Variety is reporting that the man who made Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and the crew of the Serenity legends of sci fi and fantasy, one Joss Whedon, has been named as director of The Avengers.
Following two Iron Man movies and single films featuring The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and The Mighty Thor, The Avengers has Col. Nick Fury bringing the characters together, as The Avengers, to face an alien threat.
Whedon, whose Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel were cult hits for The WB, and whose Firefly and Dollhouse were potential-filled series that didn’t last, has only one previous film to his credit as a director – Serenity, one of the best reviewed films of 2005 [and sequel to the firefly series], but is writer/producer on the upcoming Cabin in the Woods.
In comics, Whedon has taken Buffy to the four-color art-form with Dark Horse and has previous experience with Marvel as the original writer on The Astonishing X-Men and The Runaways, where he succeeded series creator Brian K. Vaughn.
The Avengers will star Samuel L. Jackson as Fury, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Dr. Don Blake/Thor and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Edward Norton may reprise his dual role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Release date for The Avengers is May 12, 2012.