In Comic-Con’s first big-reveal-that-the-Internet-already-knew-about of the season, Joss Whedon has officially confirmed that he will direct The Avengers for Marvel, with an eye on a May 2012 release. Whedon joined J.J. Abrams for a summit of all that is right and holy in the world of genre fiction, during which he told the crowd (according to Movieline’s live blog) that his “counterintuitive” take on the Avengers story will focus on how each of its members are so different from each other that they shouldn’t even be in the same room together. “And after all, isn’t that what family is about?” he said. So, like many a Whedon project, it’s basically one big dysfunctional family drama—only, you know, not too dysfunctional.
While Whedon is still in the “outline” phase of Avengers, he did mention that he’s all for shooting in 3D—although this could also be read as just a reaction to Abrams saying that the upcoming Super 8 will not be in 3D, an announcement that received a round of “gleeful” applause. Abrams cautioned that he still hasn’t shot any footage yet, but confirmed once more that Super 8 “pays homage” to executive producer Steven Spielberg, so read that as you will, or just assume it means “aliens.”
Finally, Whedon gave updates on some of the other projects he’s had his name attached to of late, including his horror movie collaboration with Lost and Buffy writer Drew Goddard, The Cabin In The Woods, which has the grave misfortune of being an MGM film. Whedon said that although Goddard shot Cabin in a “classical mode,” the studio insisted that it be retrofitted in 3D—but given that MGM’s fate remains “in flux,” it isn’t exactly in a position to make demands at the moment. Meanwhile, Cabin still has no release date in sight, whether in a 3D version or one that could be marketed with Whedon’s suggested tagline, “It’s painterly!” He also threw a bone to those asking about a sequel to Dr. Horrible, saying that he and co-writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen have a story worked out, but it remains “in turnaround.” Which sounds like, once again, it would take some sort of forced disruption in his already-packed schedule to make it happen. Go Teamsters.