grab me. Dr. Horrible was cool for a web thing, but, as much as I admire Wheadon's creativity, I sometimes feel like telling the fanatics, "Okay, back off, he's pretty good but he has yet to walk on water or write four out of five seasons of a show. All I said was 'I liked "Firefly".' I don't want to join your Buffy discussion group."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CelticWhisper (601755)

      No, you're not. I don't know when this geek law went into effect that says we must all love Firefly, but I've been breaking it all along and frankly, I'm not sorry. I watched it beginning to end, and the movie as well, and I don't think there was a single idea in it that hadn't been done better somewhere else. Ship of outlaws on the run from an overwhelmingly powerful government? Farscape. Space western? Cowboy Bebop. Telepaths/psychics trying to elude capture and subsequent scientific experimentatio

      • by Sancho (17056) *

        Strong, capable, confident female characters? take your pick from BSG's female cast

        Wait, really? Those are your ideas of strong, capable, confident female characters? Most of them ran to their men any time the chips were down, and one of them took the "easy" way out by shooting herself in the head (and prior to that scene, was pretty two-dimensional). They gave the appearance of being strong while really being pretty lame.

        The closest thing to a strong female character in that show was Head Six, and that's only because Baltar was a submissive masochist who thought he needed punishing (w

    • Well then you gotta give us reason to believe you are in fact a nerd. You can't just say "I don't like Firefly" and "I'm a nerd" in the same sentence and Expect us to believe you.

      And no, an account on Slashdot does not get you any closer.

    • by ProppaT (557551)

      Nope. I thought it was drivel myself. I personally dislike space westerns, so that might have something to do with it...but I couldn't find anything to really pull out of it story or character wise to draw my attention. I thought it was well acted and generally well filmed, but it was just....boring. I consider myself a fairly big sci fi fan as well.

  • James Marsters? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ReneeJade (1649107)
    If we can have a Spike cameo, nothing else matters. I don't care if it makes no sense.
    • Who ever makes a cameo will die. He can't kill any Avengers, so he has got to be looking for a red shirt.

  • ...maybe David Boreanz as Henry Pym, her husband, Ant-Man....
  • by NormHome (99305) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:05AM (#31844456)

    While I thought that Robert Downey Jr. did a really great job as Iron Man (in the first movie) the thing that made the movie was that the script was reasonably good. The second Fantastic Four movie was a total disaster because the script was absolutely the worst I think I've ever seen filmed and I was thinking all the way through the movie "Did the writer's ever actually read the original Jack Kirby, Stan Lee comic that this was based on?". The problem with the Avengers, besides needing a really good script is that the casting has to be good. To my mind the hardest problem here is trying to find someone to play Thor. You need a six foot two plus guy built like Hulk Hogan in his younger days that can do a credible Nordic accent and I think that is next to impossible.

    • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:20AM (#31844598) Homepage
      You're thinking much too locally. Go rent "The 13th Warrior" and check out the guy who plays Bulywif, Vladimir Kulich. Would make an *excellent* Thor.
      • by NormHome (99305)

        I've never seen that but I'll take your word for it. I suppose they could have an open casting call in Norway and Germany to see what they can come up with. But really what good is someone who physically fits the part but can't act to save their life and whose English may be nonexistent. I remember seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan The Barbarian and thinking, he really fits the role physically but wow he's a terrible actor. That's not to say that he didn't improve over time as I think that he was terrif

      • If you're going to go with someone in their 50s as Thor, why not Dolph Lundgren? IMHO, it was poor scripting that did the man in, not his acting. Check out "I Come in Peace" some time...

    • You're saying there are no Nordic bodybuilders out there that can act with any credibility?
    • by clickety6 (141178)

      Dolph Lundgren? :)

    • by Zumbs (1241138)
      According to TFA they found a Chris Hemsworth [imdb.com], who played George Kirk in the recent Star Trek movie. According to IMDB he is currently filming the Thor movie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MoonBuggy (611105)

      So far the movies actually made by Marvel studios [wikipedia.org] rather than just co-produced by them do seem to be better than what they were initially licensing their characters to (the Fantastic Four sequel being a perfect example of the latter).

      They still fall squarely in the 'high budget Hollywood superhero movie' category, and they're not exactly highbrow, but I found both Iron Man and Ed Norton's version of The Incredible Hulk to be good entertainment. I'm interested to see how they do with Iron Man 2, and I still

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      "Did the writer's ever actually read the original Jack Kirby, Stan Lee comic that this was based on?"

      Of course they did. They also read the Ultimate (FF,Galactus) series of comics, and introduced some of those ideas because their superiors at Marvel forced them to. The result was the mess you watched in the theater.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      Funny you should say that, since Iron Man didn't have a script; they had an outline, and improvised most of it (or came up with it right before the scene): http://incontention.com/?p=18384 [incontention.com]

      Jeff Bridges described it as a $200 million student film.

    • by Sancho (17056) *

      You don't need a big guy to play Thor if you have Lord of the Rings special effects.

  • His movie's aren't very good. He is great at long arches, great at TV plots. Not so good at getting all he does great into a movie. IT's not...tight.

    Serenity is a great example of that. Without the series as a primer, if you will, the movie doesn't really make that much sense.

    Plus marvel will never let him kill one of the Avengers. That means he needs to add a character to kill. This will distract from the movie.

    I hope I am wrong.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      HAHAHA You simple mortal! He will kill off Captain Hammer!

      Of course, it will be in an epic fight between The good captain and Thor!

    • by Danse (1026)

      Without the series as a primer, if you will, the movie doesn't really make that much sense.

      I don't think the movie was truly intended to stand alone. It was more of a payback to fans for buying Firefly DVDs and a way to wrap up the series after Fox fucked everyone over so badly.

    • by Sancho (17056) *

      His movie's aren't very good.

      Serenity is a great example of that.

      Serenity is one of the 5 movies he's written that actually made it to the screen, and it's the only movie he has directed. You might as easily say that he was too constrained by the TV show to really make it work--that he was too close to the original material.

      As far as the rest of his feature film writing credits, he had success with Toy Story as writer. Titan AE and Alien Resurrection weren't bad, they just weren't great. Buffy...well it wasn't the story he wanted, but I'm not sure who's to blame for

  • - At some point, a beloved character will have a "perfect moment" where he saves the day...then suddenly die in the next scene.

    - At another point, two romantically-interested characters will finally divulge their feelings, be happy for all of ten minutes, then one will meet a horrible and sudden end.

    There will also be at least implied lesbianism at some point. Whedon has his moments, but his bags of tricks is fairly small.
    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      So, is that last point a complaint, or......? I mean come on, who didnt love all that Willow and dark-haired Slayer trainee action?
    • Well, at least that's three more tricks than the usual Hollywood blockbuster paint-by-numbers script.

      ...and he tends to cast actors he knows already: is there any member of the female cast from Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse that you don't want to see involved in some implied lesbianism?

  • You know, of all the things to base a movie on superhero comics bother me the least. From a standpoint of Hollywood sucking the life out of everything I might have a problem, but beyond that I'm not really bothered by whatever ends up being produced.

    And the reason for this is that comic book superheros are ridiculous to begin with. Their characters are often goofy and their plots corny. I mean, they were really grasping at straws with a lot of those superheros and villains. I was a fairly avid reader of com

  • Will we see what happens when a Wasp is struck by lightning?
  • While Marvel has certainly been trying to mobilize their properties, the movies for the most part have not been very good. I'm still puzzled as to how Iron Man turned out so awesome. In comparison you have the Fantastic Four failures, the Hulks, Spider-Man and sequels, X-Men and sequels, Wolverine, etc. Well, I suppose those movies may have made some money but they weren't very good. As far as fun popcorn flicks, they were too saturated with stupid to succeed. The only enjoyable comic movies of the last few

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