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Joss Whedon will return to the Marvel Studios fold for a sequel to The Avengers. He also will create a Marvel-related TV series for ABC.
Disney CEO Robert Iger revealed the plans during an earnings call Tuesday, during which he boasted about Avengers being the third-biggest movie of all time and that Disney has initiatives in the works to “leverage the power of the Avengers” across the entire company.
PHOTOS: ‘Avengers’ Premiere Red Carpet Arrivals
That Marvel was planning a sequel to the $1.46 billion-grossing movie was not a surprise, but having Whedon back behind the camera definitely will make execs breathe easier.
Whedon was one of the key components to the success of the movie, with his deft screenwriting and knowledge of the superhero characters frequently cited for the high marks the movie got from critics and fans alike.
PHOTOS: ‘Avengers’: Comics vs. Film
Having him shepherd Marvel’s foray into television is also an interesting move. Whedon is best known for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, as well as the short-lived sci-fi-themed Firefly. While his ratings track record is mixed, he has a proven knack for creating shows that inspire passionate followings.
His double duties on the film and TV sides might be a hint that Marvel could be creating not only multiple movies but an even broader universe that also includes the small screen.
ABC still is developing a potential Hulk series with Guillermo del Toro attached. “It wasn’t going to be ready this season, but we hope it’s going to be ready for next season,” ABC entertainment president Paul Lee said in May.
Any show to reach the air would be the first Marvel-oriented show since Blade, the short-lived vampire show that aired on Spike TV in 2006 and was a small-screen version of the New Line action horror movies.
Whedon is repped by CAA.
UPDATED: 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.”
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