Turns out Joss Whedon's new Marvel role is bigger than we thought

We're still rejoicing at the news that Joss Whedon will return to write and direct the sequel to his megahit The Avengers (and do a little Marvel TV work along the way). But cool as that news is, it's apparently just the beginning of what Marvel's got in store for Whedon.

Marvel announced in a statement late Tuesday that Whedon is now locked into a three-year exclusive deal with the company (ending June 2015). So what's that mean?

"As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel's Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC," the statement read. "He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel's cinematic universe."

"Contribute creatively" could mean a number of things, from simple development to executive producing to full-on scripting work, but with a slate that includes Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man (that we know of), it definitely looks like Marvel is hedging its bets by keeping the director of the most successful superhero movie of all time on board. Whedon was the man responsible for taking all of the elements of "Phase One" of Marvel's cinematic universe and uniting them into one massively successful tentpole flick. Now as Marvel Studios makes the turn into Phase Two, with the added pressure of a television slate, it seems they want Whedon to be the ringmaster.

It's not clear yet what exactly this might mean for other developing Whedon projects like Dr. Horrible 2 and his Warren Ellis co-written webseries Wastelanders, but this is definitely good news for Marvel as they try to replicate the success of the last four years. It's also, of course, very good news if you're a fan of both Whedon and Marvel flicks.

What do you think? Wise move for Marvel, or will we head into Whedon overload?

(Via L.A. Times)

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