Joss Whedon will direct The Avengers 2 while overseeing a live-action series for ABC.
Earlier this summer, Marvel Studios finally released the culmination of a half-decade's worth of superhero films in Joss Whedon's The Avengers. Perhaps you've heard of it.. Once the explosions died down and the credits began to roll, many viewers immediately began speculating about what Marvel had planned next. New Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor sequels are already in production, but Disney Chairman Bob Iger revealed two new details on Tuesday. The first, naturally, is that Joss Whedon has signed on to write and direct Avengers 2. The second, and far more surprising detail, is that Whedon will return to the small screen for an unrevealed Marvel TV series to air on the Disney-owned network ABC.
"Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015," Marvel revealed. "As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel's 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."
Details on the series are few and far between, but there's just enough information in the rumor mill for fans to start rampantly speculating. The ABC series is (rumored) to be set in the cinematic Marvel Universe that fans have come to know from the previous six movies. While the series concept hasn't been finalized, it will not necessarily feature the core Avengers cast. Unlike the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble animated series, Whedon's Marvel series will be a live-action affair. Beyond that, anything is possible.
Whedon has not always had the best of luck in television. His last two dream projects, Firefly and Dollhouse received early cancellations when they were unable to find significant followings on television. It would be perfectly understandable for Whedon to stick to movies or web development after those experiences, but his new found post-Avengers popularity seems to be giving him the edge to bring his own creative vision to television once again. Plus the show won't be on FOX, which considering Whedon's checkered history with the network should increase its prospects.
The most likely options for Marvel are to either create a spin-off series starring characters from the movies or to create a entirely new show that will set the stage for the upcoming sequels. Whatever direction the show takes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has no shortage of characters to choose from, especially when one considers that the licensing process to bring comic book characters to film doesn't apply to television shows. If we're very, very lucky, we might even see characters like Spider-Man or the X-Men that Marvel simply can't put in their films.
Regardless of the final decision, I expect that Marvel and Joss Whedon fans alike are anxiously awaiting news of what the ABC series will entail.