So if you couldn't tell by my big "hooray" in the last post, I'm pretty excited to see Joss Whedon returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe not just as the writer and director of the "Avengers" sequel, but as one of the creative forces behind the developing MCU TV show and beyond.
But what, exactly, are Whedon's responsibilities as part of his new deal with Marvel? We don't have all of the answers yet, but we do have some as issued in a statement by Marvel themselves.
"Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015," says the studio. "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."
A few things we can glean from that. One, just as he did with "Captain America: The First Avenger," Whedon will likely have story and script input on the movies paving the road towards the next "Avengers" film. "Iron Man 3" is close to in the can already and "Thor: The Dark World" is really revving up, but both "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" (and "Ant-Man") are still in their early days, so expect Whedon's voice to sing out on those films.
Secondly, "help develop a new live action series" means Whedon likely won't be showrunner, just one of the creative visions behind the show — much like how J.J. Abrams worked on the early days of "Lost" before letting Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse carry the torch forward. (Your enthusiasm over that comparison may vary.) Whedon's worked with countless television experts from Jane Espenson to Tim Minear and beyond, so there's no shortage of excellent showrunners still in the family to choose from.
Finally, with Whedon's deal running through June 2015, that gives us a target date for the "Avengers" sequel. May 2015 is the likely bet, though it could come sooner, or possibly a little bit later. Regardless, it's a long time to lock Mr. Whedon down to the House of Ideas. If you weren't already excited for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's a good time to start.
What do you think of Joss Whedon's new Marvel deal? Let us know in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!