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Disney Greenlights ‘Avengers 2’

PLUS: Joss Whedon thanks his fans in heartfelt note

Joss Whedon has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to “The Avengers” success … but all of his thanks are being reserved for the fans who have stuck through him during the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Dollhouse” and many more days.

“People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change,” Whedon wrote on the popular fan site Whedonesque. “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 Comic-Con. Imagine!”

But that change is not going to be fully engulfing. In fact, there is a lot of Whedon that he says will stay just the same.

“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 to with ‘peeps’ — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of,” Whedon said. “When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have stopped watching, I’ve had three constants: My family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all.

“So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this 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.)”

The letter comes on the tail that the Walt Disney Co., which owns the Marvel properties, has already announced a sequel to “The Avengers,” which as of Tuesday, has earned $244 million, according to The Numbers. Bob Iger, the head of Disney, told investors and analysts during a conference call that there is no timetable yet for “Avengers 2,” Disney is planning to include new Avengers attractions at its parks.

It’s unclear how such a move would affect Marvel’s existing contract with NBC Universal, which uses Marvel characters in its theme parks, including Islands of Adventure in Florida. However, Iger has said in the past that while they may incorporate Marvel properties into Disney parks, they will continue to honor contracts with competitors.

Iger reiterated the schedule for other sequels, including “Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2” next year, and “Captain America 2” in 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s possible that “Avengers 2” could hit theaters in 2015, but would depend on the schedule of all involved, and whether or not Whedon is invited back to work on the script and take the director’s chair.

Whedon is keeping busy in the meantime, especially fulfilling promises he made to fans. That includes “Wastelanders” as well as a sequel to “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” And maybe some television work as well.

“TV is my great love,” Whedon said, “To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity and immediacy … nothing quite like it. I imagine it’s not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: ‘Here’s what I got, here’s where I’m going … how to trick everybody into thinking I know what I’m doing?'”

“The Avengers” is playing everywhere, and has now earned more than $700 million worldwide.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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