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Joss Whedon confirms at Comic-Con hes directing 'The Avengers'

07/22/2010 by Kristina Lopez

J.J. Abrams, left, and Joss Whedon, right, arrive for The Visionaries panel at Comic-Con International Thursday, July 22, 2010 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) Joss Whedon, the brain behind cult classic shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, confirmed at a Comic-Con panel Thursday with J.J. Abrams that he is directing The Avengers movie.

The film is based off the comic about a team of superheroes featuring Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Edward Norton, who starred in a reboot of The Incredible Hulk, announced on July 12 that he will not be appearing in The Avengers movie.

"I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn't turned out as we all hoped," Norton said on his Facebook page.

Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige told the website HitFix.com about Nortons exit and plans to hire a new actor stating, "The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, he said. "We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks."

According toThe Hollywood Reporter, Whedon said at the panel that hes still fleshing out the finer details of the script, "I am still writing an outline. I'm still in that stage. I will say the thing I love about it, the thing that made me excited to do it, is how counterintuitive it is. These people shouldn't be in the same room -- and that is the very definition of family."

The movie is set for release on May 4, 2012, according to preliminary cast lists. Robert Downey Jr. is set to reprise his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. In addition, Samuel L. Jackson is listed as Nick Fury, which he played in both Iron Man films, and Chris Evans is listed as playing Steve Rogers, who is superhero Captain America. Scarlet Johansson is also said to reprise her Iron Man 2 role of Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow.

Another superhero character named on the cast list for The Avengers is Thor, who Chris Hemsworth plays in a movie by that name, set for release on May 6, 2011 and which was teased after the credits of Iron Man 2. Hemsworth has not been confirmed officially to play the part in The Avengers. In Thor, Natalie Portman stars as Jane Foster.

Marvel also plans to produce Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. told OnTheRedCarpet.com in May.


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