I pretty much hate doing Rumor Du Jour type of articles, because if it’s bullshit (which is quite often the case), then you’ve got chicken ova on your grill and you’ve helped foster yet another wild internet speculation that’s based on someone’s hearsay or tomfoolery. But on the other hand, if it pans out, and you don’t cover it, then that’s a pretty big oops hanging out there?
Be that as it may, there’s a story over at Pajiba that you may have already heard about. And that is that Joss Whedon is not only directing The Avengers, but he’ll be rewriting it…as well as The First Avenger: Captain America. For the first half of that headline, that’s not so much a surprise. Any director worth his salt is either going to do some reworking of the script to suit his vision, or work with his own guy(s) to get it done. But if Whedon takes a machete to the thing from Page 1, that is significant. And when that writer is Zak Penn, who’s been paying his mortgage with superhero franchise scripts the last few years, it’s even more so.
For Cap, word is that, at this point, Whedon’s role on Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s script will be at the polish level. Markus and McFeeley’s most significant work to date has been on the three Narnia films, as well as the teleplay for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Pajiba is claiming an exclusive source on this particular tidbit, and it may very well pan out to be true. I’ve already seen a couple of other sources reference the article. Still, never hurts to be wary until the deal is written in blood.
So, to play Devil’s Advocate here, if it’s legit, this would make a certain amount of sense, as Whedon may need to do some tweaking on Cap to get it to line up with his plans for Avengers. Cap, Thor and Iron Man are big, but Avengers is where it all has to really come together or all the planning, crossovers and the like have been for naught. But then again, there are also inherent dangers in giving so much of the Marvel theatrical universe over to one guy. Even if that guy is Joss Whedon.
So we’ll see how it all goes pretty soon I suspect. Consider yourself in the loop.