In news that surprised some folk (although not everyone following the Sony email hack back in December), Joss Whedon will not be returning to his Avengers franchise to direct Avengers: Infinity War – Parts 1 and Part 2, which will now be helmed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
So where does this leave Whedon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
“I don’t think I’ll ever get that far away from it. I plan a rest – a longer rest – perhaps an eternal rest. I have no immediate plans,” he told the European press conference in London to promote the movie. As noted by ourselves on the upcoming Flickering Myth Podcast review of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whedon looked tired when introducing the movie and even noted that he “hated it”.
It’s likely Whedon will stick around in a consultant capacity, but he assured the press that executive producer Kevin Feige would be steering the ship for many years to come.
“[Kevin Feige is] not interested in making a formula; he’s interested in creating a universe,” he said. “How long will he do it for? Erm, until he dies? He’s interested in creating new versions of the superhero movies – something that doesn’t fall into a pattern. So it’s going to be around for quite a while.”
Marvel Studios presents Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release in the UK on April 23rd and North America on May 1st, with Joss Whedon directing a cast that includes Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), James Spader (Ultron), Stellen Skarsgard (Erik Selvig), Thomas Kretschmann (Baron Strucker), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Claudia Kim (Dr. Cho), Andy Serkis (Uylsses Klaw), Henry Goodman (Dr. List), Julie Delpy (Madame B) and Linda Cardellini (Laura Barton). Listen to the Flickering Myth Podcast review of Avengers: Age of Ultron using the player below: