I wrote about this last week but there have been new developments that I though appropriate to share with all of you. Variety is now reporting the Joss Whedon is in final negotiations to direct The Avengers. Not only will Whedon direct the film is going to re-write the script as well. It is not official, and by I mean “not official” I mean that IMDB is not listing Joss Whedon as the Director, yet. For me IMDB is the Oracle of the TV and Film industry when it comes to that type of information. However, while Variety may run the ‘final negotiations’ story because they know it will sell papers, they typically don’t run rampant with unsubstantiated gossip.
Some other names that are reportedly a part of the project are Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Edward Norton (Bruce Banner), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and (Captain America). As you can see, there is not a long list of names attached to this project but let’s take a moment to look at who is involved.
Robert Downey Jr. – I love, love, love Robert Downey Jr., there is no better Tony Stark/Iron Man than him in my book. I have been a RDJ fan for a long time. If you haven’t seen Chaplin or Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang then you should definitely check those films out. He is a very versatile actor and a cool cat. Most recently, I saw RDJ in Sherlock Holmes, while I didn’t particularly enjoy the film overall, I did enjoy Downey’s performance.
Edward Norton – I much preferred Edward Norton’s take on Bruce Banner as opposed to Eric Bana. Compound that with the fact that Norton is a huge comic fan and has a passion for the stories, I look forward to seeing him reprise his role. Don’t forget at the end of the Incredible Hulk movie starring Norton, Tony Stark shows up to talk to him about joining The Avenger project.
Samuel L. Jackson – ‘Nuff Said
Chris Evans – This is the only casting so far that I have an issue with. If you didn’t already know, Chris Evans has already been featured in a Marvel film playing Johnny Storm a.k.a. The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four series. I liked Evans in the Fantastic Four films but I am a little concerned about the ability to really accept him on-screen as Captain America when we have already associated him with the Fantastic Four. Captain America is the keystone of The Avengers and this role is going to make or break the film overall, I worry that this is a big gamble. Evans is a fine actor and he may be able to pull it off so I am reserving final judgment for the time being.
The Avengers is scheduled for release in May of 2012 and I have already made my opinions known about how this impacts Joss Whedon’s schedule between now and then. With a release date of May 2012 I would imagine the target would be to have principal photography done near the end of 2011 so that they have some preliminary footage to start promoting the film during the Christmas 2011 film season. That means that shooting begins early 2011. Now factor in the fact the Joss is going to re-write the script and we may see that this project starts in the next couple of months and continues until the film is released.
Again, I am not upset that Joss has landed this gig, I think it will be a fantastic film and I am really excited to see Joss’ take on The Avengers. Selfishly, it would not have been my first choice for his next project after Dollhouse for reasons I have expressed in my first post regarding Whedon directing The Avengers.
Does the fact that Joss Whedon is going to direct the film change your opinion on whether or not you are making plans to see The Avengers?