Ignoring a clear record of underperforming TV and film projects, Marvel has hired Serenity director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon to helm the big-screen adaptation of The Avengers, Deadline.com revealed today. The legendary superhero ensemble, which debuted in 1963 with founding members Ant-Man, Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk, is currently slated to assemble on the big screen with a somewhat tweaked lineup in May 2012, barring a Mayan apocalypse.
With The Avengers, Whedon, most recently known for the web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, faces his biggest challenge yet: How to transform a guaranteed blockbuster into a generally well-regarded but largely unprofitable cult favorite? It seems impossible, but I have no doubt he'll rise to the occasion.
The news comes on the heels of Marvel's recent announcement that Chris Evans has been chosen to play Captain America in Joe Johnston's adaptation of that hit title. Expect to see Evans in Whedon's Avengers as well. And expect to find me nowhere near the multiplex when it opens.