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Joss Whedon To Helm ‘The Avengers’

Will be his first film directorial stint since ‘Serenity’


We know what Joss Whedon can do with a teenage girl and a wooden stake, a vampire who doesn’t like to be mean, a group of rebels who would rather be smugglers, and a girl who can’t find her identity.

But what will Joss Whedon do when Capt. America gets pissed off at the Incredible Hulk?

He’ll have to figure that out, and quickly, as Marvel Studios has tapped the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly” creator to helm its much-anticipated superhero group film “The Avengers.”

The film is expected to include characters such as Iron Man, Thor, and others, all played by the actors who are portraying them in the individual standalone movies. The movie, which was written by regular Marvel scribe Zak Penn, will be reworked a bit by Whedon, who originally made his name as a script doctor.

The melding of Whedon with superheroes should cause some fans playing Whedon Bingo to get that five across. Whedon has been trying to attach himself to a superhero project for some time, and once was attached to “Wonder Woman” from DC Comics, only to depart the project some time later.

Now Whedon will get his chance not just with one superhero, but pretty much all the important ones in the Marvel universe, outside of The X-Men of course.

Whedon recently completed his work on the screenplay for “Cabin in the Woods,” a horror film that stars Chris Hemsworth, the actor who played George Kirk in the recent “Star Trek” movie. It also keeps Whedon involved with Marvel, where he also wrote comic book stories for the company’s “Astonishing X-Men” print series.

“The Avengers” will star Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Hemsworth — as Thor — and quite possible Edward Norton.

It will be a part of a combination punch being put together by Marvel, which is now part of the Walt Disney Co., that will include “Iron Man 2” on May 7, “Thor” on May 6, 2011, “The First Avenger: Captain America” on July 22, 2011, and then “The Avengers” on May 12, 2012. It will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

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