Is Joss Whedon Really An ‘Avengers’ Contender? Really?

April Fools’ Day is a veritable minefield when it comes to trusting any news in both the comic book and film circles, so with that said, take the following rumor with an extreme pinch of salt — Joss Whedon is allegedly a frontrunner to direct “The Avengers” for Marvel Studios.

Describing the report as “not an April Fools Day joke,” IESB states that Whedon is a leading contender on the alleged short list of filmmakers to direct “The Avengers,” the 2012 superhero movie starring Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. This is reportedly the same short list that “The Incredible Hulk” director Louis Leterrier referred to just last week.

Although IESB states that the news isn’t a prank, Whedon’s alleged involvement is more than a little bit suspect given the nature of today’s joke-filled holiday. MTV News has reached out to Whedon’s representatives for confirmation and will update this story as soon as possible.

To his credit, Whedon has plenty of credibility in the comic book community. He wrote a widely circulated screenplay for “Wonder Woman” that Warner Bros. ultimately decided not to produce. As a comic book writer, Whedon has worked on “Runaways” and “Astonishing X-Men” for Marvel and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight” for Dark Horse Comics.

Personally, I’m extremely skeptical when it comes to any news that’s delivered on April Fools’ Day, particularly something as potentially massive as this latest report. That said, I would be absolutely thrilled if Joss Whedon was selected as the director for “The Avengers.” Among other key qualities, Whedon’s ability to juggle an ensemble cast knows few equals — and that’s an essential ability for whoever winds up in this particular director’s chair.

But for now, file this one under rumor. A very cool rumor, but given its content and timing, a rumor nonetheless.

Tell us what you think of Joss Whedon as a potential “Avengers” director in the comments and on Twitter!