It showed up first on Deadline, and has started to spring up at other reputable sources such as The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog: Joss Whedon is close to a deal to direct The Avengers for Marvel Studios.

Whedon has been rumored on the shortlist for the past several weeks, after  Iron Man and Iron Man 2 Director Jon Favreau confirmed he'd only be working on The Avengers in a production capacity. The movie will bring Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and other heroes together, assembled as a team by Nick Fury. Actors Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) are all signed to multi-film deals including the ensemble picture.

The movie would mark Whedon's only second big-screen feature, the first being Serenity, the follow-on sequel to his TV series Firefly. Whedon has deep ties to the comic book world outside of the genre nature of his shows, producing and writing comics based on his properties, as well as Astonishing X-Men for Marvel. He was at one time attached to writing and directing a Wonder Woman feature film for Warner Bros, but that stalled before any final script approval or casting was made..

The Avengers is scheduled to premier May, 2012.

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