Before a movie opens, everyone involved is usually understandably wary about talking sequels-- even when it's something like The Avengers, which had the makings of a mega-hit well before it opened at $200 million North America alone. But The Los Angeles Times gave it a shot anyway, talking to Joss Whedon before the film opened in the United States, and asking him if he'd be back for the sequel that's already in development at Disney. Whedon, of course, wouldn't give a concrete answer, but he also had a thoughtful reply to go along with it:

“You know, I’m very torn. It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it. But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.”

Whedon, who's written several comic books in addition to all of his TV and movies work, would naturally have a lot of ideas for the sequel, especially after writing the script for The Avengers himself. But it's curious that he emphasizes the fact that The Avengers is still somebody else's story. Sure, he didn't come up with the idea for the team of superheroes on his own, the way he created the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe or the world of Firefly, but he really made the Avengers team his own, in a way that I think will define the Marvel Universe of movies and even comics for a long time. As a writer Whedon clearly values originality, but he'd be far from the first writer or director to achieve success telling a pre-existing story-- Orson Welles's first claim to fame was a radio telling of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds, after all, and Cecil B. DeMille surely didn't invent The Ten Commandments.

It may be a while before we see Whedon make a decision on The Avengers 2, and the way he's talking, I wouldn't be surprised to see him depart-- he's got the capital to do absolutely anything he wants right now, and with a brain like that, he's surely got a ton of ideas that don't involve supeheroes. If you want to convince him to take the job, though, now's probably the time-- we're skeptical he reads the comments here, but just in case, give it a shot!

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