Deadline reports that the "Astonishing X-Men" writer is in final negotiations to direct "The Avengers," Marvel Studios' upcoming superhero movie starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
If negotiations pan out, Whedon would join a well-established list of Marvel filmmakers including Jon Favreau ("Iron Man 2"), Joe Johnston ("The First Avenger: Captain America"), Louis Leterrier ("The Incredible Hulk") and Kenneth Branagh ("Thor").
Whedon was first mentioned as a contender for the job on April Fool's Day by IESB, but the authenticity of the report was debatable given its timing. Speculation continued after the Los Angeles Times reported that Whedon was indeed a contender, but an old interview resurfaced indicating that the "Dollhouse" creator might not even want the job if offered.
Following the initial "Avengers" reports, Whedon's name was linked as a possible director for Marvel's "Runaways," though "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" director Peter Sollett ultimately won the job. While Whedon's past experience writing the "Runaways" comic book series seemingly made him a lock for the gig, it now appears that Marvel had other plans for the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" creator.
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