He wavered for a while, calling it "an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately someone else's story." Everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief though, since Joss Whedon has just been officially announced as the writer and director of Avengers 2. He's even been persuaded to undertake even more work in the Marvel universe, overseeing an as-yet unrevealed TV series.
Disney chairman and CEO BIb Iger broke the news during Disney's "earnings call", which must have been a reasonably happy occasion, given The Avengers' $1.5bn haul. An official statement from Marvel Studios soon followed:
"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."
So that very strongly suggests we'll see the next Avengers team-up in the summer of 2015, following next year's Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, and 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy.
As for the TV series, we could be talking about the "high concept cop show" set in the Avengers' world, that was being mooted recently (which sounds potentially a bit like DC Comics' Gotham Central). ABC is also the intended home of the Incredible Hulk series that Guillermo Del Toro has been attached to for a while, and of AKA Jessica Jones, based on Brian Michael Bendis' Alias series. Maybe Joss will be advising on all three at once, or none of those at all: perhaps he has something else up his sleeve. We will, of course, keep you in the loop.