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Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 04/28/2010

Joss Whedon still not confirmed as 'Avengers' director

By Jen Chaney

Joss Whedon, chatting at Comic-Con 2008. (Photo by Liz Kelly/TWP)

When the news broke a couple of weeks ago that Joss Whedon was in final negotiations to direct Marvel's "The Avengers," the fanboy community rejoiced. Within hours of a few Web sites stating that it seemed likely this would happen, it began to be reported as a done deal. Blogs started to refer to the movie as Joss Whedon's "Avengers." updated their "Avengers" page to indicate Whedon -- the man behind "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Firefly" and several revered issues of "Astonishing X-Men" -- was now onboard. And nerd champagne flowed happily throughout the land.

But maybe we all need to curb our enthusiasm a little because Whedon still has not been confirmed as "Avengers" director.

During a conversation this week with "Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau -- who has been tapped to executive produce "Avengers," which brings together multiple Marvel heroes, from Iron Man to Captain America -- he noted that Whedon is not officially in that director's chair yet.

"They’ve asked me to be executive producer, but they’ve got to get their director on board first," he said. When I noted that I thought Whedon was supposed to be directing, he continued: "I would love it to be, but I don't think that's been confirmed yet." He also repeated that same information at a Q&A following last night's fan screening of "Iron Man 2" at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Tex.

When I asked press reps for Marvel Studios where the negotiations stand, I received an e-mail that simply stated: "Nothing is confirmed at this time."

It's unclear if this is just a matter of Whedon and Marvel crossing Ts (for Thor) and dotting Is (for Iron Man), or whether negotiations have broken down entirely. Favreau, for his part, seems very supportive of Whedon taking on directing duties, and wants to make it clear that Whedon would be able to carry out his own vision for "The Avengers."

"I know that he would be a wonderful choice. He’s got a good flair for dialogue and a nice sense of humor. He’s written comic books, so he understands the Marvel universe very well. And I really liked his film, 'Serenity.' Watched that, watched 'Firefly.' So it’s good stuff. I think he would be a good choice.

"Marvel seems to be continuing the tradition, with Kenneth Branagh [who will direct the upcoming 'Thor'], of making a real director’s medium and allowing each director to bring their personality to their particular franchise," Favreau later added. "As executive producer, I would hope [the 'Avengers'] director would have the same courtesy I was afforded.”

We'll be staying tuned for more developments. And stay tuned to Celebritology, where my entire conversation with Favreau will be posted in the coming days.

By Jen Chaney  | April 28, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Iron Man, Joss Whedon, Movies, Pop Culture  
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Just a little note. It's the Alamo Drafthouse which screened IM2 last night. The Alamo is located in San Antonio -- and the Daughters of the Texas Republic have filed to trademark the name. I'd be careful in the future, you don't want to have to pay those old biddies a cent.

Posted by: epjd | April 28, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Jon Favreau! Huzzah!!! Thanks for the scoop Jen- and I look forward to the interview.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | April 28, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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